24.12.2011 - 14.01.2012 35 °C
From where I am now, it feels that we’re truly in Africa. We’re currently sitting at a very local tavern – Hotely – in Andilobe, roughly 120km from Ankify ferry port on the mainland.
The intention of hiring 3 scooters and quad bike was to get to Ankarana National Park by afternoon. The tired consensus was to stop here instead and skip the remaining 25km. A late start, the logistics of loading our cargo onto the “speedboat”, the speedboat’s engine failure and my slow driving may not have not worked in our favour and we were hot and knackered, so we found the only recommended “hotel” and R20 (Ar5500) got us some pretty basic, somewhat suspect rooms at Hotel de l'Ankarana.
Admittedly, I’m humourless. I suspect this has to do with the fact that I am still absorbing my surroundings, coming to terms with being in a new place, what feels like a 50 degree wall of thick, leech-like heat, and the quad bike I drove for roughly 60km and felt quite uncomfortable driving and awkward on.
I do realise that hindsight will reveal good things. I’m still sensing the essence in a beautiful country where, finally, English is about as useless as Carolyn’s beanie and gloves that she brought with for the “chilly” mornings scootering.
While Vietnam was window-dressed and stuffed with Christmas, this place is raw. I believe this is what I have been looking for...though, perhaps not the dinner of deep-friend gypsum board dough things, Crackys and some Tsiky Naks.
Jayne: I doubt we’ll get Diarrhoea from these.
Mike: No, if anything, they’ll clog you up.
Iain: …Sponsored by Immodium.
A while later after buying some life-saving Laughing Cow cheeses to go with the gypsum board balls:
Julian: What do you s’pose they put in these cheeses to make them last so long?
Mike: Don’t ask any questions.