Madagascar was great. A bit of a struggle to get there (flying AMS-Instanbul 3hrs, Istanbul-Mauritius 9.5hrs, Mauritius-Madagascar 1.5 hrs) but well worth it of course.
It wasn’t really a relax vacation. The island is huge (size of France!) and there are few roads and they are bad. So a 250km travel day in the bus easily took 7 hours. We were in a nice group of 12 with three couples around our age and 5 single ladies and a single man a bit younger. But no one was under the 35 and all were very well-travelled. We stayed in good hotels, some even with pools and spent three nights on the ocean on the Western coast of the island.
People were very friendly, all smiles, and still quite unused to tourists, so there was a lot of “look at the white people”, especially with the kids in the countryside. Food was good, too. Nice veggies, even some pasta – and of course a lot of Zebu meat! Not the easiest country for vegetarians and for vegans well nigh impossible!
There are 18 different ethnicities (“tribes”), some more Indonesian and some more African. The more African the poorer it seemed. And less tidy.
Gorgeous landscapes and of course great fun to go spotting for the lemures.
The language is an Austronesian one, very close to Balinese/Javanese and the Tagalog of the Philippines. People speak French, but don’t like it so much as it was the colonizer’s language. Very very little English.
The colors were fantastic! The many rickshaws were unexpected (if man-pulled ones!). Lots and lots of rice fields.
I got kind of “grouped out”. Had looked forward to a group travel after a long time of individual travelling but even in a small group of 12 there’s enough conflict potential. Won’t need that for a while again J.
This just to give a bit of an impression! (For all photos please go to my insta feed and scroll down!)
Beata, all-round encourager:: of art and artists of Nepal, of a preschool in Kathmandu, of the great work of encouragement based on Adlerian psychology and the Theo Schoenaker's concept!