I looked up at 05h10 and saw a deep orange horizon, and I knew the day was going to be a magical one at Chintheche Inn. I boiled the kettle in our room and took tea to Mike who was already photographing the dramatic sunrise from the beach. We sat with our toes in the sand, the golden morning light warming us as we slowly woke up.
The lake was turning a magical deep blue as the sun rose higher and the light shone more brightly off the ripples. I left Mike to walk around the gardens where the birds were cacophonous in their dawn chorus. He was looking for interesting things to photograph and I went to do a good hour-and-a-half of yoga. We regrouped for a typical hearty Chintheche breakfast and the pace for the day was set.
First of all we went out by boat to a little island which, in the local language, means ‘morning star’ and is a name given to it by the fishermen because Venus rises in line with the island. This is the snorkeling venue from Chintheche and once you put on your goggles and look down into the lake waters, a magical wonderland opens up. Scores of bright blue, electric blue, silver and yellow striped – almost iridescent – cichlids swim around; there are literally hundreds of them. The water is a romantic aquamarine colour, perfect for a holiday island setting.
The boat took us back to the shore and we jumped into the canoes to paddle up and down the length of the beach. The water was clear and the sun was rich and warm upon our backs while the soft, cooling breeze blew off the water into our faces. The skies were blue with those magical, tropical cloud patterns that make for such dramatic skies. After mastering the art of balance and paddling, we decided to move on.
A cycle from the Inn through to the village was next on the cards. There are two cycle tracks, one long and the other a little shorter. Wesley is the cycle guide and he is very fit. Immediately from the Inn up to the main road I felt my lack of cardio-vascular fitness strangle me like a python. We choose the short route thankfully. It was wonderful to cycle in the bush and through the villages – I need another two weeks here to get my cycle fitness up! These routes can also be jogged if guests prefer to jog rather than ride.
After these strenuous activities, a dip in the pool was perfect to cool us off. Then it was off to a well-earned lunch and relaxing afternoon on the loungers under the thatch umbrellas on the beach. A gentle evening walk along the shoreline was the perfect ending to a wonderfully active day! Certainly just a few days of activity such as Chintheche Inn offers will have you relaxed, fit and healthy, not to mention bronzed by the sun in no time!
Words Marian Myers
Photos Mike Myers