Diego - Day Two - Les Trois Baies

Up next for our Diego tour was going around les trois baies (or the three bays). I had seen some pictures on-line and thought it would be fun. We were picked up way too early. It may have only been like 8h30...but on holiday, anything before 13h00 is way too early....

We now had our guide from yesterday, who was serving as the driver (I wish I could remember his name!!), and another guide, named Clement. Clement spoke great English, so it was nice not to have to translate.
I *almost* wish I would have taken notes because I have no idea what that little island is or any history behind it...

Mr. Driver dropped us off and Clement started us on a walking tour. Very quickly, I ditched my shoes.
We kept on walking. He was talking the entire time, but he was also kind of being annoying. He seemed very...stuck up. Stuck up isn't the right word....maybe cocky. Yes, a cross between stuck-up and cocky.
I didn't listen to him much, I just enjoyed the walk and the breathtaking views.
After about 35 minutes, we stopped so that we could take a swim and cool off. The water temperature was much colder than in Toamasina, but very refreshing!
After a swim, we kept on walking. Figured this was as good a time as any for a self-portrait.
Another swimming stop off point.
I just looked on Google Maps, and the names of the bays are: Tonnerre, Andovobatofotsy, Andovobazaha. If I would have known that before, I would have asked what they mean in Malagasy. But just for fun - try saying the last two out loud. 95% of the people I work with have last or first names that are longer and more complicated than that. (Here I go thinking about work again!!)
Am I just missing Louis too much or does this rock formation not resemble a heart?
More walking.
Came across this dead little bug. I was so happy to see it dead since it's much bigger and grosser cousin bit me a few nights before.
Back to walking.
More self-portrait time.
The walking started to get a little interesting at this point. The rocks get a little slippery and you have to walk quickly as the waves go out and not crash back into shore.
The walking got even trickier when we found quicksand!! For those that don't know, I'm a good five inches taller than my mom. Unless I've sunk into the earth!!
Last stop for a swim. After walking for a few hours, we were seriously sweaty and in need of a cool off. (This picture makes me so happy I got my hair cut!)
One last quick picture.
And then we were back with Mr. Driver. I quickly snapped this picture of a local woman with her face all done up. I asked Clement the significance of the face painting, and he told me that women do it to make themselves look more beautiful.
After spending more time in Diego, I kind of started to think that the women rather paint their faces to make the "Madagascar Experience" seem more jungle like and exotic. They charge us vazas 10 000 MGA ($5USD) to paint your face so you can be like one of them. :)
I just can't stop taking pictures. The Three Baies are so beautiful.
We stopped to look at this plant. It's out of focus, but if you look carefully, you'll see a little white blob. This white blob is very, very sticky, and poisonous to humans and animals. I wish I could remember what Clement said what they use it for....
We got back in the car and drove for about five minutes. We came up to a gate, where Clement told us that we were actually on military grounds. Mr. Driver had forgot the special papers we needed to be on the grounds, and his cell phone wouldn't get any reception.

Mr. Driver ran off to find cellphone reception, and Clement went on to talk to the guards. About ten minutes later, he came up with a "proposal" where we would pay the guards and they would let us leave immediately. Without a doubt in my mind, this was a "half pay to the guards/half pay to Clement" type situation, but all things Madagascar, I just asked how much, and when I found out it was only $5USD, I told him that's fine, go ahead with it, and was just annoyed.

Coincidentally, Mr. Driver's head popped around the corner a second later, and he had the numbers from the special papers that we needed to give the guards. The poor guards and Clement didn't get their bribe money. Shame.
We were pretty beat on the ride back.
Mr. Driver and Clement dropped us off at this quaint little restaurant.
We ordered infamous ti-punches (lemon, rum, sugar, water) and received complimentary cheese balls. (Never seen cheese balls in MG before).
We had seafood for lunch, and although the food was good, I liked feeding it to the two cats that were around our table. I think I fed them enough to keep them going for a week! They were super vocal and made the sweetest (and effective!) cries.
Okay. I've just walked for a few hours in the sun, it's +30*C, I need a nap!
But before we go back to the hotel, I need to use the facilities. Like, who on earth would have thought that this was cool????
And then we were off to the hotel.
After the day in the sun, I was super tired and wanted a nap - outside of the sun. Although I think I've adapted to Madagascar weather - it's because I spend a large portion of my day inside. When you stick me outside all day, in the heat, I'm wiped by the end of the day!! We went back to the hotel, I went inside for a quick nap, and my mom went to lounge by the pool and read.

I love naps. I think naps should be accepted as a hobby. ESPECIALLY on vacation!

Diego is a very interesting city. The tourist industry remains strong there, and it shows. Goods are 10 to 100 times more expensive. Also...we found the people there to be...often rude and cold. It was extremely odd. After talking to a few of my coworkers and a couple of the drivers, I've found out that this is indeed true. Diegoans are completely different and some are even racist to non-Diegoans!

Also, the people were much darker there are much plumper. I'm thinking the plumper part would be a side effect of the tourist revenue.

I don't mean to be complaining about Diego - I'm not. We had a great time, there was so much to do there and I'd go back in a heartbeat, but I found the people generally off-putting and I often felt like I was inconveniencing them - even at the hotel. Kind of interesting anyway.

After a nap and a (revolting) supper, it was off to bed....because Diego Day 3 is yet ANOTHER early morning...this time I think 7h30!!!

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