We went back to Nosy Be, Madagascar on this cruise and I got a chance to go into the main town. I learned that Nosy means island and Be is big so it just means Big Island. I think that might be confusing if it were the only
description you had for where you needed to go. Especially in that area, there are lots of big islands. Anyway, I went into the town and saw there was a market filled with fresh fruit and tons of other food. I picked up some vanilla extract because Madagascar is famous for vanilla. It doesn't smell as sweet as the one we get at home but maybe it's not supposed to be sweet. Either that or I bought something else. We'll find out when we bake the cookies I guess. The rest of the city that I saw was very poor but still friendly. All the little kids playing out on the sidewalk always said, "Good morning!" or "Hello, girl!" Back at the ship they were tendering, which means we don't dock we stay at anchor and send little boats back and forth to the ship. All of the locals got in their canoes and came out to the ship hoping people would trade with them. They bring lots of fruit and wood carvings and hope that people will give them clothes and hats. They don't seem to be wanting money so much as stuff. I saw them floating around with all our empty fuel jugs tied to their canoes. I don't know what they want that stuff for but it's trash to the ship so if it's going to get them a bag full of mangoes or a fish or something they might as well toss it off.
Yesterday we were in Port Louis, Mauritius, again. This time the weather was a bit nicer so we were all going to try to go to the beach. The trouble with some of these ports is that we never know where the beach is, how we will get there, or how we will get back. The cabs that sit and wait for the guests always charge at least twice what it is worth to take us somewhere so we always try to avoid that. They wanted 2,000 rupees which was about $70 for each cab to the beach, each way, and there were 6 of us so we would have had to take two. This was not going to happen so we decided to take the shuttle into the city and see if we could negotiate with the other cabbies. When we got there we figured out that there was a city bus that takes you to the beach, called Flic en Flac. It was a little scary but it only cost about two dollars and we got a nice tour of the countryside. We had a nice lunch at a hotel on the beach and they went swimming for a couple hours. When it was time to leave we found two cabs to take us back for 800 rupees which was less than $30 and it was about a half an hour cab ride. The only bad part was on the way back in the cab we had all the windows down and a sneaky bee flew in while we weren't paying attention. My friend, George, all of a sudden felt something on his arm but it was too late. This was no ordinary bee, either. This was the biggest bee I've ever seen. Must be some island breed. The welt swelled up to the size of a half dollar and we had to make sure he made it through the night without his arm falling off or turning black. He lived.
Sassy ginger from NH off traveling the world.