My 3 hour layover in Johannesburg turned into a 5- 1/2 hour layover due in part to rain storms. After walking around the airport and drinking numerous cups of strong S. African coffee…my flight was called over the loudspeaker to inform all Air Madagascar passengers that we can now proceed to out gate. I can’t begin to tell you what a relief it was to be freed from the holding pattern in the airport and finally be on the way again!
The plane to Madagascar was small, a series of two roes of seats on either side of the middle isle. The plane was far from full and most of the passengers on the plane were men going to work in the mines of Madagascar. I spoke at length with a French-man sitting across from me and he explained to me that mining in Madagascar is big business, he makes the sacrifice to come down to join the mining team a few times a year because the money is good, it helps his family and children back in France and of coarse he loves the adventure of it all.
Most of the men were there for the same reasons…this was a very similar scenario to men and women that work at sea. I was on the plane to begin a job at sea leaving from Nosy Be.. Madagascar and these men were heading out to all different types of mines to go to work. Needles to say we were all on that plane for pretty much the same reasons. Work and adventure!
I learned a lot about the tremendous mining business in Madagascar talking with these guys, to see more: http://www.resourceinvestor.com/News/2005/5/Pages/Madagascar-Makes-its-Mining-Mark.aspx
Nosy Be. , Madagascar
Twenty five hours later from my starting point at New York City’s (JFK), I was greeted at Nosy Be. airport by an immigration officer who told me he would escort me to my hotel and the following day he would be there 11am. to take me to my ship. It was pouring rain, and I was beyond tired…I made it to the hotel, finally passed out…woke up 7am bright eyed and ready to roll! On tropical islands no one rushes, no one moves fast and I was starting to realize where I actually was.
The hotel I stayed at was called the Royal Beach Hotel, the beach was literally behind the very tropically designed hotel. Everything was open, no walls in the lobby, no front door to the hotel, everything was wide open and flowing. The staff were all laid back but very helpful with any questions that you might have.
Nosy Be, is about ten miles from the north-east coast of Madagascar, in the Indian Ocean. Referred to as the “perfume island” because of its fragrance of ylang-ylang |http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-ylang-ylang.htm, vanilla beans and pepper.These spices emit a beautiful aroma, in the morning dew, with a mixture of captivating scents. The night I arrived in Madagascar it was raining hard, by morning it was a bright and sunny day, and the first thing that hit me in my senses when I opened my door to this beautifully strange place was the strong smells of very calming scents in the air. Kind of like, the best smelling, yet refined popereee you ever smelled.
Nosy Be., is an island meant to be explored more so than visited. I was told by the staff at the front desk. So after a quick coffee and a croissant, I proceeded to the beach and shot a series of first videos, on the beach behind the Royal Beach Hotel.
Within minutes I realized that what I was told about this island was very true. This was most definitely a place to explore and with in 25 minutes I stumbled across some interesting things and cough it all on video to share.
Here are two videos, on the beached at Nosy Be., Madagascar with some interesting finds!
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7A787V0lc5o[/youtube] along with fire on the beach… [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dK9wurhAN8[/youtube]
The people of Madagascar are called Malagasy. The Malagasy cuisine is as diverse as the people themselves. Much of the cuisine is rooted in Arabic,Chinese, French, African and Indian cultures. This is a place where the cross-roads of culture has made a cuisine that is full of twists and turns at every level of the cuisine. I unfortunately did not have enough time to dive into the food culture, I most definitely will next time especially since the cuisine is very interesting and it grabbed my interest big time!
I was shown on my way to the harbor all the “Zebu” off in the distance and was told they are the main source of meat on the island and that they were delicious…this I need to investigate next time. They looked like a cross between a bull and a cow. These humped back cattle, are strange looking but provide the people of Madagascar with a tremendous amount of resources and play an important part of the Malagasy food culture. | http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zebu
For an in-depth description and more insight on Malagasy cuisine this link is a great place to start>>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuisine_of_Madagascar
“Savor Life one Bite at a Time”