Saturday, November 17, 2007
A few more words on changes in Madagascar. After taking a fairly close look, I can say that a lot of things have changed. For the better. For one, accomodation and food has become cheaper for us travellers, mostly because there is more competition.
Even in the affordable range, the comfort of the hotels has improved. It used to be that one had to worry about getting that hot water in the shower. Now you can have a room for EUR 12 a night including air-conditioning and the hotel will feature a great restaurant, a pool, and lots of other nice perks. I hear there are more tourists now - we’ve even seen a few groups of travelling senior citizens - but it’s nothing compared to the rest of the world. The most gorgeous beaches are still empty and almost untouched. More than ever before, I’d say to you: Go and visit now before Madagascar loses its innocence!
We took a walk along the city waterfront last night before going home after a good dinner. This morning, we went to the “sacred lake” of Mangatsa close to Majunga. It’s a very small lake many of the locals travel to in hopes of some kind of remedy. Apparently, some French guy was terminally ill but got better after drinking from this lake. The tale spread and I hope people believe enough in it so it actually works.
Our next stop was a beach close by. Certainly in my top 10 of the most beautiful beaches, this is a place where all my when-I-grow-up-I-will-live-by-the-beach friends would see themselves. There is a tremendously nice and calm hotel nearby. Anyone wishing to spend some time in paradise at the end of the world should come here. Be prepared for a grueling, bumpy one-hour ride across the middle of nowhere before getting anywhere near some form of civilization.