15:15 (UK) / 18:15 (Madagascar)
A day of driving all over Tana centre on errands; trying to get the freight released from customs has left me feeling rather tired, smelly, and dirty. As a highly active person I have found it very frustrating being contained in one vehicle all day long. Tried to go for a bit of a walk – but have found Tana not to be the best walking location – surprising that – cars and people fill the space and shouts of ‘Mademoiselle!’ and ‘tssss, tsss’ fill the air.
I have come to expect unwanted attention as a lone female where ever I travel, but I still don’t enjoy it; it has a tendency of cutting short any walking that I do. So exercise-wise I am just going to have to stick to yoga on the roof terrace and sit ups in the room until I get to the sea and to Andavadoaka.
Lychee season is only a month in length in Madagascar – and is currently in full swing – and I am enjoying their bounty. Bananas and Mangos too are ripe and street sellers sell nuts and veg. – plenty to keep a vegan happy. I have found lots of dried fruit too, so I am most definitely not going hungry.
I felt a lot like I was on an expedition today – logistical issues a plenty! Since last time BV imported to Madagascar systems have changed and you need approximately 2.45 times more paperwork than previously. I am not sure it matters exactly what is on it so long as there is more of it and you have to travel to about three different places to receive it! There probably is a system, but anyways by the end of the day I am not sure we are much closer at getting all the dive kit, and staff goodies out!
Booking tickets for a flight from Tana to Tulear was not much easier – computers breaking and blatantly being ignored resulted in the tickets taking an hour to get. I really did not want to fly – hoped that by travelling with the freight I could not only save on money but on carbon too. Reducing those overheads and saving the atmosphere from more carbon! But as with all things here – you can not rely on things. It s important now I press on – so then I will.
I met with the Wildlife Conservation Society and discussed a proposed biogas project for Andavadoaka. They have some funding available depending on a feasibility study and some contribution money – this is most certainly a project we could get involved with. I will try to start the scoping work whilst in field – the potential is enormous – generating energy (either electricity / gas, reducing harmful pathogens, and creating compost for any form of growing and gardening.
So it’s the end of the day now – feel shattered – feel like I have come back a time zone and not forward. Achievements – good meeting with WCS, made some progress with freight, made a hotel reservation in French on the telephone!!! And in emptying my bag I find I have brought a compass. Back from the expedition days. Looks like I am at my computer facing NWW. Useful. Disappointments – not travelling overland to Tulear, found banks don’t change South African Rand here…