After a brief stop in Paris for a nice visit with Carr's family, we took a 12 hour flight to Antananarivo (aka Tana), capital city of Madagascar. Overall I found Tana to be a pretty gross, depressing and stifling place. The overcrowded streets exude a sense of moribund poverty and pollution. Everything feels grimy, it stinks, and the choking smell of exhaust/diesel fumes is ubiquitous. Those people who were not begging or trying to sell us something were however generally pleasant. We knew ahead of time that we would not want to stay long, but unfortunately travel in Madagascar (like many other third world countries) can be difficult to arrange and we ended up staying two rather long days before finally escaping. One of those days we took a few taxi-brousse ("bush taxi", like a colectivo - a big cheap van completely stuffed full of locals and occasionally a chicken or two!) to visit a lemur sanctuary in the countryside. We also strongly suspect the rather oily hotel agent was lying to us about all the problems he was encountering with arranging our exodus, in an attempt to sell us more expensive travel options. What a slimy jerk. It was quite a ride when we did leave (see next blog entry)!