Toliara Travel Blog

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Arriving late in Toliara on the evening of our third day of travel, we found the roads flooded and the electricity out �" apparently an employee of the power plant had skipped town with several vital generator parts some weeks prior �" and the rest of the gang we were going to spend the next six weeks with. First impressions are now blurred. I do remember somebody shining an absurdly bright halogen light directly into our eyes as we exited the van.

After a brief introduction, the handing off of certain forms to various staff, and having introduced ourselves we were frightened into taking a pous-pous rather than walking to La Maison, a restaurant two and a half minutes away for a communal meal. A pous-pous is the local rickshaw which is propelled by a runner grasping two long wooden handles extended from a little passenger cabin on two wheels which makes the whole experience quite colonial and-to me-rather uncomfortable. It did befit the restaurant’s atmosphere, however, whose clientele as its ownership was largely made up of new colonial types, French and Italian fat old men surrounding themselves with cheap young local beauties.

The quality food notwithstanding, the experience therefore left something to be desired. Luckily we sat at a long table with all the other do-gooders and were thus fairly shielded. Little Nick, a young lad with a charming demeanor and a brand-new Mohawk immediately told us about his plans to celebrate his upcoming 18th birthday at the village Epi-Bar in Andavadoaka (pronounced Andávadok) with lots of booze and music. We had no idea what that meant but he promised it to be an awesome experience. We were game. It occurred to me that the group at large seemed to be of much lower average age than I had anticipated, which was fine. Foolishly giving in to the tourist scares, we made our way back by pous-pous once more and fell asleep like stones in our comfy room soon thereafter.

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photo by: philippe84