Friday, 9 September 2016

Salary Bay

September 4

Happy Birthday to me.  We are over half way through our trip. But we still have lots of different things to see and a bit more walking as we have three different hikes scheduled in the next eight days.

For breakfast we had French chocolate pastries. And they brought hot milk for Po to have with her coffee. She has been drinking tea since the other places have not been offering milk. We had a platter of fresh fruit.

José stopped by to discuss our plans for tomorrow. We will aim for lunch in Tulear, so will leave at 8. He said we will have lots of sand, but not the side to side kind like yesterday, just the up and down kind, a small consolation.

There were three or four sailing pirogues lined up to take the guests out to the reefs. We passed on the boat rides. Instead we walked a short ways down the beach to the village. The people are Vezo. José says that their name means fisher people. There were several pirogues on the shore. They have a different style of wooden houses.

Being Sunday, we could hear singing from a church. I tried to do a video to record it. Just beyond the church was another. A group of children came up looking for their photos to be taken. They were making lots of noise. Finally the minister came out of the church to quiet them down. I apologized with a “je suis desole”. We had to move on.

We passed a house and a woman called out for me to take her photograph. So I walked into their yard and took a group shot and then one of her and her son. I then asked to take a photo of the other woman and her child.

We next passed a little restaurant. We watched some young men piling up stones to make a wall. When we looked inside to the patio we saw Jozy and three of his fellow drivers. They were playing cards, all enjoying their days off. There is a group of tourists staying for two nights like we are and are then moving on down the coast.

After returning to the hotel we spent the afternoon until Internet time reading and relaxing. We really needed some time like this. We have been on the go for over two weeks.

We had our supper. For starters I had the fois gras. It was good. The main course was chop suey. There was a meat and chicken version and a seafood version. It was okay but was not on the level of last night’s meal which was outstanding. It would have been what one would accept at a Canadian-Chinese restaurant.

Because it was my birthday I ordered a carafe of wine, my first wine since being in Madagascar. It was a French red. I thought something more might be happening since one of the staff wished me happy birthday this morning. I had mentioned my birthday to Irina when we met her back in Antananarivo. Apparently they had asked Po if I preferred chocolate or white cake, but of course she did not tell me. Suddenly the lights went out and they brought out a chocolate birthday cake. I had the restaurant diners and staff serenading me in various languages. It was fun, and the cake was delicious

Before leaving I signed up for a Bell plan that allows us to send and receive text messages. It also has a small voice allowance. I decided to phone our friend, Shirley, who is 92 years old. She had been worrying about our trip ever since I told her about it and seems to believe  that we are never going to come back. After a few issues (word of advice to Bell plan people travelling to Madagascar, watch out for the Orange network,  use Telma). I figured it out and dialled right though to Pouch Cove. Because I had earlier failed to get through and had friends tell her that I tried, it was not a total surprise for her, but it was still good to have a very brief chat.

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