Moonshine Village

Sprawled on the banks of this massive muddy river that seemed to be the main exit point for all the water collected in the rainforest was a rickety rundown village, its main road consisting of runny slurry of bog, mud and whatever else could run down the slope. We slipped and slid into here after dark, doing the normal door knocking until some one braved the dark and let us in.

A door did finally open to a hut that was the size of 2 double beds and we were invited in. The chit chat ensued for a while until our Malagasy friend said its fine, we will all sleep here and they will feed us. I looked at nick, he also seemed a bit confused but in we went to meet the family and rest, just to get out of the rain anything was fine.

I looked around the meagre dwelling, a double bed, a table, and dresser and then about 1m of open space to the wall running next to the bed for about 3m, we could hardly all stand in this place let alone sleep here.

Under the bed was a chicken nesting on 5 eggs, one had already hatched, 2 pigeons were nesting on a beam above us. There were a couple of ducklings under the bed as well and then 6 yellow plastic 20 litre drums under the table. The whole room was filled with this sour bird shit smell, but there was another intoxicating fragrant smell we could not work out, hanging in the air, a puzzling smell. Looking at each other, we still could not work out who would sleep where, but dropped our kit and waited to see what happened next.

Dinner arrived, the standard boiled rice which we were now able to eat about 500 grams of and then the head begins to hang, bed time. Dauphine was voted to share the family bed, Nick lay next to the bed and I lay at the foot of the bed, but had to open the door to be able to stretch out. Then the fun started.

My head was firmly in the chicken’s nest, which it didn’t like so after a while I ended up with a freaked out hen on my head. This was followed by a wet duck coming in the door to find the ducklings. This settled when suddenly Nick yelled and his torch went on, some rates were giving him stick and eating the camera bag. This was followed by a massive cockroach in Nick’s sleeping bag. The night was the normal village one, ending with a body covered in bed bug bites by morning, but with an added headache this time – the fumes all night.

We finally found out the source, our host was the local moonshine man, the drums were full of rum and under the cabin his brewing Still was going all night.

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