Friday, September 10, 2010
Antsirabe, Antananarivo, Madagascar
Well TIA strikes again.. so today.. we wake up.. we are meeting Albert at 8:30 to make the final payment for our trip with our driver and car. When what to my wondering eyes is shown.. a wallet without an ATM card.
yes folks its true.. SOMEHOW I lost my ATM card. Now the fun part of this story is that my only other form of payment is my master card for which I again do not have a PIN for to get money from the ATM.. lets just say I’m freaking out.
Well, my cellular pre-paid SIM has no money left on this so I have to find a new SIM, load it, call Bank of America chewing up all my credits again and get them to confirm rates and availability of funds for withdrawl. Now I just need to find a bank in Tana who will let me walk to a teller and present my MasterCard to get cash. This is proving to not be an easy task. As it turns out there is only one bank in the city that can help me. Fortunately for me its right around the corner from my hotel. So over to the bank I go .. to withdrawl $3 MILLION Ariary.. yes folks I finally made my first Million.. of course that is only $1500 USD but its fun to have in your hands.
Finally we pay Albert, get my flight from Air Madagascar after a massive wait and off for our final arrangements we go. so we meet our driver Dessey and our little Puegot car that we will be in for the next 8 days and out of the city we go. We need lunch and tell Dessy that we want Samosas so he takes us for Pizza.. oh well.. we finally get some nasty cold samosas and we’re on the road.
We finally make it to Antisrabe where we check into our hotel, get harassed by the Pousse Pousse drivers and take a walk around town. Dinner was at a “chineese” place where I had some nice chicken fried rice and got to listen to the “cabaret”.. well that is simply live music which is in the background as I type this.. it is open mic night here and I’ve heard folk music to Abba.. very surreal.
Tomorrow we will reach our first park in Ramanafana.. we can’t drive at night and make long days as the roads are full of bandits at night and Dessey won’t risk getting robbed on the road .. and frankly I’m pretty glad about that.
Well I don’t have any real pictures from today but tomorrow I will take some and hopefully I can update with more in the coming days. Internet is going to be SLOW for the next two weeks so please b e patient.. I may only be able to give text updates.
GO BLUE.. beat the IRISH!!