There is no functioning road from where I was (Tamatave) to where I wanted to go (Maronantsetra) and as walking would have involved galoshes and waist deep, or worse, river crossings in the rainy season, I flew. None of my childhood memories of galoshes are good ones.
We flew in to Maroantsetra airport, watched from the side of the runway by cows, and a family under an umbrella.
This picture is through the window while I was waiting for my pack to get offloaded. Note the kid in the trailer, and the three rather sturdy local chickens that look like they could be harnessed to pull him along.
These kids below were also just outside the window. They were friendly if cautious,and what they were doing here I can’t guess. They weren’t selling anything or begging. They did not seem sufficiently well-connected to know anybody they could wait for who could possibly be traveling by plane. I guess they had nothing better to do and were here for their own amusement. Apparently many families only send one child to school, and remarkably, not always the boy. I (later) came across one family where the boy was the only one not sent, as apparently he was “not that bright”.
Of course once I stepped out of the waiting area, not only were there kids, but chickens, ducks and stalls selling things to eat. Useful, given that the local airline gave out only a small hard lolly.
All in all, my all-time favorite airport. Two pictures are sufficient for one post, so this time at least, the cows and the family under the umbrella will retain their anonymity.
While waiting for the plane to take me out, I confirmed that every time a plane landed, these (and other) kids would materialise from the surrounding jungle, and when the show was over, they just evaporated back. No begging, no selling, just here for their own amusement. Which, given that most of the local kids have only stones, sticks and odds and ends for toys, is not surprising.