Nosy Be

            Nosy Be, literally meaning ‘big island,’ is an island off the northwest coast of Madagascar known for it nice beaches, touristy feel, and the great number of tourist (mostly French) that frequent there.  Having heard descriptions of Nosy Be given by other Volunteers, I did not entirely want to go and had all but checked it off the list of places I was going to visit.  Though things being as they are, I had to cancel my own travel plans, due to time constraints, and decided to join a group of friends that were going to Nosy Be on their way back to Tana.  In the end, the trip was very nice and I really
enjoyed the island, not to mention all of the amazing food and drinks.  I think that since we arrived after the tourist season, most of the complaints of the other volunteers I had talked to were null; there being very few tourist around. 
            Having left Deigo with both of my packs completely full and my bike, not to mention everyone else with all of their stuff as well, I had to stop in Ambanja to drop off all of my extra luggage.  Catching a taxi, we made a quick trip to Antsahampano, a coastal village where the ferries and speed boats take people across to Nosy Be.  Speed boats being far faster, about an hour to get across, we jumped on one of these and arrived in Hell Ville just before lunch.  Meeting a fellow volunteer from my stage that works at the Lycee (high school) in Hell Ville, we had lunch and then grabbed another cab to Ambatoloaka, a small tourist town.  Here we got a hotel room and had a tour of the area from our friend. 
            Our first two days on the island were spent hungout on the beach and exploring the island; including going back to Hell Ville for a day.  The following day we meet a tour guide on the beach for a tour of two of the smaller islands around Nosy Be.  Taking a speed boat we traveled to our first island where we took pictures with lemurs, tortoises, and boas.  After this we took the boat to Nosy Komba where we ate lunch on the beach, snorkeled, swam with sea turtles, and just hung out on the beach.  Once leaving, we returned to Ambatoloaka, walked the beach there, and enjoyed the sunset from what had by then become our favorite ocean side bar; it having wifi and a great view of the ocean.  The next day was a lazy day.  We spent most of the day walking the beach and hanging out.  That evening we went for appetizers, drinks, and dinner for my friend’s birthday.  We ended the day at our favorite ocean side bar to see the sunset again and to try some escargot and sea urchins.  We left the following morning for our return journey to Ambanja and then to Tana.  This was not without its problems though.  Having reserved a speed boat to take us across we began our journey, only to make it halfway before the hydraulic hose on the motor broke loose and we were stranded out at sea.  Fortunately the driver was able to fix the problem and we were back on our way before to long.  

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