Monday, 4 October 2010

Madagascar: part 3


Gecko à ventre plat
Back in Antananarivo i could only sleep and go back the to the airport the next morning. This time i left for the north. After having visited parts of the west and the south of Madagascar, i went to Antsiranana Diego Suarez at the northernmost tip. There i stayed at a new hotel in town center (away from the vazaha hotel district), the Terrasse des Voyageurs. It's next to the covered market which sells tissues, shoes, clothes and such (where i found a new pair of shorts for Ar. 10'000). The hotel owner, a french man, wants to integrate his hotel to the district life. He welcomes the local people to come and share some time there. He organizes story telling and other activities for local children and cinema evenings for all and so on. This afternoon i made a tour in the city market. This town seems full of life and colors. I would have loved staying there a few more days.

The next day we went to the Montagne d'Ambre which is a reserve with lemurs, chameleons and other animals. There we saw the smallest chameleon of the world (about 2cm in size), the glowing eyes of the smallest lemur (the microcebus) of the world, some flat-bellied geckos which you almost can't see, tons of chameleons and even a frog in a tree. The Montagne d'Ambre has a microclimate which is quite cold in comparison to the rest of the region. We slept in a gite in the park where two women cooked wondurful meals. The food is quite extraordinary in this country. I will have to post an article about it some time.

Tsingy's rouges
The following day we left for the red Tsingy's which are made of sand. One's not allowed to touch them, for fear of disintegration. The colours are absolutely marvelous. To reach those Tsingy's you have to take a trail off the road for about 20km where you have some nice views. Arriving there it's only some short walks to see all you can see.

 From there we went on westward on RN6 to the Ankarana Tsingy's which are grey Tsingy's. They're not quite unlike the Tsingy's de Bemaraha, but not quite the same either. We hiked there for the afternoon and visited a hole Perte d'eau where 4 rivers flow into in the rain season. The hike takes us past this at water level (but it's dry now) and goes on to the Grotte des chauves-souris. There are tombs in the cave and lots of bats. There are also some impressive stalagtites and stalagmites.

Taxi-brousse bien chargé
After this we left for Ambilobe where our guide left us to take on new customers. Life is not easy here and people have to take whatever job is offered to them. We continued on RN6 towards Ambanje and Ankify. In Ambanje i bought some vanilla to bring home as gifts (so you know i thought about it, if i fail bringing them back it's not because i forgot buying them). In Ankify i had a nice bungalow right on the beach. I went for a swim there before drinking a beer with Anas the driver. Later we went eating at the port. Anas wants me to collaborate with him to open his travel agency. At least to bring a small website online. I hope he will send me the informations so i can help him.

This ends the third part of the tour, as the next part will entirely be about my stay on Nosy Be.