Ride in pousse-pousse in Antsirabe

This morning at 8:00 we had an appointment with our guide to go walking to the local market in Antsirabe. Instead, our guide has arranged for 2 pousse-pousse to bring us to the market while he takes the car. One of the pousse-pousse takes Anne and Maxim, I take the other one. Along the way, local street sales people offer us local merchandise: Vanilla and stones.

Working zebu-horn using an old motor recovered from a washing machine

Today we sleep late, until 7:25, pack our luggage including the dry laundry, and have breakfast. Around 9:00 our guide comes to pick us up and we drive south towards Antisrabe along the Route National 7. It is Monday morning, the traffic into the city is very busy but outward bound like we are we are making good progress.

View from the blue hill Unesco World Heritage site, Antananarivo, Madagascar

We get up at 6:25, pack all our suitcases and take a shower, and leave the room. Very quickly three porters are next to us to help us carry the suitcases down the long stairs that are slippery and wet. We have a nice breakfast and see our guide arrive in his car at 7:15. We pay the hotel in euro's, because plastic money is not accepted here, throw some money in the three tipboxes for hotel, service and kitchen and leave at 7:30 heading back west: to Tana.

Today we are getting up early to make our 7:30 appointment with the guide. A quick breakfast in the restaurant starts our day. The weather is as beautiful as it was yesterday: dry in the rainforest. Our day starts with a 30 minute drive to the entrance of the national park. In the park, Abraham leads us along the "Indri 2" tour that is labeled as mildly exercising.

 Gecko on a piece of dead wood in the Peyreras reserveThis day we can sleep late, until about 7:30, because we only leave at 9:00. On the other hand, we have to pack all our luggage because we will check out of the hotel. The route across 145km of curves brings us toward the east of the island, towards the rain forests near Andasibe, half way to the harbor city of Tamatave.

Two very old wooden houses in Antananarivo

Our friends from Madagascar pick us up from the hotel at 9:00. Together with the family driver we visit the high city (the rich areas). We stop at a number of viewpoints to make pictures, with nice views over the lower parts of the city. Of course we get explanations with the views: the two wooden houses in the picture are among the oldest original buildings in Antananarivo.

First post in a series of 15 about our trip to Madagascar. Click on any picture to be taken to a series of 250 highlights.

Today is the start of our holiday trip to Madagascar. We have to get up at 3:00, leave the house at 4:00, and end up at Schiphol airport at 4:45 where the check-in counter is not even open yet. At 5:00 we pass all queues quickly and our flight leaves in time at 7:15 starting with a 20 minute ride to the "polderbaan".

Before we moved into this house, it belonged to a greenhouse farmer family. And the greenhouse had enough place to store things for the family. Now that we bought the house separately, we really need a shed: for storage of our garden tools, to do some basic jobs in the house, and to place our bicycles.

Since Rob needed to go to Durban end of August 2003, we decided to make South-Africa our holiday destination for that year. A selection of our nature pictures coming from the different national parks we visited is shown here.

The house had an open fireplace when we came. This was not very efficient for heating, and a bit dangerous. This is the story of the installation of our new "flam" fireplace.