Antananarivo

Quick stop in South Africa
Johannesburg, South Africa


I seem to be in a habit of waking up at 6am. But managed to stay in bed until 8.30am and then headed down for some breakfast. I just had some fruit – a plate of pineapple, banana and papaya. Which cost £1.

My last morning in Madagascar. I have another day of flying ahead. Back to South Africa today.

But a few things to do first.

Sending postcards. The post office was only a 5 minute walk away, through a busy market which spilled out onto all the streets. A blanket of mangos. Endless stalls selling rubber stamps and small souvenirs. The post office was funny. The woman only spoke French. We didn’t really understand. But we managed to get some stamps ok.

The only way to stick them – with runny glue and a pen as the brush. It was like a primary school project.

Then to find the supermarket. Google maps informed us that it was quite close. So we continued through the streets of market stalls, now into the iron/rice cooker/random to aerials area. It was busy everywhere. But we found the Shop Rite ok. I love supermarkets. So much different stuff to browse! And finally some oats! I’ve been missing oats.

Once I was restocked in snacks, we made our way back to the hotel. Just in time for our 11am taxi.

It was a slow drive back to the airport. The traffic was slow. But this gave plenty of opportunity for people to try and sell us things through the windows – newspapers, water, the usual. But also the unusual – dishcloths, a puppy (!) and lychees! Lychees were supposed to be in season in November, but they are late. So we haven’t seen any anywhere! But the taxi driver told us that they weren’t ripe yet, so not to buy any. That was a shame.

Zebu carts were waiting in the traffic line. Men pulling huge carts of rice. It’s so weird that all the rice that is grown in the country, but yet they still need to import from India and Pakistan, as there is not enough. After just over an hour we arrived. But we were so early for our flight!! T

he check in desk was not yet open, so we dumped our bags and went off to spend our last ariary. After checking in, we went into one final shop. I don’t know how we missed this the first time around – there was so much cool stuff!! And they had baobab jam! What I’ve been looking for all trip. In a jar just too large to take in hand luggage. So upset. But it was only just too large. And checking hasn’t been that proficient so far. So we chanced it. I bought baobab jam and baobab powder.

Passport took a while. Despite there being no queue. They took ages leafing through passports and scanning them several times. Odd. Then scanning. Of course I got pulled aside. I always do. Travelling with too much dive stuff and several lenses. The jam survived!

The air side shops no longer took ariary. Lucky as I have none left! Euros were the currency of choice here! So I took full advantage and bought some more things that I’ve been wanting – lychee rum (so popular – sold everywhere and you often get it free at the end of meals) and some local sweets – made from rice, sugar and bananas. We weren’t allowed to buy it previously, as it’s mostly sold at the side of the street in not very clean conditions. But here, it’s in a tin. So bound to be fine. [Update – I opened this when I got home and it was horrible – not recommended!]

Our flight left on time at 3pm. Back to Johannesburg. Bye Madagascar!! I’ve had a great time – so many animals and great landscapes.

But I’ve been so hungry the entire time. The vegetarian food is so bad, totally plain and boring. The food on the plane was great again. Aubergine curry with rice, fruit and dried fruit. Sadly the best food I’ve eaten in the past 2 weeks!!! (By a very long way)

When I next looked up, we had just crossed the channel over into Mozambique. Miles and miles of beach. Inhambane. Where I will be flying back to tomorrow!!

We landed in Johannesburg early, just after 5pm. Passport queues were so long. And by the time I had got through, it was nearly 7pm!! Ridiculous. I’m just staying in Johannesburg for 1 night, while I wait for a flight to Mozambique tomorrow. So I booked a hotel really close to the airport. It was luxury – a huge bed, millions of pillows, and a bath! Amazing.

Sadly dinner was awful. A plate of lettuce and tomato. I thought I would just look up my flight for tomorrow and just check the time hadn’t changed. I couldn’t find it. It didn’t seem to exist anymore! I called the airline. Closed. Called the booking agent. No idea. Called insurance. Closed. Argh. There is another flight leaving at 8.30am tomorrow. So I’m going to try and get onto that instead.

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