By Sally Grice, Blue Ventures Volunteer, Andavadoaka, Madagascar. When we first arrived at Half Moon Beach the first thing that we noticed was the spectacular view across the sea, stretching from Andava Beach and beyond to Coco Beach in the other direction. We could see the village of Andava and all the local pirogues laid out on the beach ready for the morning’s sailing, as well as miles out to sea past Andava Rock and into the distance. When we’d stopped marvelling at the view we noticed our very own beach cabins! I had been put in with three other friends from the overland tour so we immediately unlocked our little padlock and stepped inside. The cabin was very basic but seemed to be adequate for our needs, with a small bathroom at one end and two bunk-beds in the main room. We spent a couple of minutes deciding who was to have which bunk – this luckily didn’t cause any arguments! I ended up on a bottom bunk and we began to sort out our bags which were in a bit of a mess from the overland tour; it was nice to unpack and get settled.
Over the course of the next few days we became used to our routine of living together in the small but friendly space of our cabin. We had an alarm set each morning and spent time together in the evening before the power went out and we went to bed. We had quite a lot to deal with in the first week of our stay as a couple of people were ill and we had a lot of unwanted visitors in the form of cockroaches! However this soon became part of the experience and we spent a couple of hilarious nights trying to evict our guests, employing various tactics, eventually giving up as it made us a bit hot and sweaty right before bed!
It’s surprising how quickly we all became accustomed to living in such close proximity to each other, showering as quickly as possible to save water for the others in the cabin, sweeping sand from every corner of the room, putting on music as we got ready for the day’s swimming or diving and generally looking out for each other on a day to day basis. Perhaps one of the funniest nights was when we had a toga themed party night and so employed our bed-sheets as makeshift togas!! The amount of sand this brought back into our cabins was unbelievable…
I have had the most amazing 4 weeks here so far and am so happy that I still have another 2 to go, everyone is enjoying the experience of living together here and it has definitely made us closer, despite hearing cockroaches munching on our plastics in the night! If you get the chance to share a cabin with someone else I would recommend grabbing it, it makes the whole experience a lot more fun and also provides the opportunity to share clothes, sunscreen, and mozzie repellent!