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June Nosy Be
) - Mamoudzou
(Mayotte) Our flight leaves about midday, which is quite funny as our ticket says 12.45
, and we've confirmed the ticket twice, giving our hotel address as well, and no-one's said anything about a time change. Just as well we came early to make sure there was no stuff-up. We're heading for Mayotte, one of four Comorian islands (actually Mayotte consists of three main islands - Grand
Terre, the main one, Petite
Terre where the airport is located, and the rock of Dzaoudzi
, linked to Petite Terre by a causeway). The other three Comorian islands (Grande Comore
) are the independent Union des Comores
, but Mayotte is an overseas territory of France
, and its people are French citizens
. They are in the process of changing its status to an overseas department, like Reunion
, which would bring even closer administrative links with France. From previous experience (French Polynesia
) we know it'll be expensive. We wait in the domestic lounge, as they don't open the international until the last moment. We then have to wait outside till the flight to the Comores
is checked in. Talk
to the French
couple we met on the snorkel trip, and who live in Mayotte. They suggested we should get a taxi together at Mayotte. It is only a 45 minute flight, open seating, and there are spare windows, even though there are transit pasengers aboard, so we get one each side, and take the usual blurry photos of the coastline and the odd island on the way. See a Reunion paper, which has three quarters of a page devoted to the historic qualification of Australia
in the last sixteen of the World Cup
soccer, which is the first confirmation we've had of the result. Fly over some coral reef on the way. It is blowing hard in Mayotte, and the sea and shoreline are not all that attractive looking, even though there are plenty of islands. We can
see that there are mangroves and no sandy beaches, and a lot of the sea is discoloured. Also take photo of small islands of Dzaoudzi (where airport is) and Petite Terre which are joined by a causeway. Have a bit of a problem in immigration. We are
last through, having filled in our forms late. They probably haven't seen too many tourists, and want to look at our onward tickets, and have a good look at our visas. Eventually
a senior officer says we are OK, and we pick up our bags on the now silent carousel, and join the French couple to go through the green lane, and out to get the 4 of us and bags into a small taxi. The taxis are newer than in Madagascar, but it is still a tight fit. They have rung a friend who has a hire-car company, but he says all the cars are gone, as it's the weekend, so back to the drawing board. The ferry to the mainland is a landing barge car ferry, quite big, and is free in this direction. Leave
our bags on the car deck, and sit upstairs at the rear. The crossing is not long, and on the mainland side we decline the French couple's offer of a lift, and drag our bags across the street to the bank, where we pick up E300
, then go looking for information. It is Saturday afternoon, and everything useful is closed, including the tourist office and all the tour companies. There is more of an African feel to the centre of town, with the women dressed in bright wraps, with scarfs tied around their hair. Quite a few have a face mask of sandalwood paste (white or pale yellow), which is supposed to make them beautiful, but sure makes them look strange while it's doing so. The size of the women has also changed dramatically - lots of very large women. Work
out from the very ordinary map, that our target hotel is up a ...
Read and see more at: http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/diannemurray/indian_ocean-06/1151215920/tpod.html
Photos from this trip:
1. ". Flying
2. ". Dzaoudzi, Mayotte from the air"
3. ". Coral reef
around Mayotte, from air"
4. ". View
from hotel swimming pool, Mamoudzou"
5. ". Brochure for Loc'Action
6. ". Beach doesn't look like the brochure"
7. ". Village
doesn't look like brochure either"
8. ". Ilots de Choazil just visible- low tide, chop"
9. ". Women
fishing with curtains, tablecloths etc"
10. ". Single
11. ". Good
snorkelling between Boueni
12. ". Beach near M'Zouazia, Mayotte"
13. ". Looking
down on Jardin Maore
14. ". Beach at Jardin Maore"
15. ". Our cheaper, but better hotel at Petite Terre"
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- published: 06 Dec 2010
- views: 1295