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Published: September 23rd 2007
Or maybe not.....
So first of all in this Blog you'll find:
1) PLENTY of photos
2) A very negative comment as I have to get it off my chest
3) a text that Nadja wrote about most of what we did till now. (I use her text as I have spent a lot of time uploading the pictures.
So what's wrong?????
We have been very dissapointed by the "friendliness" of the Malagasy.
Madagascar is not a country to travel "independently". As long as you travel in group and pay a LOT of money, you get plenty of nice smiles. But we are trying to do it the real way and travel with the locals and local transport. Again and again they try to rip us off. Over charging by 2 or 3 times the normal price, even laughing in our face that we are being ripped off. Only once did a Malagasy point out we were paying way too much, and there the others told him to SHUT UP!
And today again a taxidriver tried to charge 2 times the agreed rate on arrival at the airport.
I think they really see us as big moneybags and
try everything they can to get as much out of us as possible.
We have seen plenty of happy travellers (75% from France) but they were all travelling organised and with 4x4.
We also have had almost no friendly experiences from people who were not wanting something from us, even in small towns.
For the food: being vegeterians, it is a bit of a hassle to eat no meat but there is a lot of fish. Although it was often so bad we nearly threw up in our plate (fish not cleaned, etc...) Only in "tourist" restaurants you can find ok food.
Saying this in one town, I ate in the best restaurant I have seen in a long time, even in Europe!
And I was lucky as I could eat there for 4 days : Nadja was Puking and Shiting Diarhea every 15 minutes from the rotten fish... and it took her that long to recover with antibiotics and all.
I also vomited, but that was before and only one BIG time.
Voila, now we change to a completely new area and hope it'll be better.
Extra note: in Antsirabe we went to a Famadiana.
It is a ceremony, held every seven years where they take out all the dead bodies of one family to wrap them a new "sheet". There they also ask for the blessing of the deads and tell them the new stories of the family! NOW the nice text from Nadja:
Frédéric and I are back in Antanarivo, the capital of Madagascar. We have 3 rough weeks behind us, travelling towards the west coast. Most of the time we had no electricity, no running water, shabby "hotels" or camping without any commodities (no toilets, no showers...) and not a lot of food... especially for vegetarians...
We travelled hours and hours in bush taxis to get from one city to the next and then we paddled down the Tsiribinha River for 4 days in a wooded pirogue with 2 malagasy piroguiers. At the end of the pirogue trip, first we had to take a zebu cart for a few kms, which shook all of our bones up and down and we very closely observed how zebus take a dump every time they make an effort 😉.
Then we wanted to continue by boat taxi... and
had to wait with other malagasy travellers on the beach for 2 days as there was no boat! When the boat finally arrived it looked like a tin can who should have retired a loooong time ago... and it was of course hopelessly overloaded with all these passengers that had been waiting on a boat for so long...
10 minutes after the boat had taken off, we all had to get out again because the river didn't have enough water and we had to walk in searing heat for about an hour and catch the boat again at a point further down the river... the boat ride was far from nice and comfy... hopelessly overloaded, no seats and everytime we turned, the boat nearly capsized... when night fell, we realized there were no lights at all on
the boat... only a torch held by the guy in front, whereas the guy in the back steered with his feet and held his head above the boat's roof...
After our spectacular boat ride, I got so sick I thought I was going to stay here and reincarnate as a Malagasy in my next life... I had the worst shits I
have ever had... I'll pass on the details, but had to take antibiotics and was out of it for 4 days... when I finally recovered we went to the Tsingys, a spectacular region and the Allee des Baobabs. Our trip to the west coast ended in Morondava were we spent 2
days on the beach. All in all, we have had some quite negative experiences on the road and after eating all this dust and dirt on the road, we have decided to take a plane to Antananarivo and now head over to the east coast where we also want to spend some days on the beach.
Lots of love and kissssssses from both of us
Peace on earth and hopefully in Madagascar too
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