Madagascar – Day 19Being at La Petite Traversee of Isle Aux Nattes is about as far from Victor, Idaho as one can get and today is the dreaded day Granny and I head back. Days like today are when we all wish we could tap our flip flops, close our eyes and be home. But what fun would that be when instead we could fly for three days? And boy is “fun” a good way to describe the start of today.
At 6 AM there was a massive downpour, the exact time Granny and I and the South Africans had to cross the channel from Isle Aux Nattes to Isle Saint Marie by pirogue with Florio and Herman. And I mean it was a serious tropical rain. It was one of those that comes out of the sky in buckets. Where rain jackets are useless and attempts to keep luggage dry is a joke. But we wore our raingear anyhow and Florio and Herman did their best to cover our gear in plastic, but indeed it was a laughing cause.
Once our soggy butts got across the channel there were two tattered taxis waiting for us on the beach for the short drive to the Isle Saint Marie airport. By now it was pouring so hard that Florio and Herman could have kept going to the landing strip in their pirogues! Half our group got in one taxi and took off. Granny, René and I got in the other. But before our taxi went 8ft it ran out of gas. Bla, bla, bla went the driver and something about petrol as if he was framed by a friend. In a sick way it was hilarious. We had plenty of time so I just smiled and with water dripping off the bill of my hat I looked over my shoulder at the girls. We weren’t going anywhere until another taxi came. Naturally another decrepit taxi did show because the others sent one when we didn’t arrive. But our luggage – our luggage needed to be rung out after all the fun.
Our flight from Saint Marie back to Antananarivo went perfect. We were on time, the weather was gorgeous and a staff member of the IC Hotel, where Granny and I have made sort of a home base you might say, was waiting for us. Our adopted family of South Africans is staying elsewhere so we introduced their hotel driver to ours so we could arrange to meet in the city later and get some lunch.
When Granny and I got to the IC we could have slept like rocks. Instead, while Granny did sleep, I hung our soaking wet luggage in the sun and monitored it while I loaded the April 4 blog and then managed my three Fantasy Baseball Teams – yes I’m a fanatic of more than just fishing.
We have had so much fun with our South African family the last few days that it seems we’ve been a family for years. It’s really amazing. Anyhow, with time running out with our adopted family, we met for lunch near the Queens Palace literally on the top of Antananarivo at the Le Grill du Rova restaurant. This is known as one of the finest restaurants in the city yet the meals run less than $10 US. It was a killer lunch and we celebrated the trip and our new found friendship with several and final Three Horse Beers of Madagascar (I can’t wait for that Point It! Pale Ale from the Wildlife Brewing Company in Victor, Idaho!)
After a great time we said a temporary goodbye (coincidentally we are all on the same flight tomorrow morning for Johannesburg) and Granny and I took off to the local market. We have some sort of cool souvenir from most the places we have been throughout the world. Today Granny bought some . . . wooden-lemur-carved-ancient looking . . . thing that is cool as heck. It looks like it should be worth hundreds of dollars but she haggled it down to less than $20. The only problem is that it weighs at least 15lbs. We’ll see if it makes it home.
That’s all for today. It’s time to battle the mosquitoes and roaches and try to catch a few hours before the journey home continues.