. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: November 12, 1999

Friday, November 12, 1999
Flic en Flac, Mauritius to Antannarivo, Madagascar
Mauritius's FlagMadagascar's Flag

Antannarivo, Madagascar:
Latitude: 18° 54' 40" South
Longitude: 47° 31' 34" East
Altitude: 4670 feet
From Seattle: 12429 miles
Lodging: Hotel - Hotel Muraille de Chine

Today's Travel:
Countries: Mauritius, Madagascar
Regions: Island, Central Midlands
Route: Taxi: Flic en Flac - Airport; Air Madagascar flight 287: Mauritius - Ivato Airport; Taxi: Airport - Antananarivo
Start: Flic en Flac, Mauritius
Stop 1. Airport, Mahébourg, Mauritius
Stop 2. Ivato Airport
End:Antannarivo, Madagascar
Linear:702 miles
Weather: Mostly Sunny / Overcast / Partial Sun

Available Photos:

Mountains, sea, and airport Airport, Mahébourg, Mauritius

Small side market Antananarivo, Madagascar

Downtown Antananarivo, Madagascar

All photo images © 1997-2000 Anthony Jones - Images may not be used without prior written approval.

Click on map to Zoom in...
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 946
Linear Dist: 188362
Countries Visited: 63
Regions Visited: 246
More stats...
Hotels: 298
Friends / Family: 231
Camping: 120
Hostels: 220
Transit: 63
Other Lodging: 13
Beers: 3375

Journal Entry:
Another night of nearly no sleep (well after four before dozing off) - very strange, last night I was having a borderline anxiety attack. It could be the Larium, but nothing like this happened at all last year when I was on it, and this is near the end of the cycle (I take it on Sundays). Anyway I was the walking dead today. Got up, finished packing, had a bit of breakfast (worth it in this hotel!) and caught a taxi to the airport. The flight was unexciting except for a bit of turbulence. In Madagascar I caught a taxi tout (unofficial taxi) into town and found a hotel without any problem.

'Tana is nothing like I expected. It's a beautiful city much more reminiscent of eastern Europe than Africa. It reminds me a lot of Prague with maybe a dash of Porto - all very medieval. It's kind of like what I expect the older eastern European cities were like thirty years ago - beautiful building, but lots of them showing wear. The people are friendly and except for the ubiquitous panhandlers there were no hassles. I really like this city.

I went to the "Zoma" market - which is supposed to be at it's biggest on Fridays. My guide book claims it is the largest street market in the world - it's cool, but was no where near as big as the markets in Addis Ababa or Kumasi, or for that matter the swap meet at home?!? I'm wondering if I somehow missed it, but I don't think so. Maybe it's moved, my guide book is five years old.

I bought some sewing stuff (snaps and a zipper), an adapter that turns a light socket into a plug, and of course some snacks. But what made my day shopping wise were these little tin whistles - they're loud! I liked them so much I bought ten of them for 150 FMG (Francs Madagasikara) - that's less than twenty five cents, total. Anyway I suspect I've annoyed a lot of people in the hotel because of them. I can't help it they all sound slightly different...

I also found an ATM (there's only one that I've seen) - the most it will let you take out at a time is 350,000 FMG (~$55). I was going to take out four batches, but the machine shut down after the third one - I think I might have triggered some kind of fraud protection routine. I walked all over the center of the city. Passed the palace where people with machine guns told me to walk on the other side of the street - at least the people with machine guns here wear uniforms and point them down, unlike a lot of places in Africa. Walked through a couple of hideously ugly 70's monolith monuments to independence, basically I just enjoyed the city. As a bonus the trees around town are all flowering a beautiful purple!

Back at the hotel I tried to read up on the rest of Madagascar - I'm realizing that 10 days here isn't going to be nearly enough. Right now I'm trying to decided if I should fly all over and get a taste of everything, or stay in one area. Right now I'm tending towards the South coast...

Just killed a cockroach that was about the size of my hand! The mosquitoes are also starting in.

Related Sites:
US State Department Consular Information Sheets: Madagascar
CIA World Fact Book: Madagascar

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