Posted by: catamarantwooceans | August 17, 2013

Land Trip in Madagascar

10.8.13 – Saturday – The day was dedicated to a land tour with Red Tsingy as the main target. A Tsingy is a geological phenomenon, caused by erosion and the chemical properties of the soil in a certain area. A driver and a guide came with a 4×4 and picked us up at the port gate. We drove south, through and out of Antsiranana; the town gave way to small villages, women selling vegetables and fruit as well as home-made sauces displayed on wooden stalls.

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The yellow stuff is pickled mango and the reddish lemon and chilly one; we bought one of each with the hope our foreigner stomachs will react favorably. The transport vehicles say a lot about the country; a lot of old Peaugeot 404 pick-up trucks, filled to double the normal capacity, many Tuk tuks, man pulled Rickshaws – mainly for hauling goods and in the rural areas two oxen driven carts.

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We left the main road, which is in a very poor condition, to go along dirt roads, through what one can think of as an African savanna and reached the Tsingy area. First we stopped at "The Canyon", walked over to its edge, from which you wouldn’t want to fall; the view was fantastic. Pictures will not do justice but only give the general idea.

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                               The Canyon

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                            The "Cathedral"

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                      Taken with a very long lens

We then continued to a location where we could have a close up look at the Tsingy .Those, by the way, are not solid rocks but more like a brittle sandstone. Christophe, our guide, was a nice, knowledgeable young man, here showing Gili the sights.

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On the way back we stopped to try a yellow, round fruit that we saw on one of the trees. It is very hard on the outside and is filled with mushy, not very pleasant to look at substance, a bit sour to the taste.

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                    Martin the driver

Next destination was French Mountain and after the Tsingy it was somewhat of a letdown. Still, we climbed up the mountain, good exercise, nice view of Antsiranana bay and a few smallish Baobab trees.

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