It was a very hot day a few months ago when I decided to hire a taxi from Limbe bus depot which is actually matola transport to travel to Phalombe at a discount rate since I lost my cars many years ago and have never had enough money to buy another one.
I was determined to get to Phalombe to meet an elderly nyanga healer as one dealing in charms so that I could ask for permission to take a photo of his nsupa magical gourd made from mphonda losadibwe to mean a kind of squash which is not eaten.
“The calabash, bottle gourd, or white-flowered gourd, Lagenaria siceraria (synonym Lagenaria vulgaris Ser.), also known as opo squash (from Tagalog: upo) or long melon, is a vine grown for its fruit, which can either be harvested young and used as a vegetable, or harvested mature, dried, and used as a bottle, utensil, or pipe,” partly reads https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calabash
However on my way to Phalombe I could not help but stare at the beauty of majestic Mount Mulanje and the water flowing down from it and the sight of some young men beckoning us to climb up to Dziwe la Nkhalamba (pool for the elderly) within an hour was too hard to resist so I told the car to stop.
Armed with a heavy handbag and wearing sandals I decided we should trek up to Dziwe la Nkhalamba as I badly needed my own photos although all I had was my phone camera which wasn’t of good quality.
I was also tempted to drink clean looking water coming out of a rock but luckily I did not and focused on walking up.
Despite that I ignored the heat and armed with a cedar cane with the words SAPITWA and Mulanje Mountain written on it we started our climb up and within 10 minutes I was sweating heavily as it was very hot.
As sweat covered my face and body I decided to rest for some 5 minutes half way through while I continued taking as many photos as possible.
The sun was so hot that I kept seeing rainbow colours or prism like things in the lens and when I asked the guide to take my photo the same effect was seen but not when he captured the mountain from another angle.
It was under an hour when I saw water roar past me as we climbed up and I had to make sure I balanced myself as my sandals were lose and got one of the gentlemen to carry my heavy blue handbag.
We climbed up and up and I felt as if I was doing push-ups and felt every muscle in my stomach react which made me feel good.
By the time we start descending somewhere on top I saw the Dziwe la Nkhalamba waterfall in a distance and screamed with delight as I could hear the roar of water.
It was breathtaking and out of this world when we finally reached the pool and all I could do was take photos but I feared standing on the rocks as I imagined myself falling into the water yet I cannot swim despite many years of lessons….I fear deep water and imagine a hand pulling me in.
After getting the guide and taxi driver to take some closer photos for me it was time to call it a day as the sun was beginning to set and we had to trek back down.
On the way back I saw some men with cedar tree logs which they probably cut down illegally from the mountain but I pretended not to notice that much because I did not know what they were capable of doing.
As we walked down I could feel my feet getting out of my sandals and the rocks scrapping them but I did not care as my mission to FINALLY SEE Dziwe la Nkhalamba had been accomplished and I felt so good to feel any pain.
Although I spent money though I’m self-employed to get someone to drive me to the place I felt it was worth it and next time I want to conquer the physical Sapitwa where many tourists go before attempting to see if I can be “kidnapped” into the mythical kingdom one and be able to come out after taking photos…..only time will tell indeed!