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Bert was telling us that the government finally stepped in a few days ago to try to sort out Air Madagascar. The MD and various board members have ‘voluntarily’ handed in their resignations (ie been forced to), after too many complaints from too many overseas tourist bodies, who were threatening to pull out of Madagascar and to close their resorts (and make staff redundant) if action was not taken. We’ll see…
But needless to say, ...
... And that we were not leaving until they were properly tied on! So he said we could drive past his house and collect some ropes – of course we made him remove the bags from the roof, and sent him back to his house to fetch them, as we were not leaving without ropes! There was a bit of eye-rolling and chatter in the local vernacular from the driver and Bruno, but in true Croskery Holyoake fashion we were insistent. When he ...
... the little village for something else to eat.
Connor was doing his PADI exam this evening - Bruno will collect him early in the morning and bring him to us, before we head off to the mainland. They have arranged for a speedboat to come to our hotel and take us across, then we get a vehicle and driver to take us to the Reserve de l'Ankarana where we should see different species of lemurs.
Looking forward to seeing him!
... up with Air Madagascar. She even called it 'Air Mad' - they are notorious for leaving bags in Antananarivo, as well as their regular delays! Fingers crossed it really does get on the late afternoon flight here, otherwise I will have another day in Steve's shorts!
Then Bruno, our local guide, met us to take us around the island.
First we went to one of the many ylang ylang distilleries. The island is covered ...
... and the owner (Gerard - we have not met Francine yet) said "Bienvenue les voyageurs braves" - welcome brave travellers!!
Other initial impressions:
- we can hear the Indian ocean, it's about 20 metres away, in the dark
- 3 ply loo roll (even Madagascar still influenced by French obsession with their bums and what comes out of it!)