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Day 3 - Tana to Antsirabe

MADAGASCAR | Monday, 3 May 2010 | Views [485] | Comments [3]

I realise now that it was never the fact that I was a nightowl, but rather that I lived in the wrong time zone. This morning I was up at the crack of dawn, 6am before my alarm and once again to the sound of cock crows. I ventured out by myself under the lure of the tropical fruits the market had to offer. $2.50 AUD bought me more than enough of custard apple, persimmons and bananas; all ripe, fragrant and freshly picked. The locals all greeted me with wide smiles and were always happy to stop what they were doing to describe (through many gestures) what this or that was when I asked.

At 11am we left for the main taxi brousse station in Tana, a densely packed block of cars, station wagons and vans. Before we’d reached the place, a crowd of men had rushed the taxi with offers of taxi brousse to Antsirabe. If it weren’t for how calm Arno looked (he’d experienced this several times by now) I would have been completely alarmed by the keenness, bordering aggression with which the men reached into the cab (one opened the door and hopped into the driver passenger window). The men had promised us 80000Ar to Antsirabe but then once we were in the van, charged an extra 20000Ar for the luggage (normally free); once again demonstrating what I now like to call tourist tax.

One of the taxi men offered to pose for a photo when he saw my camera but 10mins later retuned asking for a souvenir/money in return. How lovely.

The van made for 11 ended up seating at least 14. It is quite common for people to bring animals on the bus and in the seat behind me a young man had a very chirpy chicken he told us was purebred and special.

After half an hour of waiting for the van to be full, we headed out from Tana. The countryside is full of rice fields, green hills and sparsely spotted dwellings and little villages.

 

We arrived in Antsirabe about 3-4hours later and were transported to the centre by one of the famous pousse pousse of the city. Our driver, a very friendly middle aged man pulled Arno, I, and our two backpacks 3km into the city centre... barefoot in the hot and humid afternoon and without breaking a sweat. It must be something in the rice.

 

For those of you into odd cuisine, I must recommend my night’s order. The main ingredient being a local Malagasy herb/medicine that turns your mouth numb and tingly! Will get back to you when I find out the name... the dish is called le romazava.

 

We are currently staying at Chez Billy (and yes there is an actual Billy, he has a lovely French wife and two children). Nice, cheap, clean and friendly, the only drawback is there are no toilet seats in the building.

 

Comments

1

lol, "no toilet seats in the building" sparks Scooby-doo visions of you and Arno searching the place.
What's a pousse pousse ?

  Sam May 16, 2010 1:07 AM

2

Bonjour,

maniry ny te hanao formation mikasika ny contrôle et surveillance ao aminareo izaho

  RAOLONJATOVO Jan 5, 2011 1:18 AM

3

Bonjour Raolonjatovo,
pouvez-vous répéter en anglais s'il vous plaît?

  escape Apr 14, 2011 11:19 PM

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