BACK TO THE CIVILIZATION
A rich person has a lot of children and owns a lot of zebu.
Shoshana: Our trip continued from Ankarafatsika to the northernmost city of Madagascar – Diego Suarez. Seeing that taxi-brousse drives this way only in the late evening we had to wait till 7 p.m. As a result, we spent our last day in the park, chilling on the sun, wandering around, watching lemurs and bargaining prices for food. We even managed to buy first and last papaya on the market for 1000 Ari (30 cents). While we waited for the bus in the evening, our tour guide Gildas made us company. He told us some interesting stories about Malagasy way of life. The way people look for work and their average monthly salaries (120 000 Ari). A rich person has a lot of children and owns a lot of zebu. Many people here cheat not only tourists but their own as well.
Additionally, we made 10 round trips around the city to pick up people and baggage. In the end, I thought, the whole village was confined inside our tiny bus.
Patrik: Our bus appeared from darkness, in the midst of the conversation. Once again, five people were seated on the place for three but this time we had an opened window at least. However, we had speakers above our heads and we had to listen to the loud music all night long. Our heads were swinging from one side to the other until we fell asleep and woke up in familiar Ambanja. Even though, Gildas assured us that the bus goes directly to Diego, we had to change the car. Additionally, we made 10 round trips around the city to pick up people and baggage. In the end, I thought, the whole village was confined inside our tiny bus. We drove off at lunch, not knowing the worst road is ahead of us. The 6 hour long drive on broken road full of holes.
Niki: After the never-ending travel, we arrived to the unexpectedly civilized Diego Suarez. Beautiful small town in french style, full of tourists, restaurants and even with a supermarket. We found accommodation in more luxurious Hotel Concorde (only 15 Euro/room for three). For the first time in Madagascar we had hot water in the shower. Even thought, it consisted of two shower tubes, one cold, one hot, and you had to mix it. In the evening, we afforded chicken in coco sauce for dinner, a local specialty. We ended a day with a beer The Three Horses, a wonderful taste for beer lovers. After few days of starving we bought an extra pizza just because we could :)
Shoshana: In the morning, we came out of our hotel and there it was. Huge opened supermarket. We had bounced inside before we could exchange looks. Finally, we could afford our most favorite holiday food – avocado spread with onions.
We had to sing a karaoke (managed a Slovakian folk song) and dance with local people.
Shoshana: The next day, we planned a trip to the nearby beach – Ramena. It was Sunday, so many local people partied in disco-bars the night before. On our way to the beach we caught a glimpse of a woman, drunkenly sleeping on the road outside a shop. Out of the city we could see two baobabs of the second most precious kind in the world.
Niki: The beach turned to a touristic paradise with an evening tide. Moreover, it became a paradise for local Malagasy that enjoyed a Sunday free-time on a common beach party. While we were making shots of surroundings, they pulled us into their midst. We had to sing a karaoke (managed a Slovakian folk song) and dance with local people. We were returning back to the city charged with positive energy and relaxed after great day at beach.
Patrik: We decided to change a comfortable Diego Suarez with the beach for a trip to a national park – Montagne d’Ambre. The yesterday’s sun left some traces on our bodies so we eased our 40km drive with a more comfortable taxi instead of overcrowded taxi-brousse. A taxi driver overloaded the small Renault which could not make a hilly holey road. In the middle of one hill, we were glad we had not burned. The car fumed billy-ho and it didn’t make any step further. Yey! Our first broken car here, after week. Fortunately, we made it to the Joffreville by hitch-hiking and old couple on the road.