The discovery of the day is the national Malagasy airlines company, Air Madagascar. A company that takes you far from the rigid western schedules. I even wonder if it's not the ideological model of the Belgian railways.
Around 2:30 PM we are buying our tickets for the next morning 10:00 AM from Tana-Tulear. At the moment we wanted to pay, we need to go to another desk. We pay and we are told to come at 8:00 AM for the plane going via Fort Dauphin. We explain that we will have extra luggages but we cannot pay for them right now.
As I know the reputation of Air Madagascar, everything looks too simple... I am right. We arrive at 8:00 AM and everything seems very quite, too quite. The opening of the gates of national flights at 9:00 confirms our doubts. We show our tickets to the hostess and she is puzzled as the plane does not exist. The next one is at 8:00 but PM.
Back to the desk to complain and change our tickets. Of course the person who took care of us yesterday is not there. "Were you warned that the flight is canceled?". Logically, as their brilliant element of the previous day did not ask for a number, it would have been hard... The good point is that we can already leave our luggages and we don't need to have them with us for the next 12 hours.
Back to transit zone where they note that we need to pay an extra luggage fee. You know, the one that they did not allow us to pay yesterday. It's not a big deal as it's the same price but we need to go back to the well known payment desk and then back again to show our proof of payment. We love goings and comings.
So, it's now 10 AM and we have 10 hours in front of us befor leaving to the South. Let's go to the center of Tana. 3 vans are there, but no schedules and noone to give us information. After 15 minutes of patience in a stifling hot place, we decided that we will be better in the small bar we discovered the day before in front of the airport. It's 10:30 and we have our first beer... it will not be the only one.
As we started to feel the effects of the forced aperitive and we were starting to figure out that it's still a long time before we board on the plane. A phone call is surprising us at 1:30 PM.
" Sir Boucher? Where are you?
In Tana, why?
So you'll never get your plane, it leaves at 2 PM.
When I say Tana, I mean in front of the airport! We are running!!!"
I give my phone to the very kind waitress who explain exactly where we. We pay and we run to the airport. A guard of honor is waiting for us so we can pass the controls in an express way and show our luggages. We kindly apologize to the crew who was very surprised that we were told we are leaving at 8 PM...
The plane is almost empty and we have another surprise: we arrive directly to Tuléar, we don't go via Fort-Dauphin. The taxi drivers, luggage carriers and all the other negociators in anything start their show again. We jump in a 4L built to last and we finally reach the seaside. Cheers and thanks to Air Madagascar.
I really want to underline the kindness of Malagasy. I'll speak about it in another post but even if we were going and coming and got mad about it, we discovered that they really do their best when they called us and we ran to our plane. From the first to the last moment, we were surrounded with smiles and helping hands. Casually, we can say that it was a confounding day.