Ankasy Lodge: paradise. We started the drive at 730, first stop after 1:30hrs at 9am for a short hike in a national park along the way from Ranohira to Tulear called Zamboksy. We spotted a chameleon, a few orchids, couple of birds and a big family of sufaka dancing lemurs! After 1hr walk we got back to the car and continued the drive for 2:30hrs until Tulear. The fourth big city in Madagascar, on the west coast. We stopped for lunch at Oasis Café, a nice spot with a sunny garden. We shared squid with mustard sauce and Capitaine fish with spinace and cream sauce. Both delicious! Brucey unfortunately had a bit of a migraine but he took the pill and feels better now after sleeping a lot in the car. After lunch we continued the journey towards Ankasy, 45minutes on normal roads followed by 1:30hr in a rough sandy off road path. Very bumpy but all worth it. We arrived at Ankasy Lodge at about 4pm, breathtaking view of the sea and a private 1km beach with blue water. Beautiful bungalows and very big, as big as my flat in Gauden road! The sound of the sea relaxed us immediately. We had to day goodbye to our driver Fidi, after 10 days of driving us around he is off to another job and it will take him two full driving days to get back to Tana. Thanks for everything Fidi, you’ve been a fantastic driver and guide! We spent the rest of the afternoon chilling and having a swim in the sea. The lodge is very secluded in a very wild part of the island, we are lucky because out of 9 bungalows only ours and another one are full. The beach is all ours.
We met the owner, a swiss guy called Laurent now married with a Malagasy lady and with two kids that we also met in the evening. Two boys with amazing blondy afro hair. We had aperitivo by the bar with swiss saucisson and wine, and for dinner there was a squid salad, followed by lobster with sauteed potatoes and chocolate cake. So amazingly tasty! Life is good.
Our last full day in Madagascar!
We woke up early with the sound f the sea, and had breakfast at 8am, crepes and toast with nutella and honey, not a bad start of the day. Unfortunately it’s a windy day meaning that we can’t go snorkelling or fishing or on a boat. It’s a shame because today was our only chance! We spend the morning chilling, reading, sunbathing, swimming, all very stressful.
Lunch was again delicious, fresh squid and fresh fruits and vegetables.
At 3pm we decided to venture in the dry spiky forest to see the baobabs with the quad. Brucey drove and I was at the back mostly shouting to him not to go too fast and banging my legs against the over heated motor on the side. The baobabs are incredible and we really enjoyed the ride.
We also stopped and noticed a small baby marijuana plantation! Cheeky Malagasy!
After the quads we had time for a swim and then enjoyed a massage overlooking the lagoon.
Joseph is the main dude in charge here, he does the guide, the masseuse and is very good at kite surfing!
After the massage it was dinner time again. Aperitivo with crisps and chorizo, and dinner was a fantastic soup de legumes with croutons, then pasta and sea cicada (a type of lobster) and caramelized banana for dessert. We were so happily stuffed at the end!
The attention to details in this place was incredible. They tell you what’s the next meal always in advance in case you don’t like something. At the entrance of the bungalows there is a pot with water to get rid of the sand on the feet before getting in.
To avoid having to heat up the water they have a very clever system: outside each bungalow there is a box with a mirror to attract the sun rays, inside of which they have about 10 plastic water bottles that heat up through the day. At night you take them and they are still boiling hot and you can use them (mixed with colder water) to have a shower throwing a bucket of hot water on yourself. Very clever! We loved out stay here and wished we could have stayed for a couple more days.
Day 13: we tried to leave Madagascar!
We had breakfast admiring the sea and the landscape at Ankasy lodge, ready for one long dreadful day of travelling. It turned out to be even worse than we imagined.
Our driver insisted for leaving at 8am for our 14:50 flight… it took 3hrs to get to the airport – we were there at 11am and no one was there. The airport is microscopic, one gate, one bar, one shop – all closed of course because it’s fucking too early.
Anyway we wait and wait luckily after passing security one bars open and we can have some food since we are starving. We finally get on our plane and land in Antananarivo at 4pm. Our luggage takes half an hour to arrive but that’s not a problem since our next flight is at 22:10! We get our luggage and make our way to the international airport for another check in to find out that our flight to Mauritius has been cancelled
We get so angry and annoyed it’s hard to describe. After about 2 hours talking to the incompetent Air Madagascar team, who initially wanted to put us on a Monday flight – we argued and complained and got a place in tomorrow afternoon flight – meaning that we lose one day in Mauritius and one night.
Air Madagascar paid for our hotel, dinner and lunch tomorrow but it’s not a big consolation since the hotel is pretty bad with a very short bed and we were meant to have our amazing luxury hotel in Mauritius. We were lucky with the round the world trip without delays or cancellations, now we are paying for it!