Everything happened by accident; we were supposed to discover the lemurians world at Ankify but we chose the wrong guy to do that with. We were wondering to continue to the north to diego suarez or to go to Nosy Komba (in front of NosyBe). At the end, to go to Nosy Komba we had to pass through NosyBe to take a second boat. We arrived at NosyBe at 2 pm, on sunday afternoon; everything was closed, there was small chance to find a boat to Nosy Komba the same dazy and we decided to stay 2 days there to discover what touristic consider as paradisiac island.
When we got out of the boat, we first met the taxi-drivers, very pushy and agressives, arguing between themselves and fighting for customers. It was difficult and unpleasant to get rid of them. We went at the streets of Hell-Ville, the main city of Nosybe; the streets were absolutely empty, most of the buildings were ruined, with some old colonial style houses … Anyway we kept the hope it’s in front of us to discover the beauty of the island. We met a nice man , Lucien. He gave us his phone number. At that time we didn’t imagine we'd call so soon.
We continued up North to find some place to sleep. We found only ugly hotels, made from cement , and with rude and greedy owners, explaining to us that prices are so high because we are in NosyBe! We spent the night in nice bungalow but dirty and located next to the generator for the electricity. Until 2pm, we had the chance to listent o the noise of the engine of the generator. We left early morning the next day and decided to go to Dzamandzar, the village of Lucien, again willing to find the paradisiac places of the island.
Dzamandzar was a big village – very dirty, very muddy streets, not a single toilet in the houses so the people were using the beach as a big toilet. The beach was also the garbage depot of the village. Lucien’s house was another side of life of the island. He welcomed us as if we were old friends, he invited us to sleep at his home which consisted of one room. We stayed there and we slept in his bed together with the kids while he and his boy slept on the sofa.
The first night at his place was funny. He was living together with 2 other families, occupying the 2 other rooms of the house. One of the family was enjoying music very much and good for us there was electricity this night so we had the chance to listen to reggae half of the night. The bed was trembling from the base but it was a joyfull night. The sound was so good and so nicely loud.
Next day was a very unlucky day for us. We didn’t want to give up and decided once more to discover the beauty of Nosy Be. The day before we agreed with one man to go by boat to a nearby small island but as he didn’t show up we decided to go by foot up north and take another boat. We walked along the beach, passed all the garbage, passed in front of the pretentious hotels, crossed a dirty river going to the ocean and then nina discovered she lost her favourite bracelet (given from Damien). She went back to look for it. Damien and kids continued slowly. As Nina was late Damien decided to go and meet her and let the kids with the 2 back packs on the beach. For the first time we had so much luggage with us during a walk : 2 cameras, USB with all recorded pictures, all travel books and papers. 2 min after Damien left the kids he could hear them running and screaming: 2 men arrived and scared them with a knife, and took the back packs together with the shoes of Damien which he left in order to pass faster the small river. Kids tried to stop them but they were told not to move. After the 2 men escaped in the bushes. Damien runned back after the men – barefoot, crossing the swamps, the muddy river, the rice fields, gathering people in the surrounding huts to try to find the men. After 2 hours we gave up… And had only our eyes to cry.
We finished the day very sad and helpless – all our nicest memories from Mada was stolen. Damien had unique photos – part of our life, kids – beautiful drawings and stories.
The bad side of the story is that we lost part of our memories – all the pictures and the travel books. The good thing out of it is that Nina and the kids will be able to see friends and family in January: they have to go back to Sofia to make new passports before flying to Asia.
After the quietness and peacefull atmosphere of the first 3 weeks in Manompana we had the opportunity to discover other sides of Madagascar: tourism and its bad effects, poverty and agressivity but also Malgash hospitality and sincere generousity ...