A Travellerspoint blog

Bon Voyage: Part 1

5th January 2011

overcast 21 °C

I suppose it is the only “running” train for a reason. I’m not sure how sustainable a country of buggered trains would be, whereas one should be easy enough to manage...

I have what we have named Makily kily belly. This is a tragedy on a day like this spent in transit. In between nowhere. A beginning no longer relevant, an end no longer believable.

We woke up at 5am to be at Fianarantsoa train station by 6 to get tickets and the train by 7. After about an hour and a half of waiting, someone inconspicuously erased the departure time off the blackboard and chalked in its place 10:30 instead.

We called Zina to come and fetch us, had breakfast at the hotel, walked around the old town for an hour and then made our way back to the station.





We eventually got tickets five minutes before the train was due to leave and then waited another hour and 45 minutes for the locomotive to return from its mysterious disappearance. Five hours late, we left. Luckily I felt too sick to celebrate and was informed after my effortless, albeit uncomfortable, one hour and fifteen minute sleep that we’d been stopped at the second station for 45 minutes already.



We’re still here, now probably closer to an hour and fifteen minutes after arriving. Sadly, I’m fully awake now and fantatsising about phoning Zina to drive five hours back from Manakara and come and fetch us. During this fantasy, the engine stopped altogether.


Humour and I are strangers today.

In a normal state and under normal physical and mental health circumstances, I’d take Julian’s suggestion to get smashed quite seriously. But I can’t even escape this situation with the aid of alcohol.

The engine started.

The whistle blew.

But we are still stationary.

Posted by JayneHol 00:49 Archived in Madagascar Tagged travel train madagascar fianarantsoa manakara

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