Here in the US, Monday was a Federal Holiday which meant that I had a long weekend. I opted to stay in town and began reminiscing of my trip to Mahajanga, Madagascar in August 2017.
With the sun shining, a long weekend ahead of us, a couple friends and I packed our sunglasses, shorts and swimsuits and headed northwest to the coastal town of Mahajanga (Majunga). Nine hours in a car later and 550 kilometers behind us, our weekend began.
We arrived at Hotel Coco Lodge and about 10 minutes after checking in, the electricity went out. Forgetting where we were, we waited patiently for the generator to kick in. When this did not happen, we went down to the reception to inquire and they explained that power cuts usually don’t last long. As predicted, about an hour later, the power came back. (very different from the day long power cuts I have experienced in other countries).
Shortly after, we headed out to grab a bite. Within 5 minutes we were on the “pier”. The pier reminded me of a scaled back version of the Santa Monica pier. There was a ferris wheel, bumper cars, rides, cotton candy, ice cream, burgers and just people having a good time.
One of the ladies at the hotel (Coco Lodge) offered to be our guide and took us through this wonder while telling stories. Including the story of a foreigner who decades ago decided to go for a night-time hike and as a result was robbed, killed and dumped there. With that cautionary tale in mind, we continued on our hike in the hot sun going further up and up along the edge. This hike is not for the unfit however you do not have to super fit to do it ( I survived it 😅).
Note, the hike down was quicker than going up however it was not necessarily easier. And here is why. My hiking experiences in Mada have gone like this: the guide starts the journey on what looks like a path through the jungle, forest, circle etc and then when they get tired, they let you know that it is time to head back down. Heading back down, is no longer on a path but rather on whatever rock, naturish thing that looks stable and down you go. And as you go down, you may slip or fall and as long as you don’t break a bone, it just becomes part of the experience.