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27th December 2011

sunny 37 °C

We were told to get to the ferry in Ankify by 9:30am. This required a 5:30am wake-up to ensure this. I lie, it required a 5:30am wake up to ensure this provided I wasn’t driving. We successfully got back to Ankify in two easy hours with me on the back of Mike’s bike.

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Now for the ferry. Previously we paid roughly R1000 (AR240 000) to get 5 people, 3 bikes and a quad bike from Nosy Be to Ankify. This is probably not advised...at least taking a quad bike on a speed boat. The “Speedboat” we paid the excess for took over an hour because it ran out of speed and simply turned into a mora mora (slowly slowly) boat.

The ferry we got today took an hour and a half and cost half the first trip i.e. only a 30 minute negotiation, a 30 minute period thinking we’d lost R400, another 30 minutes being herded during new negotiations, 20 minutes watching our inconvenient luggage being carried and lifted onto the ferry, another 20 minutes waiting for other cargo (chickens, people, more people, chickens, bags, chickens in bags, food and more people - some with chickens in and out of bags) to be carted on…and then we left not having lost R400 after all. The nap took 15 until I thought I’d doze off into the water. Offload took 5 minutes. Voila!

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We’re back.

Showered, swum in 40 degree water, bee-stung, fish-of-some-sorts stung, chosen food from 2 French menus, eaten Poisson which-is-not-chicken-after-all, organized a messy mass payment and opened the first box of Woolies wine (average).

I believe they sell Namaqua wine here. I’d rather be dead, precisely because Namaqua kills you anyway, just slowly. And painfully, I might add.

That’s not important. Or interesting.

I’m finding my experience here difficult to describe. It’s a somewhat uncomfortable situation to be in, but I’ll try anyway.

We arrived at Ankify port an hour before the recommended time. I believe this was unnecessary since:

A: There are plenty boats, ferries and 'things' that are willing to take the most savvy, literate and fast passengers to the other side- chickens, pigs, quad bikes and all.
B: We only passed the real ferry at 11:30am half way across the ferry route (it was meant to be at Ankify port at 9:30am).
C: You won’t get on a ferry immediately and if you do, you’ll wait on it for ages until it is full (of chickens, pigs and Vazas' quad bikes).

While we were waiting for our bikes to be carried onto the ferry, another packed one arrived with a thousand people and many things. Like getting on, there were serious logistics getting off. Nothing happens fast. “Mora-Mora”. Anyway. There was serious commotion. Slight panic from the Vaza group. Step aside. Sweat (more). Panic. What's going on? Shouting. Jostling. Screaming. Hustling. Grabbing. Frantic. What on earth is that bag?

Perfume. Who would have thought?

It got sprayed. It got laughed at. It got celebrated. It got shared amongst a hundred people. In fact, I smelt surprisingly pleasant on the sun-baked ferry trip home.

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Posted by JayneHol 04:58 Archived in Madagascar Tagged travel madagascar ferry scooters ankify nosy-be

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