June 13th – 14th, 2016 & June 16 – 17th, 2016
June 13, 2016 – Today we flew from Zambia to Antananarivo. The second we got out of the airport we ran into about five different men who wanted to help us with our luggage. We had no idea how poor Madagascar was we had a 30-minute drive to the hotel, and our driver only spoke French which was very annoying. While driving to our hotel John and I were both blown away at how dirty and overly populated Antananarivo was. We saw many people walking and running with no shoes. We felt sorry for them. We saw people washing their clothes in a dirty river, and then they put their clothes on the grass to dry. Once we arrived at the hotel, we were relieved that it was nice so we decided to stay there and settle in. After unpacking, we decided to go to the shops in the lobby and buy a few souvenirs, and after that, we went to the bar for a few drinks.
After having a few drinks at the bar, we decided to have dinner in the hotel since we felt unsafe to walk in the streets while we are having dinner we were lucky enough to see a whole bunch of ROTC kids and an active Colonel.
We had a great time speaking to the Colonel and some of the young kids it was pretty exciting they explained that they were there because of a program that the US has where they help the military in Madagascar with training. One of the great things the Colonel gave us was pointers on where to go shopping and what to see while there.
June 14, 2016 – The next day our tour guide took us on a tour of the city we saw the Kings home its kind of interesting to find out how people lived back in the 1800’s. After seeing the city, we decided to go back to the hotel and relax before going to dinner. The Colonel recommended a nice place, and we took a taxi had dinner and took a taxi right back to the hotel. We had to get back and pack to leave in the morning for Andasibe.
June 16, 2016 – This morning we decided to leave Vakona Forest Lodge instead of tomorrow which was our original plan because the drive back to Antananarivo was three hours long and the road is pretty much one lane all the way there and back. We had a flight to catch in the morning to go to Seychelles, and we didn’t want to risk missing the flight in case there was a problem on the way to the airport. Either way, we had a great time hanging out with the Colonel and his associate. We ended up meeting up with the Colonel and had dinner at the best restaurant in Madagascar called La Varangue. We had great food, great atmosphere, a lot of laughs and most of all they knew the Colonel, so we got the best treatment. After dinner, we hung out in the lobby and talked to the Colonel for about 2 hours and headed upstairs to finish packing and get ready to leave in the morning.
June 17, 2016 – This morning we woke up and met with the Colonel and had breakfast with him. After that, we had our tour guide take us to the airport. John and I were very excited to go to our next destination.