“The seeker embarks on a journey to find what he wants and discovers, along the way, what he needs.”
― Wally Lamb,
Wow, what an awesome extended weekend that was! One of the amazing things about a new place is exploring, discovering, learning and creating memories. This weekend was a three day weekend, we started off by heading off to a place called Foulpointe (I am reliably informed it is pronounced Fall-point). Unfortunately, we were unable to get a hotel room so we had to come back the same day. Roads in Madagascar, are…to put it mildly, pretty poor. So a 70km road trip, took us over two hours (it didn’t help having a travel sick six year old!).
Our drive took us through Tamatave and then along route 5 which is part of the route I did on my bike on the previous weekend. The road is bumpy and narrow in places, the scenery is pretty amazing. The road takes you through numerous little villages with huts at either side of the road. Villages time has forgotten, villages where life is about daily survival. With all that in mind, one think which has really struck me is that having just moved from one of the wealthiest countries on the planet which is Qatar to the 10th poorest country in the world; where people experience real hardship, people here are smilier and have a much nicer aura if that makes sense. People don’t seem to have that look of permanent constipation like so many do in the Middle East. People have a kind face and in general seem to be good natured. Yes, of course, there is a wide mixture of people but I am generalising.
We arrived in Foulpointe relatively early, our traveling companion who had invited us to tag along had already been here before and had numerous contacts. As soon as we arrived, our drivers dropped us off in the car park of a rather luxurious looking resort where people were enjoying themselves in the pool and the great party atmosphere which included fairly loud music. We cut across to a public beach. As soon as we hit the beach, we had some sun loungers with a table and a parasol. A local contact came to us and we proceeded to order lunch. Of course, they had fish, fish and more fish! I was a bit stuffed as I don’t do fish, at least they had chips too. Food was ordered at around 9am and was to be delivered for 1pm. Lobsters and whatever the catch of the day was, that’s what was ordered. Apparently, they will then go and catch it, cook it and serve it, certainly can’t get fresher than that!
For the first hour or so, we were not accosted but offered every product and service under the sun. Yes, they were persistent (remember, this is about survival and not as an extra bit of income). Anything from necklaces with shark teeth (yes, I did buy a couple), massages (yes, all three of us had one), beer (yes, we did buy some after our own supply dried out), fishy food which we had no idea (no we didn’t!) and a whole lot more. After a while it calmed down and we all enjoyed our time by drinking beer, playing in the sea with Katja as well as chatting with the family next to us who were a large Malagasy family who had traveled from Tana for the long weekend. There must have been around 20 of them.
Lunch arrived at 13:00 hrs as planned and even I, as a non fish eater was quite tempted, in fact, I did try some lobster and thought it was pretty good!
After all this, Katja had her hair braided which I thought looked amazing, sadly after a day she decided she didn’t like it…
After we had had enough of the beach we tried again (in vain) to find a hotel but we kept getting the same reply, all rooms are booked! We will book into La Cigale which is a very quaint hotel with its own private beach!
We headed back home after a very relaxing day and chilled out for the remainder of the evening, we still had a further two days left!