View from South Peak
"Mulanje - Probably the best mountain in the world", was the message on the back of the official Mountain Club of Malawi t-shirt. It is a reference to the slogan of Carlsberg, and I thought it was a bit on the cocky side. But no, after three days and two nights on the mountain, sleeping under the stars, climbing higher above sea level than I have ever been before, and soaking up the sun, I am convinced the claim is not unjustified.
The only downside of the experience was the heat. The temperature was in the hight thirties when we started out on Friday morning. No shade, not much water, and 1400 altitude meters ahead. After 30 minutes, I thought I was finished, my heart beating too hard and too fast, and starting to feel lightheaded. But after a break in the shade of the banana trees, and some refreshing stream water, I was up to the task. And as we climbed, the temperature became more manageble, and even more so when the sun started descending in the afternoon.
Such a diverse landscape. Bits of jungly forest, rocky outcrops, grassy fields scattered with everlasting flowers, huge funky looking boulders and a view out of this world, looking over south Malawi and Mozambique.
We camped next to the South Peak Pools, where it was possible to swim a little, and day two we climbed South Peak, 2637m. Because Mulanje was not shaped by glaciation (unlike the Swedish mountains), the layer of sharp, lose gravel and rocks are not present here, at all. So scrambling up seriously steep slabs of granite was an absolute pleasure, with the rough surface of the weathered rock resulting in excellent grip.
And of course, after have made it down the mountain again on the sunday, with knees becoming very shaky, we indulged the compulsory post-peak-pizza, along with a few cold greens.
Mulanje - I like you!