Magical Madagascar Day 3 – June 17th – Palmarium to Andasibe
Everyone had enjoyed their stay at Palmarium on Magical Madagascar Day 3, were sad to leave this remote haven, cut off from the modern world, having no wi-fi and limited electricity. We also had to say goodbye to the troop of lemurs which had entertained us around the dining area, cheekily stealing food at every opportunity.
As the only communication is by water we once again took the taxi boat but this time in the morning light so were able to see the communities that lived on the shoreline. As it seems to be every day, it was wash day and the women were hard at work scrubbing the clothes which always came up sparkling, whatever the state of the water!
Back on the mainland we tackled the 7km of dirt road again but this time with more confidence. Once on the highway we tackled the container lorries making their way from the main port at Toamasina to Tana. The pot-holed road was taking its toll on the lorries as many were stranded with broken axles, punctures or other mechanical problems. Speeding along were the Taxi brousses – the name for the local mini vans which ply their way up and down the country – normally packed to gunwales with a pile of household items precariously balanced and tied down on the roof. The literal translation is bush taxi. Overall we were pleasantly surprised by the good standard of driving of all on the road.
Today was a relatively short drive to around half way back to Tana to the Andasibe National Park. Our lodging for the next two nights was the newly constructed Mantadia Lodge where everyone was able to enjoy the luxury of hot water on demand and generally the modern hotel facilities. The greatest boon was excellent wifi that had everyone buried in their phones on arrival!