The flight sucked. Luckily I had two seats instead of one and even sat at the window, but unfortunately also directly above the turbines. During the 11 h flight with Air Austral, there was no real sleep. Never again a long-distance flight like that! During the landing on Réunion, I got really sick. The first step outside… I run into a warm, damp wall.
The day begins at 5:30, the cock from the neighboring village crows long and persistently. Some dog barks its soul out of its body – as I learn later, it is not only a dog, but also a group of quarreling lemurs. Everything sticks. I already have more mosquito bites than I consider healthy. Despite the mosquito net, but I didn’t quite understand its technique anyway.
Today also starts with a zebu sandwich, lovingly called Cholesterol Submarine. Every day could start this way! Anto, Andrea and I drive with Patrice and Daddy to the Analamazaotra National Park. There is a big parking lot in front of the park entrance, and the one or other French tourist seems to have lost his way here, too. A small museum and a toilet house, that’s it. Nevertheless, one has to register. Practically, right in front of the entrance, there is already a Calumma brevicorne female, one that gets very excited about us.
Shortly after 6 o’clock, it’s just light – and DAMN COLD. Now I also know why there are three blankets on top of each other in the bungalow. Washing my hair gets canceled, without a hairdryer, I will freeze my brain away. Just before seven: It won’t be canceled. It’s getting warmer. By the way, I have a certain advantage to live so high up and to climb the steep stairs several times a day: I get hot water first because the hot water tank is right behind my bungalow.
We meet at seven for breakfast. As everywhere in Madagascar, it takes time until everybody has his morning meal, the kitchens are not so big and nobody is in a hurry. But at some point, everyone is finally provided with tea, juice, scrambled eggs and baguette. Meanwhile, the guys outside artfully pack our luggage in tarpaulins on the roofs of the six Toyota Landcruisers, with which we will be traveling from now on. I am driving with Dimby, Antonella and Andrea – and thankfully I am allowed to take the passenger seat.
All night long I’ve been rather humble. circulation, stomach cramps, nausea – the late revenge of the frog? No idea. I feel better in the morning, but I still feel dizzy. But at least I can say that the stars above Ankarafantsika are amazing – I had enough time to observe them tonight.
Another day, another walk around the lake. Breakfast with Makasaoka and coke. But this time I’m doing brilliantly – and it’s very amazing how fast you can suddenly get around Lac Ravelobe at normal speed! Only this time it’s the other way around the Ravelobe.
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.
What I didn’t know last night: There is no sleeping at 30,9°C and without air conditioning anyway. The air is so extremely stuffy that at about three o’clock at night I open the window at some point because it is simply not bearable in the heat. As a result, a million mosquitoes follow the delicious smell of human skin. I spend the next two hours struggling with the hum, the fan, the mosquitoes, and the heat.
The day begins with a small breakfast. The open restaurant serves baguette, honey and scrambled eggs. You get a glass full of thick, white-greenish liquid with it. Supposed to be Corasol or something. It tastes like stirring some plants with water, not my cup of tea. I drink it bravely anyway, somebody claims that it protects against cancer (well, if the evil pharmaceutical industry finds out! 😉 ).