Monday, April 18, 2011

The White Flag

I have 9 days to go, but I am officially DONE with Madagascar. I am too tired to care about sightseeing and really just want to go home. That being said, I am gently reminding myself that I should at least try to enjoy my last week AND am drinking more. One helps a bit more than the other, oh, and there is a new beer in Madagascar called "Skol."

I took a trip to the Andringitra Mountain range where some friend are doing research. It is an extraordinarily beautiful area with quaint mud houses, staggering mountain tops and rice fields for miles. The first day was a short-ish hike in, which took about 2 hours and went straight up- literally. I think it was about a 1000m gain. Two hours is about my physical limit right now, so I was really tired but enjoyed learning about a brand new (for me) lemur habitat. The next day we got cracking bright and early. I knew the 2nd hike was longer, but really had no idea how much longer. It may have been the most beautiful and heinous 10hrs of my life. Yes folks, 10 hours. And not 10 easy hours. More like 10 unbelievably strenuous hours. And another 1000m gain. It was nearly 30km during which I climbed and descended to 2800m 3 times. At one point I remember catching myself closing my eyes while shimmying down a cliff. Not cool. Once I finally made it to camp number 2 I was (and still am) one hurting unit. My feet looked like they had been mauled by a really drooly dog and I'm pretty sure they hurt more than if they had of been mauled by a really drooly dog. I went straight to bed. No dinner. No rhum. Just bed. The next day the guy who took us on this beautiful heinous tour said, “You are very strong! Most people I take up there can't finish and we have to turn back.” This little tidbit would have been a bit more helpful about 24hrs earlier.

Always an adventure! In fact here are a few things that have happened over the last few days of driving across Madagascar:
1. We ran over a cow.
2. Paid off 8 crooked gendarme.
3. Saw my third dead body of the trip.
4. Got stuck in a traffic jam of approximately 1000000 cows.
4.1. Got stuck behind a million cows, two of which decided to get busy.

My word.

A few pics recent pics:


A wee village house

Rice feild

Tsaranoro mountains. Can you see the lemur?

My poor disfigured post-heinous hike foot! Check out the blister on my middle toe.

Cow jam.

Sorry, I know this is a bit crass. But seriously, how often do you get stuck behind, well, mating cows. Seriously.
I changed my mind. X-rated cow pic removed.

More Lobster Truck to come.


  1. Happy to see your post I was getting worried. Awsome photos, but those dont look like your toes!

  2. Now you've been to Tsaranoro where I work. Isn't it beautiful? With whom did you go to Andringitra? I did that 2 years ago...never ever again.