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Cycle Malawi Interview with Ben Walls

Last week, Ben Walls caught up with Open Arms about his experiences both preparing for and partaking in Cycle Malawi.

Preparing for the trip

I was probably more experienced than most, in that I really started cycling 10 years ago and have done a charity coast to coast ride in Scotland every year for the last 10 years (240 miles in 3 days). I already had good fitness from the above ride in May 2017.  I tried to keep it going, although that wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be!

The Cycle

The heat was the main challenge if I’m honest, although day 2 (3?) along the new / under construction road was hard as well!  The optional extra cycle up to the Plateau in Zomba felt like a race against time (sunset) although I enjoyed the challenge. This was probably the most difficult part of the trip. It was hard going after a long day and with some time pressure.  But at the same time, I also had a great sense of achievement once we got there. 

Cycle Malawi Ben Walls 4 Sq

The off-road section at the beginning of day 2 was fabulous. I also enjoyed the ride to the village for the nursery opening (also off-road). The support throughout the trip was excellent.  Team medical support was especially welcome at a couple of points!

Open Arms Malawi

I’d been to Malawi twice before. The first time, I went after university to visit a friend who was doing VSO. Then, more recently, I did another charity bike ride in Malawi (north Malawi this time). Cycle Malawi was a chance to return to southern Malawi (where my first trip had been).  Malawi is my favourite African country!! I also regularly support a related charity in Scotland & Malawi.

Would you recommend Cycle Malawi? 

Yes!! Beautiful country, incredibly friendly people (often running across fields just to wave), and a great sense of achievement raising money in the country where the funds are used.  

It was great to be able to visit the two infant homes where most of the money raised is targeted.

Cycle Malawi Ben Walls 8 Sq

Are you looking to do something different in 2020?

Discover Malawi through a bicycle ride through its spectacular landscapes and rural villages and towns from 25th September - 4th October 2020. You will also get the chance to visit Open Arms Malawi projects to which the funds you raise will go directly. Support some of the most vulnerable children in the world with this life changing trip. For more information, please visit:

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