Southern Madagascar Part II: Anakao
We took a boat from Tulear to Anakao. In order to get us and our things on the boat we had to get on top of a small not very stable wooden cart drawn by oxen which carried us to the boat. Once aboard we met Jean-Marie Niel, a french ski instructor who now lives in Anakao with his wife and child. After chatting with him on the boat ride over, we decided to stay with Jean-Marie and his family in a bungalow right on the beach.
We were the only guests at the time and we all ate together with the family. Unfortunately, we both got sick after eating some fresh fish. The fish and the crabs had just been caught but some ingredient in the homemade crab caked we ate did not agree with us and were out of order for 2 days. It did not affect any of the locals. Apparently our fickle European stomachs were not used to Malagasy hygiene (or the lack thereof). I do not want to go into the details but our sickness involved high fever and the violent loss of fluids from both ends. I seriously was doubting I was going to survive it and the high temperatures did not help either. We were given a special tea made from burned rice and mangroves which tasted absolutely terrible, but after about two days we felt better.
Due to our health issues, we never ventured into the Vezo fishing village which was in walking distance from our bungalow. We did meet some of its inhabitants though while enjoying the beach. Some Vezo children approached us to sell beads and handmade miniatures of the traditional dugout canoe-like sailboats (pirogues). We had a lot of fun talking to them. Their French was very clear and they were very intelligent.
Unfortunately, we never got to see much of Anakao and what it had to offer as we had to be back in Tulear to start our cross country trip with Jean-Paul, but it was a magical place and I hope to go back there sometime.