Local “Hotely”

Travelling trough Madagascar, mainland there is basically no where to stay which resembles what we would call a guest house or hotel. Most towns over the past 30 years have been degraded to functional ruins. From a distance they look quaint, but when you walk up the main drag, the reality hits home.

Nothing has been maintained, infrastructure just abused way past its sell-by date and pieces that resemble a once functional system stare at one, as if they are pleading for help as you walk through the muddy or dusty streets, crisscrossed with dribbles of sewerage and nicely parked mounds of garbage resembling flowerbeds. That’s life in the towns.

If you are lucky enough to find a” hotely” sign, this could mean anything from a bar, an eatery or both with a few rooms leading off with beds scattered in them, and of course a disco attached to the wall of you paper thin room. Then there is the better version. These have individual rooms, never a real shower, just a bucket of water in the corner and if you are really spoilt there might be a toilet. But with them, normally you are guaranteed bed bugs and of course the loud distorted music normally till 10 when the power cuts, but on weekends the place rocks till 2 in the morning rattling your ribs with base.

These have become second home to me, this is rest day. Each one is a new challenge and some are really surprising at actually how good they are and the quality of food. The food is often the cause that I am awoken with the gurgle and squawking of a chicken having its throat cut outside my room door.

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