Our plane was in very good mood this morning when we arrived at the airstrip. The reason for that was that it had local company. Planes registered in Madagascar have 5R. Two had joined and they were exchanging their stories.
Our day was divided into two parts. First we would fly to an airstrip half way to our final destination Fianarantsoa, just to cut down the time on the road a bit. From there we would go visiting a forest where we would expect to see Lemurs and then after another drive we would visit a place where silk is being produced.
So off we went into to air.
The colour of the landscape is divided into two parts. Wherever farming is done – mostly rice since it is the food number one in Madagascar – everything is green. And where no farming is done, the land has a red-yellow-brownish touch, at least now. Everything will get a green touch once the rainy season is coming.
The following picture was not taken during the landing. It was taken during the flight. At the speed of 250 km/h and an altitude of less than 100m you have quite a different experience, sharp turns included .
We were following some hills for a while before turning right and heading to the next airstrip.
Recently planted trees.
Now this was the real landing on the airstrip which you could also mix-up with a farm field.
Our travel safe! Actually we have several of those. They are so well hidden somewhere within the plane that we can’t find them ourselves from time to time.
Shortly after arriving we got company, interesting company I must say. Out of nowhere two military men were showing up. You never know what’s going to happen next.
But they were obviously just bored and wanted to have a small talk with Georg and I have to say that the shiny green crocs are a very good counterpart to the red hat.
While Georg was flying the plane to our next destination we started our journey on the road. We encountered quite a number of oxen on our way to Fianarantsoa and until the battery was exhausted every ox was photographed. You never know if you will see another one anytime soon …
We also took a quick break at the “Ayers Rock of Madagascar”
Some more rice fields
Eventually we arrived in the place were we would be doing a hike into a forest in order to see Lemurs. From all the possible hikes we immediately ruled out the longest and shortest one and in the end decided as a good Swiss compromise on the medium hike of 1.5h.
If you are short of drinks, this is the place to top up your supplies!
Really weird attraction for the tourists.
Finding lemurs in this forest was not a problem at all.
They were around everywhere and not afraid of us.
Our guide explained quite a bit about them but since I was sneaking around in the forest to get into a good positions to take photos I didn’t get all the information.
“Les Trois Lemurs” as compared to “Les Trois Mousquetaires”
Little baby giving mama a hard time.
Beside the Lemurs we also saw a number of other animals and plants. Here is Frank, our guide explaining how the leaves of a special bush can be used to cure almost everything.
We were feeding the first chameleon we found with some insects. Based on previous experience I knew that it is quite tricky to get a nice shot with the tongue fully out. But thanks to advances in modern photography my camera is able to do 12 frames per second which is reducing the likelihood of a missed shot quite a bit. The following pictures is the first shot where the tongue is out.
On the next photo, which is exactly 83ms later, the tongue has already reached the insect and on the next one you would see it already back half. That’s how fast it goes.
Unfortunately I don’t remember the name of those insects. They are very organized, many order of magnitudes more organized than my bag which had reached the maximum chaos level after a week of travel. By now I have used all the gear I will use on this trip. The rest is laying underneath in a chaotic order and the only reason it is there is to fill the bag.
Back to our little hike in the forest. We also saw a green chameleon.
Our hike continued to a view point overlooking the whole forest.
One of our guides was playing Tarzan. The other photo shoes a cave in the rock which was used to burry people.
This bridge looks very “interesting”…
I am still looking for an answer why in Madagascar you can find many houses with two floors. This is quite unusual for Africa and obviously requires proper architecture.
After the hike we were driving to a place where silk is produced. The women are spinning silk thread.
All colours except blue are natural.
Weaving the silk.
From there it was another long drive to our final destination Fianarantsoa, which is a city of 200000 people.
And guess what happened then? Correct, Gin Tonic to flush down the dirt of the road.
Today we also consider to try some wine from Madagascar. Never ever again! It takes like … something else …