Travel Journal


(Saturday 5 March 2011) by Mike and Julie's sort of round the world trip
Day 194 2/15/11
We were fortunate that a bus stopped that had a few seats available and we rushed to get in without getting a chance to say goodbye to Martin. We had to backtrack to Fianarantsoa where we bid adieu to Kat and got transportation to Ambositra. It’s almost funny watching the drivers trying to extract as much money as possible from you. They’ll inflate the ticket price at first, insist you buy extra seats to be more comfortable, and if you just give them a couple thousand more the bus can leave right now. We just smile and decline all their offers and say we’re in no rush and we have plenty of room.
It was about a four hour ride to Ambositra so we got in fairly early and had a rickshaw drop us off at Hotel Mania which is clean and reasonably priced. We were only going to stay one night as this was just a good stopping point to break the travel time north, but the town is also known for its arts and crafts and Julie is already thinking of what to get for the new house. I’m not sure if I addressed the language in Madagascar. All the native people know Malagasay and those that go to school will learn French. Some people who work in the tourist industry will know English and the rest of the population may understand a few words of English – about as many French words as I know. Trying to explain we wanted to see the arts and crafts stores was an hour exercise in itself before we stumbled across the section of town off the main road which had many shops. Julie was very happy perusing the shops and bought a couple of items but realizing we still had to carry the items for a few weeks tempered her instinct to buy too much.
We happened to run into Martin at a local restaurant looking woefully at his small plate of double order French fries. He had finished up at the park and was stopping in town because he wanted to buy some cheese from a monastery nearby. After scarfing down seven crepes which we recommended, he climbed on his Chinese motorcycle and headed out on his cheese quest.
It was still raining in this area and we hoped that Tana would be dry as we arranged a pick up at the hotel the next morning onward to the capital.


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