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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

He Promised Me Africa Part 9 - Nosy Be 2

Nosy Be is an unusual tourist environment. At the time that we waded in from our catamaran, it was hot -- so hot that the parts of us not in the water were already sweating as we reached the beach. There were all kinds of merchants with their wares spread out on the sand as we emerged from the ocean like lumbering sea creatures. The first person to catch my eye started a sales pitch but I was more interested in ice water and rushed past her to where our guide was handing out bottles from a cooler. Apparently, her approaching me was improper and the man on the mat next to her castigated her loudly. We gulped down water and watched them argue with mild amusement, remembering other inexplicable arguments in Japan that we'd witnessed.

A boat on the beach and some of the islanders beautiful lace clothes.

The folks who had waded in from the catamaran with us were in a foul mood. The gift shops were rustic for their tastes, their sandals were soggy, their purses were heavy, there were no air-conditioned buses...and it was bloody hot. We stayed back a ways as we followed the guide through the village.

Our first stop was the village school. What lovely kids. Poor things have to stop what they are doing and make nice with the tourists. They were terribly sweet though.

Nosy Be version of Chez Joseph Boutique on Nosy Komba.

Beautiful young woman and her baby. The face paint surely has a culture base to it, but we were told that it helps protect from the bright sun. As I was totally burned by this time, I really wanted to get my face painted but the team wanted to move on.

Villagers grinding up something.

Another villager separating something.

Our guide leading us into the jungle.

The jungle has spiders and other creepy crawlers that drop down out of the trees on you or crawl up your bare legs if you are wearing short shorts and cork sandals. 

When we finally got to see the lemurs, they were tired. Every group who had passed before us had fed the same little troop of these pretty little critters tiny red bananas and they lay on the branches like this, their tummies round and hard. 

"But I wanted to feed them, " I cried.

None of them responded to my banana. The guide tried and tried. Finally one of them stretched, sighed deeply as if to say, "Oh okay, I'll eat your crumby banana." Then he reached down and accepted the offering. 

I didn't actually see him eat it, mind you. I'm guessing he had a secret hiding place somewhere in that tree. It's a tough life.

Not sure if we are looking back at the village from the jungle or seeing the village as we come out of the jungle. You see, the jungle turned out to be the last straw for the fellow who wanted to be first. The whole thing was a disappointment to him once it was clear we would be last and he was ready to go back to the ship immediately. His wife scolded him and they went with the tour for a while...but then she turned her ankle. As soon as she wanted to go back, so did everyone else. No fort on top of the mountain for us that day.

Johnny sitting on the front porch of the "hotel." As you can see, he's flushed and overheated. If the truth be told, for all my funny asides about our fellow tourists caught unprepared for this particular island, even with boots and long pants (me), the jungle was tough going and I was ready to wade back to the boats and return to ship.

When we got into our cabin, the air condition was heavenly and we slept until up for dinner...and then went back to sleep...which is why Nosy Be is the only island in Madagascar that we visited.

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