Day 308, Year 5 Weather & Shop ’til You Drop.Again
Date: Monday, August 30, 2010
Weather: Rain Early Morning and Late Afternoon
Location: Nosy Sakatia, NW Madagascar

What is going on with the weather? This is the dry season in Madagascar and we should never be getting rain during the day according to the locals. But we are. The dry season was supposed to be cooler than it has been, but it was not and already they say it is getting warmer. I have no proof of that as I am always hot, so I’ll just take their word for it. Nandipo is a restaurant in Hell-ville that is the meeting place of expats and sailors in this area. We were there today and they were saying that the northerlies are coming in already, a couple of months too soon. I don’t know if any of this will have any impact on our trip to South Africa, but it is a familiar tune. When we crossed the Pacific in the summer of 2006 we did not have the southeast trade winds that we were supposed to have. In fact, we have not had typical weather during any of the five years of our circumnavigation, so we have just decided that there is really no such thing as typical weather. But then maybe global warming has something to do with this. Something that is expected is hurricanes in the Atlantic at this time of year and we hear that Hurricane Earl could go north parallel to the East Coast of the US. We just hope that it doesn’t pick up steam and that if it does go north that it is far off-shore.

We went to Hell-ville today to take Mark’s computer in to try and get rid of the virus that has been with us for the past month and to do some shopping. We went in with John of Sakatia Towers and between us we had ten HEAVY cases of Three Horses Beer bottles to return. These bottles hold the equivalent of two normal beers, but the glass is super thick and the plastic cases are even thicker. John also had two bottles of propane to be refilled and we had two five gallon fuel jugs, so getting all of this into Anatole’s (John’s driver) small car was almost comical. But we made it. We dropped off our empty beer cases and our food orders at Ah-Kam Oliver’s and headed on into town. Oliver’s is a little Chinese shop that does an incredible business. Prices are better than at the SuperMarche in town so it is always overrun with people. By leaving the order, Oliver can then gather the things when he has a breather and has the goods and the bill ready when we return a couple of hours later. We then went on into town. Mark went to the computer shop and John and I went to the bank. Then John and I split up but before long, we all ended up at Nandipo. The computer shop had taken Mark’s hard drive out and was scanning it for virus problems and that was going to take most of the day. So we had to decide whether to leave the computer and return tomorrow or stay until late afternoon. We opted for the latter, but we had to figure out what to do with the huge load of groceries we had ordered at Oliver’s. John had an even bigger order, so I went with Anatole to pay for our order and we put everything in the back of a truck and sent it out to Chanty Beach to be carted over to Sakatia Towers. I couldn’t believe it, but between John’s order and ours plus our fuel cans and his propane tanks we filled the entire back of a small truck. That done, I returned to Nandipo. I had seen Peter and Carla of Odulphus walking on the street when I was with Anatole, so we sent them a text message to see if we could get together for lunch. We didn’t hear back from them right away, so we wandered up the street to find a restaurant John had recommended. We found the sign and were on the street looking at it when we heard Peter and Carla yell at us from the second floor. They were just in the process of sending a text message back when they saw us on the street. This, plus the fact that we knew four of the other five customers in the restaurant illustrates that Hell-ville is really a small town and we have been here long enough to know more people than we should.

We ate and talked and waited for the shops to re-open at 3 pm. Mark then returned to the computer shop, I did the super market and fresh market shopping, and we hooked up with Ann Christine, the woman who started the school on Nosy Sakatia, and we hired a taxi together to take us back to Chanty Beach. From there, John’s motor boat met us laden with our purchases from Oliver’s and we returned to Windbird. We now have most things put away and are getting ready to eat a late dinner. It was a busy day, but a good one. We have much of the shopping done for our trek to South Africa and we seem to have a computer that works and allows us to get on the internet. So once again, life is good. Tomorrow we will stay close to home, bake bread, do some cooking, and visit with Dream Catcher and Constance to discuss plans for our trip south.

100830 Day 308 Nosy Sakatia, Madagascar–Friends Leaving Sakatia Towers