Arriving in Toamasina

Boring day on the boat.

At some point in the evening Madagascar came in sight at the horizon. We arrived in Toamasina but had to wait until long after dinner before we could touch Malagasy soil. Learned that I would only get my bike back tomorrow morning from 8am. Clearing customs was a hassle-free if a tad lengthy process.

Stepping out of the customs building at the city side, I was approached by a guy who asked me in French whether I had seen a German couple on the boat. Told him that I was German but hadn’t seen any others. Turned out he was a German expat himself, too, lived in Toamasina, and was waiting for German friends to arrive from Mauritius. When he was convinced that they weren’t on the boat he offered me a bed in his house for 30.000FMg (= 6.000Ariary ~ 2,40€) per night. I agreed and so we walked to his house in the outskirts/slum-like dwellings of Toamasina through dark, dusty, but interesting-looking streets. Sometimes the road was well-paved, sometimes it was badly damaged, and then again there were only sand or cobble stones.

Heinz has a simple brick house with 2 rooms and a kitchen; toilet and shower are outside in a separate building. I got a straw mattress and went to bed soonish. I hid entirely in my sleeping bag despite the temperatures for protection from the mosquitoes. The high-pitched ‘bssssssss’ was ubiquitous. I even wore my mosquito-net-cap-thingy! ‘bsssssssss!’ The night was kinda horrible.

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