Early in the morning, we start packing. Since I simply cannot handle the sandbox around my tent very well, I throw the things to be taken along and everything that has to be rolled up out of the tent onto the concrete surface for desanding. Air mattress, sleeping bag, sweater, the backpack gets a more careful treatment because of the photo equipment, then pillows and mobile phone fly after it. Unfortunately, the latter lands on the concrete instead of the air mattress, which causes a rather incredulous “Was that just your mobile phone?” from a tent to my left. Yes yes, my goodness, it’s a very robust HTC, it has to be able to handle that. Except for a new scratch, nothing happened. While I have breakfast with the others, Patrick is putting the tents together. The team ties up the luggage on the Toyota Landcruisers in the tarpaulins and pack the kitchen utensils and tents. We stand for a moment on the parking lot, then we start to Antsohihy.
On the way we stop in Port Berger to have lunch in a large hall. Old curtains hang on the barred windows, two girls look in curiously. We sit on narrow wooden benches at small tables. We rather refuse the offered half clean glasses, beer can be drunk well from the bottle. Among other things cerveille, the brain of the zebu is offered. Heidi and I don’t dare to order it ourselves – but kindly Jonathan lets us try it. It tastes great and the small portion is quickly gone. To go with the rice, there is an indefinable, fresh-smelling broth in a white bowl. I’ll just tip it over onto my rice, I’m sure nothing will happen (I’ll just overhear the comments from the next table: “Who knows if that’s cooked!”) – makes the rice more tasty in any case. I think I’ve already eaten my rice rations for the next years in Madagascar.
After hours of driving, we turn right into a tiled courtyard, surrounded by dazzling white walls. On the right is a white reception building with a glass porch (last year there was probably no glass in it). The small parking lot is just about enough for our Landcruisers when they are parked close together. First I have a beer in front of the reception, then I visit my room, No. 107, which is on the left side of the parking lot, down a round staircase straight ahead. The room is nice, has a nice, tiled and clean bathroom and a comfortable bed. Unfortunately – and this is the biggest minus point a room can have at 30°C at night – the air conditioning doesn’t work. Therefore I have a gecko, so I hope for only a few mosquitoes. And a ventilator that even works. And there is toilet paper, which is also quite nice after Ankarafantsika and chronic toilet paper shortage (or rather forgotten, the guys had enough for us). And the shower has a light! And no eight-legged friends.
Many, many THB later… I really should drink less. But you just don’t notice this at all! You just sweat it all out again. Maybe I should have asked what time we have to leave tomorrow… oh well, it’s on.