Grand Africa, voyage – Nosy Be, Day Two

Zaandam today

16 November 2022, Nosy Be, day two

Up at 5:am to be able to meet my tour group at 6:45am.

My good breakfast was an Egg Benedict with sausage, pineapple, watermelon, orange juice, and coffee.

Met Terry Hollo at the Atrium, deck 3 at 6:45am.  Luckily four van loads (40 people) did not have to go from one end of the ship to the other (Main Dining Room) to get tender tickets.  We were allowed to tender together (80 in a tender boat) right away, arriving early to the port area.

No Across Africa Tours sign for Terry, so I asked and was told that they did not expect us so early.  Eventually there were vans and guides and drivers and the sign with Terry’s name. First surprise:  instead of 15 passenger vans for each group of ten, our #1 group went in two smaller vans.  Terry spoke up making sure that each van had a guide.

Our guide Joel taped #1 to our windshield, and the first stop was the gas station.  Joel announced a strange itinerary nothing like what we had booked. Our van captain Paula spoke up and insisted that we get our booked itinerary starting with
“Experience the intriguing remains of Marodoka, a 17th century Arab-Indian village.
Sweet Joel was blindsided and made phone calls.  One problem was that he had no money to pay the entrance fees for our itinerary.
Our “Highlights of Eastern Nosy Be” ($50) started with two viewpoint photo stops and lots of talk about what to do.  Paula gave Joel her copy of our itinerary.
It was a beautiful drive through villages on rough roads.  Eventually we parked by a village school and walked around.  There were picturesque deteriorating buildings to photograph, but not the old Arab Indian village ruins.  That never did happen.

Our group decided to go to Lemur Land.  Joel and Paula both talked to the local tour leader, and he agreed to meet us there to pay the entrance fees.  9:15-10:45am
“Roam a small zoo and observe spirited Lemurs, chameleons, and an exotic orchid garden.”  Never saw orchids, but we did see the Lemurs in the trees and tortoises including the huge 205-yr-old Napoleon, who appreciated affection from our guide here.  Bonaparte was another huge tortoise.
Surprised to find a young man holding a boa constrictor. Had my photo taken with them. Boas are the enemies of the Lemurs.  There are different kinds of Lemurs.
Also saw crocodiles and green geckos and walked across a long see-through bridge.
And learned to dry the sweat off my fingertip to open the iPhone.

Visited the “ylang  ylang distillery, where you’ll learn how oil is extracted from these flowers and used in the production of perfumes and lotions.”  We had seen flat groves of ylang ylang trees, which had been severely pruned to keep them low for easy picking of the flowers.
We also visited their gift shop, where I bought a fork & spoon set made from Zebu (cattle) horns.
The rest rooms had magnificent views.

We drove back through town to the west side of Nosy Be.  “Discover the over-200-yr-old Sacred Tree, one of the Island’s most important cultural sites of the Malagasy people.”
I was too hot and tired to hike to the Sacred Tree, so I stayed in the van.  Photos look like a group of Banyan trees.  The nearby souvenir sellers did not ignore me.  I bought a Lemur magnet and a stringed Veliay musical instrument.

We continued driving over the roughest of roads to visit a fishing village.  Along the way, Joel pointed out the Zebu cattle.
At the fishing village we were invited to climb high steps into a cafe, where samples of fruit were set out.  I enjoyed the cola.
Embroidered tablecloths, etc. were available to buy here.  The center of town had a statue of a woman, which reminded me of the market crosses in England.  Picturesque old boats lined the waterfront.
Drove back over the roughest of rough roads and by more Zebu cattle.  Stopped to photograph views of distant Madagascar and of ms Zaandam.

Back at the port, lots of people were ready to return on the 1pm tender boat.
I was back onboard the ship at 1:15pm.  My lunch was ice cream and hot coffee.
I needed a relaxing afternoon to cool down and rest.

Good dinner conversations this evening.  Everyone’s tours had problems and surprises here. Today Jan & David shopped downtown, thoroughly enjoying themselves.  
My dinner was the Crab Seafood cocktail, the Indian Chicken Korma, Sticky Toffee and Date Pudding, and decaf coffee.  Opened #5 bottle of Beringer’s White Zinfandel.

I did not go watch the BBC Earth Presents:  Blue Planet II in Concert.
I enjoyed my evening with photos and writing in my journal to share with family.
Two dark chocolates, etc. tonight with the good news that clocks will move backward one hour tonight.

Quote of the Day:  “Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s lifetime.”  Mark Twain

Photo Gallery, by Barbara Cummings

Commentary by JWC:

For those who have traveled on Holland America ships in the past few years, access to the Internet, was expensive and sketchy, as I communicate with Barbara and she communicates with us and sends photos, I can say that, even though the Internet is not as sketchy as it was, it is still expensive, however if you look at what she has been able to share during this cruise, the premium plan that we purchased prior to her departure has been well worth the money paid when you spread the cost out over 71 days. (apps $7 per day)

Photo by Marco De Luca on

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