Nosy Be etc.
03.06.2007 - 16.06.2007 27 °C
Making the most of a fairly decent internet connection and finally got around to reading all your emails. Thank you all so much for the birthday wishes, it was so nice that so many of you remembered!
Spose I had better tell you whaat I have been up to!!
Weeelll.... not sure if I told you that I got pissed off with the rain so got myself a flight out to Nosy Be, small collection of islands off the northwest coast. Supposedly where all the holidaymakers go, eek, but was in desperate need of some sunshine and a nice beach!
Well, plane was full of frogs and suchlike but heard an english voice at the airoport, turned out to be a Canadian having a few days over there whilst his poor girlfriend was in the back of beyond somewhere in the piss pouring rain counting lemurs. We decided to catch a cab together to the capital, Hellville (!), it was dark and we needed a hotel, found a cheap place with sporadic electric and cold showers next to a disco, but it was clean and had a loo, no seat on it but a loo all the same. Anyway, cut a long story short we ended up spending the next few days together, god he was dull!!!!
Desperately looking for somewhere nice to spend my birthday, the whole island appeared to be full of dirty old frenchmen with young Malagasy girls, disgusting!!! Found an amazing beach up north but only one hotel and very expensive. Then I organised us a trip over to two other islands, the first had semi tame black lemurs which I fed on my shoulder...big cheesy grin photos!.... plus a lively craft market and a great hotel right on the beach, booked my bubngalow there and then for the next night. From there we went to an uninhabited island where I tried proper snorkling for the first time ( that is swimming with it on other than perched on the side of a rock with my face stuck in the water)... oh my goodness what a treat! There is a veritable kaleidascope of colours out there! All manner of funny fish with crazy markings, pointy noses and overlong fins! I saw puffa fish, sea urchins (first time not in someones foot), and not one monster! Not even a wee one!
On land there were a group of very noisy flying foxes and apparantly some lemurs but I did not see them; We had a magnificent luch on the beach of prawn and beef kebabs, whole fish, crab, rice, salad, bread and a great big plate of tropical fruit. yum yum!
So... next day (9th) I shouted a goodbye to my boring friend who, by the way, I found snogging a french girl on the beach.. I just hope his girlfriend is shagging the professors! Got a speedboat, well, a pirogue (dug out canoe) with an outboard engine over to my hotel. Oooooh it was so lovely! My own little house on the beach with 4 poster and verandah where I watched the sun go down every evening. I had a pet gecko too... used to steal my honey at breakfast, plus a pair of puppies who would join me on my morning walk along the beach. Went to see the lemurs again and spent a small fortune in the craft market.
My actual birthday I did bugger all, leisurly breakfast then spent the whole day on the beach. Cocktails before dinner and a bottle of wine finished off on my verandah listening to the waves. Oh bliss!!!! This place is costing me 24 quid a night which includes breakfast and dinner, not bad huh! What makes it better is that my family gave me money for my birthday which paid for the whole thing!
Next day the others staying there wanted to go to the island for snorkeling so I went with them. This time I walked all around the island and up and over the top via the lighthouse. Coming back down I spotted a lemur! So excited, off I went into the forest to track them down, totally oblivious to the thousand or so mosquitos that had now firmly attatched themselves to my legs.
Lost the lemurs but not the mossies, spent the next day looking like I had a bad case of the pox!
Finally tore myself away from there yesterday, now staying in Hellville, back at the first hotel. I now have a seat for my toilet, but it is on the floor! And the way the bathroom is layed out, I have a nice view of my toilet from my bed.
Today I went off to Lokobe National reserve, covered in Lemurs again, and.... I rowed us there in a dug out canoe! Thats me, couple of dutch geeks, guide and some bloke that owned the boat. It was great! Covered myself with anti mossie stuff this time! Also saw a boa constrictor and a hog nosed snake thingy. Best of all was I saw a lepilemur, tiny little nocturnal thing, utterly adorable, thrilled to bits.
Just trying to see one more island then I am out of here, oh, saw a turtle other day too, going to get a boat of some sort to the mainland then stinkabus to Diego up at the north where I shall organise a trip to Ankarana where the tsingy are (limestone pinnacles) and lots of lemurs.
Yup, back to the hard travelling again, mind you not all roses here, they regularly get 8 people in an ordinary saloon car which invariably gets a puncture and you end up stood at the side of the road in the dark with a bunch of young Malagasy girls looking like their 'madam'! Have had crabs attacking me in the footwells too. The island has electricity....when it feels like it. Last internet connection I had was 11mbps, seriously! Today I am cruising at 100mbps. And I dont remember the last time I had a hot shower. My clothes are all in desperate need of a wash and my hair is a bloody mess. Have a great tan though!!! Oh god, first hot shower... it could all be gone! Shite!
Anyway, word has got out that the internet is working, generator sounding decidedly dodgy so better get this sent and off tout suite!
I promise I shall get around to replying to your individual emails as soon as I have the time and the electric.
Till then, take care, I am off to dodge potholes in the dark.
Yup, its unbelievable but once again I found myself in paradise yesterday!
I thought had seen all of the worlds most beautiful places but this one topped the lot.
Way out in the indian ocean, two small islands interconnected by a strip of sand a kilometre long.
The sand was that lovely white stuff like powdered milk, the sea crystal clear in all shades of turquoise and blue and a huge huge blue sky, with nothing else around for miles and miles. All of us just stood there and gasped.
Ate the usual lunch of barracuda, huge prawns on sticks, zebu kebabs, crab, coconut rice, fruit... and beer! Surounded by chickens and ducks, sort of takes the edge off it a bit!
Back to Hellville with a thump! I now have to stay here an extra day so I can go to the post office on Monday which is a bugger, itching to get away now and to the north of the main island where the limestone pinnacles (tsingy) are, plus huge caves with crocodiles, underground rivers, and, of course, lemurs!
Sat drinking beer with a South African chap last night, it was so nice to have a conversation in english instead of my stilted franglaise! However I ended up having to lock myself in my room when he started getting a bit fresh! Luckily he left today so am safe.
What to do this afternoon. Beach I suppose, lunch, beer, swim, laze. Bloody hate it!!! But it beats walking around town dodging taxi drivers, chickens, ducks, potholes etc. People are so friendly though, you cant get cross with the constant 'taxi madam?' 'Bonjour Madam, ca va? ...taxi??'
Even when you have just emerged from a taxi there is another one waiting.. taxi madam? No, I just bloody well got here!!! Sometimes I suprise them and say 'Oui!' and I am bundled into an already bursting Renault 4 ...bonjour madam...taxi? I give up.
You can tell I am bored, I am rattling on. I shall go now, and email my mum and dad, they dont mind if I prattle on! Actually supposed to be looking up tour companies for my trip to Ankarana and see if it is much cheaper to do it on my own, but the thought of a repeat of the last time, just me, a non english speaking guide with the personality of a stick insect, being frog marched round a forest... Lemur...bird...bird...lemur.. home. nah, need to find a group of people to go with, even if they are bloody french.
Ok, I'm going...oh, have you noticed I have now got used to the keyboard?
Whe I am back in south africa it will be qll over the plqze qgqin§§§§ Hah!