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    • Day 2


      September 7, 2023 in Madagascar ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

      3 vols, 24h plus tard je fais mes premiers pas à Madagascar ! Première étape, Antananarivo, la capitale. Un accueil vraiment au top par Ritza et Liva qui m'ont emmené à l'auberge de jeunesse.
      Vendredi matin, j'ai visité Antananarivo avec Marco, un italien séjournant au même endroit que moi. On est monté jusqu'au palais de la reine où la vue est plutôt sympa !
      Au soir, il y avait un concert à l'auberge, j'y suis allé avec Maëva, une française qui partageait ma chambre.
      Demain, départ pour Antsirabé avec Ritza et Liva qui m'ont proposé de joindre un groupe de voyageurs pour un petit bout de chemin ensemble ☀️
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    • Day 10

      Gecko Morning & City Stroll through Tana

      November 3, 2023 in Madagascar ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

      We woke up early, as we had pre-booked a walking city tour this morning. We were ready at 8 o'clock, however when we came downstairs, we found out that the tour wouldn't start until 9am. So we decided to get some breakfast in the hotel first. We sat down outside on the balcony to enjoy the rumbling city underneath before we'd throw ourselves into exactly that. After a while of relaxed eating, multiple geckos appeared around us. They were so curious, they came onto our table and wanted some of my jam and fruits. I know that you shouldn't feed wildlife, but 1. Geckos are just way too adorable to ignore, and 2. they aren't mammals, they are reptiles that function differently than e.g. monkeys do. They would never get used to people like the fat monkeys at the Black River Gorge Viewpoint on Mauritius did. So I put a spoon full of jam aside so that the geckos could feed on it. More and more geckos came and checked out were the delicious smell must come from, and they got so close, that I could actually feed them with some jam on my finger. A gecko was licking my finger off! Whatever might come after this on the tour... This would become my most favourite memory.
      It was time to get going though, so I reluctantly said Goodybye to my new buds, but not before I put some leftover fruits on a tree nearby, so that they could eat the fruits later as well.
      We went to the reception and met another G tour member: Roger, a defense lawyer from Canberra, Australia. His tall figure was impressive next to our guides small stature. However, they shared the same name. After deciding that Bernhard, the other person on the list for the city tour hasn't arrived yet, we started walking. Honestly, after yesterday's begging welcome, we were a little bit afraid to have a swarm of begging people around us the second we'd leave for the town. But our worries were unnecessary, as most of the people went on to mind their own business for the whole of our walk. Yes, some greedy eyes fell on our slippy bag, but I didn't feel unsafe walking through the crowds. The streets were crammed with cars and little stalls on the side to sell whatever they could. Cobble stone alleyways were leading steeply towards the top of the city. We learned lots of things from guide-Roger, whilst befriending Australian-Roger. Madagascar has around 29 million inhabitants, whereas 2.7 million were living in the Capital. They have a so-called democracy, however guide-Roger told us that the system isn't working very well. As we sighted a statue from 2009, we understood why. Rebellious citizens didn't want to suck up the sh*t of the president anymore and tried to fight him at the presidents palace. However, the president just shot them and killed everyone trying to get closer to the palace. Nowadays, the 2009 statue is in front of it, to always remind the poor people about the power of the president which he is most certainly demonstrating of you'd ever say something against him. This story made me very sad, especially because the situation for the desperate people was only getting worse.
      Most households in Tana (or Madagascar as a whole) don't have running water, so they have to be at a well-station at a certain time, when a guard would give them water for the day in exchange of money. So they wouldn't have any water unless they've had money. This is honestly cruel in my opinion.
      We also learned that the Malagasy usually don't wash their own clothes, but that they give it to a washing station, where the clothes were being cleaned.
      Another very cruel thing we've learned was about religion. Madagascar has a very high population of Christians, however in the 19th century the queen of Madagascar forbid Christianity. Whoever would go to a church would never come out again, as they were all held captive there, until the church was burned to the ground with them in it. That's why all the churches are made of stones nowadays. Traditionally, the Malagasy people would built their houses with wood, as stones were meant only for the dead. After killing all these Christians in a wooden church, they rebuilt the churches from stone, as there were lots of dead people on these grounds then. Cruel.
      Speaking of cruel, they used to poison people that were possible criminals in the 19th century as well. Whoever survived the poison was innocent, so they believed. It reminds me of the witch hunts in the US and Europe in the middle ages.
      We arrived at the Queen's Palace right on top of Tana at noon, where we went inside of the museum to learn more about the history of Madagascar. Until 1896, there have always been kings and queens, that were coming from multiple kingdoms that eventually immersed into one. Then the colonists came, first England, then France. I don't know whether I understood guide-Rogers broken English correctly, but it seems as if England exchanged Madagascar for Mauritius, which explains why Madagascar drives on the right side whereas Mauritius has left-sided traffic.
      We started our descend again, which was far more exhausting for my knees than going up. At the end, we got a little reward, as guide-Roger bought us some Malagasy cake made of Pistachio and Tapioca which didn't taste too bad. It looked more like a tree trunk, though.
      We finished our tour by getting some water and snacks from the supermarket and said Goodbye to guide-Roger, as well as Australian-Roger, as we've decided to relax the afternoon in our room. In the evening, we had our Welcome Moment with the other tour members in the restaurant. There we met the following lads:
      Mike, a gameplay product manager from Vancouver, Canada, who ticked every box of a nerd.
      Trevor, a very talkative storyteller from Belfast, Northern Ireland.
      Holly, a sturdy, down-to-earth travel agent from England.
      Kate, a seemingly superficial Australian working in Scotch Marketing from London.
      Bernie, a quiet, nice German-speaking person from Vienna, Austria.
      And Solofu, our very calm, non-descriptive tour leader from G Adventures.
      After a rather long, chaotic briefing about what would happen in the next two weeks, we had dinner and chatted until 10pm. I wasn't 100% sure if I'd like the time in Madagascar, but our tour members seemed alright enough to not have a complete disaster of a holiday.
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    • Day 172


      October 25, 2017 in Madagascar ⋅ 🌙 17 °C

      We spent a few days here visiting a few of the palaces, going to a nice lunch, but mostly just reveling in the modern conveniences of running water, electricity and air conditioning! We also tried to avoid big crowds to reduce our chances of being exposed to the plague as the outbreak has become much more serious in the past weeks.Read more

    • Day 85


      July 17, 2019 in Madagascar ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      Goodbye South Africa- hello Madagaskar!
      Nach gut 1 1/2 Monaten verlassen wir Südafrika und fliegen nach Madagaskar. Die Insel ist unser letzter Stopp in Afrika und wir bleiben hier 10 Tage.
      Natürlich müssen wir uns nun wieder von einem eher westlichen Leben, wie wir es in Südafrika führen konnten, auf ein “typisch“ afrikanisches Leben umstellen. Es gibt nicht so einfach Supermärkte zu finden, lauter, recht ungeregelter Verkehr, so gut wie keine Weiße, keine Küchen in den Hostels, usw.- kleiner Kulturschock.

      Der Kulturschock ist immer noch nicht ganz überwunden- die laute und dreckige Großstadt hilft da kein bisschen. Auch sicher fühlen wir uns hier nicht unbedingt, Taschendiebe sollen sehr viele unterwegs sein. Trotzdem laufen wir zum Rova von Antananarivo (der Kaiserpalast von Madagaskar), um einen Ausblick auf die Stadt zu bekommen. Die Größe und die vielen aneinandergereihten Häuser haben mich etwas an Jaipur in Indien erinnert. Jaipur gefällt mir allerdings besser als Antananvario, daher bin ich froh, dass es morgen auf Inselerkundungstour geht. Diese fünftägige Tour führt uns an die Westküste der Insel, wo es die typischen Affenbrotbäumen und den Lemuren- Nationalpark gibt. Auf dieser Tour begleitet uns ein Guide ( alleine mit öffentlichen Verkehrsmitteln zu fahren ist in Madagaskar recht gefährlich und wird von allen abgeraten). Das macht die Tour natürlich umso teurer- hier in Madagaskar gilt nicht das “Gesetz“: in Afrika ist's günstig. Hier ist nämlich absolut gar nichts günstig (außer das Essen vielleicht). Eine andere Wahl ohne Tour und Guide Madagaskar zu erkunden haben wir nicht wirklich, da unsere Zeit begrenzt und uns die Sicherheit seit dem Überfall sehr wichtig ist. Also beißen wir in den 800€ sauren Apfel und werden mit Gaps (unserem Guide) die Westküste Madagaskars bewundern. Hoffentlich ist es sein Geld wert!! Und hoffentlich reicht das Geld hintenraus noch....

      Apropo Geld: die Geldbeschaffung war hier mal wieder kompliziert und sehr anstrengend. Was in Südafrika noch einfach ging (von einem Bankarbeiter Geld von meiner Karte auszahlen lassen) war in Madagaskar wiederum nicht möglich. Also musste das Geld wieder über Western Union geschickt werden. In Südafrika benötigten sie einen Kontrollanruf von Papa, dass er das Geld wirklich nach Südafrika schicken will, in Madagaskar brauchten sie eine Unterkunftsbestätigung für Antananvario. Dieses Dokument kann allerdings nur die Chefin des Hotels ausfüllen. Sie war natürlich nicht im Haus, weshalb wir 2h auf sie warten mussten.
      Bei der Bank war dann natürlich auch viel los was dann auch nochmal lange gedauert hat, aber tatsächlich habe ich dann das Geld nach 5h in der Hand gehalten. Für 2min war ich Millionärin (in madagassischer Währung).
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    • Day 148

      Antananarivo, Madagascar

      October 1, 2017 in Madagascar ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

      We arrived in the capital city of Madagascar at 3am after short layovers in Nairobi, Kenya and Moroni, Comoros. After just 5 hours of sleep in Tana (the city’s nickname that we can actually pronounce), we met our driver Tom, who we’ll be with for most of our trip.Read more

    • Day 93


      July 25, 2019 in Madagascar ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

      Heute ist der letzte Tag der Reise und wir verbringen ihn im Bus.
      Es geht wieder zurück in die Hauptstadt, da von dort aus morgen unser Flieger nach Indien startet.
      Die Busfahrt von Morondava nach Antananvario dauert über 14h, sodass wir früh morgens im Dunkeln los müssen, abends aber auch erst im Dunkeln ankommen.Read more

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