Settling in as I was I am beginning to get a feel of Antananarivo, Madagascar – an island nation with a lot going for it. The streets are dusty the taxis are a mix of American Chevrolet, Korean Hyundai and a lot more. Street hawkers dot the footpaths with nick knacks to sell.
The roads are up and down and hilly and the town’s at an elevation and the there is a lake in the town centre and so much more. It is a real feel of a proud and colourful Africa, not the wealthiest but proud.
In the night everybody is watching the Euro Cup football and their is a loud cheering and roaring sound that erupt’s outside my room whenever someone scores a goal.
Coupled with that last night a jazz band was performing in the Casino above my hotel and I enjoyed the performance sitting in my room.
This mornings are cold with a chill in the air and I wake up to the sound of the Cathedral bell ringing Dong Dong Dong. It comes from the laval Baptist Church in the main town square.
Their are as always the street children pestering tourist for money and beggars and pan handlers are quite commonplace and I get stormed by street kids every time I venture out of my hotel.
Around time I thought I need to head out to try some local malagasy cuisine and Londry took me just to the right place. It was a small and tasteful restaurant called Kaly Gasy Mon Gouter.
We got ourselves a table and got ready to order. Pork chops with rice, salad , beef steak with chips and THB Beer. The most famous beer here is the Three Horse Beer, a Dutch Pilsener by the sounds of it with heads of three horses as it’s logo.
The meat was well done and the pork was fried from inside and the juices where left to simmer , with beer it was a delight all this for 26,000 Ariary, about $8 or Rs. 542. I had arrived in winter from summer and had not packed right and I started feeling the nip and decided to buy myself a jacket from the near by Jumbo store.
Now I felt better with my ZARA brown winter jacket on and I felt like a real tourist. In the evening we drove to the local Lemurs Wildlife Park to see the famous Maki, the ring tailed lemur and the animal this country is known for and to tell you the truth I was not disappointed.
I was taken through the park for a walk by a guide and I saw them the little Lemurs hopping from bamboo branch to another with their tail up and black and white fur – the ring tail.
Two just whizzed passed my face and hopped above me to the next tree. We were so close and that was the best part of the experience.
Their on the other side was the hopping Lemurs and then the Bamboo Lemurs who prefer to live on Bamboo trunks only.
These animals climb on top of the trees to get some sun tan now and again and then return to the ground for their food.
I saw all the various varieties of Lemurs that exist here , not to mention the giant tortoise that live for 150 years. This is when I also realised that I like my new jacket it keeps me warm and is tasteful bought in Africa!
I think it will keep me company for travels to come. On the way back late evening I offered Londry a drink at my room and paid him for the day and have “booked” him for my stay in this country. You do need at least one insider in a new and exotic place like this!