Looking at Lemurs and the Local Cuisine

Tripoto
8th Jul 2016
Photo of Looking at Lemurs and the Local Cuisine 1/1 by Anuj Tikku

Settling in, I was beginning to get a feel of Antananarivo, Madagascar - an island nation with a lot going for it. The streets are dusty and the taxis are a mix of American Chevrolet, Korean Hyundai and a lot more. Street hawkers dot the footpaths with nick knacks to sell. The roads are up and down, and hilly. The town is at an elevation and there is a lake in the town centre. It gives a real feel of a proud and colourful Africa, not the wealthiest but proud. In the night, everybody is watching the Euro Cup football and there were a loud cheering and roaring that erupted outside my room whenever someone scored a goal.

Photo of Antananarivo, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar by Anuj Tikku
Photo of Antananarivo, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar by Anuj Tikku
Photo of Antananarivo, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar by Anuj Tikku

Coupled with that last night, a jazz band was performing in the casino above my hotel and I enjoyed the performance sitting in my room. These mornings are cold with a chill in the air and I wake up to the sound of the cathedral bell ringing dong dong dong. It comes from the Laval Baptist Church in the main town square. There are, as always, the street children pestering tourists for money and beggars and panhandlers are quite commonplace. Even I get stormed by street kids every time I venture out of my hotel.

Photo of Looking at Lemurs and the Local Cuisine by Anuj Tikku
Photo of Looking at Lemurs and the Local Cuisine by Anuj Tikku
Photo of Looking at Lemurs and the Local Cuisine by Anuj Tikku

It was time, I thought, to head out to try some local Malagasy cuisine and Londry took me just to the right place. It was a small and tasteful restaurant called Kaly Gasy Mon Gouter. We got ourselves a table and got ready to order. Pork chops with rice, salad, beef steak with chips and THB Beer. The most famous beer here is the Three Horse Beer, a Dutch Pilsener, by the sounds of it, with heads of three horses as its logo. The meat was well done and the pork was fried from inside and the juices were left to simmer. With beer, it was a delight as I got all this for 26,000 Ariary which is about $8 or Rs. 542. I had arrived in winter from summer and had not packed right and I started feeling the nip and decided to buy myself a jacket from the nearby Jumbo store.

Photo of Looking at Lemurs and the Local Cuisine by Anuj Tikku
Photo of Looking at Lemurs and the Local Cuisine by Anuj Tikku

Now I felt better with my ZARA brown winter jacket on and I felt like a real tourist. In the evening, we drove to the local lemur wildlife park to see the famous Maki, the ring-tailed lemur and the animal this country is known for, and to tell you the truth, I was not disappointed. I was taken through the park for a walk by a guide and I saw them - the little Lemurs hopping from bamboo branch to another with their tail up with black and white fur called the ringtail. Two just whizzed past my face and hopped above me next to a tree. We were so close and that was the best part of the experience.

Photo of Looking at Lemurs and the Local Cuisine by Anuj Tikku
Photo of Looking at Lemurs and the Local Cuisine by Anuj Tikku
Photo of Looking at Lemurs and the Local Cuisine by Anuj Tikku
Photo of Looking at Lemurs and the Local Cuisine by Anuj Tikku

There on the other side was the hopping lemurs and then the bamboo lemurs who prefer to live on bamboo trunks only. These animals climb on top of the trees to get some sun tan now and again and then return to the ground for their food. I saw all the various varieties of lemurs that exist here, not to mention the giant tortoise that live for 150 years. This is when I also realised that I like my new jacket as it keeps me warm and is tastefully bought in Africa!

Photo of Looking at Lemurs and the Local Cuisine by Anuj Tikku

I think it will keep me company for travels to come. On the way back at late evening, I offered Londry a drink at my room and paid him for the day and have "booked" him for my stay in this country. You do need at least one insider in a new and exotic place like this!

Originally posted on TikkusTravelthon.in

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