17 km up hill to border crossing #7 Chiponde, Malawi to Mandimba, Mozambique

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Today was a phenomenal achievement by Mike and Emma. On top of what they do almost every day of this journey.

After a night in hiding, having run off from a camping place that felt dodgy – we had driven up to the local important persons house when he wasn’t there. It felt like we had arrived in a lions’ den and the remaining lions were so surprised they hadn’t quite worked out how to deal with this unexpected gift but were prowling in any case. It was the only time I got a bad vibe on the whole trip, beating even the 5 guys walking up to us with machetes. Of course, it may have been entirely in our imagination, nothing happened. They could be very nice lions.

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Dawn and we are already on our way

Anyway, we set off early to be well out the area before people were up and about. Pretty soon we arrived at the biggest hill/mountain, a long twisting and turning 17km uphill. At the bottom Emma says:

“You might as well go to the top, I’ll try and make it.”

I have learnt, when Emma says she’ll try, it means she’ll make it.

17km later, after running and cycling uphill without more than a water and stretch break, Emma and Mike arrive very hungry for breakfast trailing a group of school children. Otherwise they seem pretty cool about their achievement.

I start chatting to the children, moving slowly away from the team, making sure to catch all of the children and draw them away. They are hesitant, initially, but the temptation to talk to me and poke me to see if I am real is much better than just watching a group of strangers. We walk casually and chat about their favourite food (“Mango” in case you are wondering) and other friendly things and quite by chance we have arrived at the school gate, where the teacher ushers them into class. Some of them give me a look like they know what I did.

Back at breakfast, Emma and Mike have eaten twice their usual amount and as Robert was digging out a flat spot for Emma to sleep on, a black snake undulated out. Apparently, it was not a poisonous one.

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Post breakfast snooze time with a curious watcher on the hill

The border crossing itself is straightforward.

Emma and Mike carry on their way for another 40km or so through the heat.

Our evening campsite, complete with scorpions:

*****

Number of Days: 75

Total distance run by Emma: 3204 km, 1991 miles

Daily average distance run by Emma (including rest days): 42.7 km, 26.5 miles

Distance run today: 60.90 km, 37.84 miles

2 thoughts on “17 km up hill to border crossing #7 Chiponde, Malawi to Mandimba, Mozambique

  1. Mary Madha June 28, 2016 / 12:43 pm

    The longer this goes on the more amazing it seems. Don’t know how any of you did it!

    Liked by 1 person

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