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A long and bumpy drive!

Madagascar day eight

View Madagascar 2023 on ToonSarah's travel map.

On the road

After a night with little sleep and many bathroom visits I finally caved and took Imodium at about 5.30. It seemed to do the trick and although I was fuzzy from lack of sleep and my stomach hurt a bit, I was able to eat a small banana for breakfast.

View from the Litchi Tree at breakfast

Laurent and Said picked us up a little after eight. Although the Litchi Tree looks lovely and is in a great spot, we weren’t sorry to say goodbye to it, hoping for a few more creature comforts at our next destination.

We knew already that this would be a long drive, about five hours, and on rough roads. I wasn’t in the best state to handle that, and Chris wasn’t much better, but of course it had to be done. And in fact the Imodium did its job well and I had no further problems.

We broke the journey with a few stops. Soon after leaving Laurent spotted first a female Oustalet's chameleon, bright green in a bush, and then a male one on a fence.


Oustalet's chameleons

We had a longer stop in a village where it was market day, wandering between the stalls and for the most part being either ignored or accepted despite the cameras we carried. One lad asked me to photograph him, so of course I obliged. He didn’t want anything in return, not even to see the photo – I think he just enjoyed posing!






Village market day

As we got into a lower, hotter area we stopped in the shade of some mango trees to photograph the views.

View from the mango grove

Laurent found another Oustalet's chameleon (he had a real knack for knowing where they would be!) and brought him over to us on a stick so we could take pictures. Of course he was returned to his home patch after the photoshoot.


Oustalet's chameleon

I also grabbed a few shots along the road but was quite glad when we pulled into the lodge around 1.30. We were offered lunch straight away and agreed, though I only ate sparingly. But we enjoyed photographing a beautiful little Malagasy kingfisher who came to the pool to drink, and a few other birds too.

Malagasy kingfisher

Malagasy kingfisher and Madagascar magpie-robin

Madagascar magpie-robin

Then we were shown to our room, which proved something of a disappointment in some ways. So much for hoping for more creature comforts! The so-called bungalow was little more than a hut, although it did have a great view of the lake and tsingy (unique Madagascan landscape) from its wooden decking. There was electric lighting, solar powered, but no sockets – devices had to be charged in the office. And the promised WiFi (which in fairness we did know in advance would be only in public areas) was like the Litchi Tree's only available from 5.00 – 10.00 PM, and only via management’s mobile network.

Our room

Still we settled in a bit and while I rested on a day bed on the terrace, took a few photos and even snoozed a little, Chris went for a walk around the lake with Laurent.

View of the lake and tsingy from our terrace

Crested drongo

As the heat subsided we freshened up and went to the bar. I had stomach ache, a legacy from the previous night and the Imodium, so decided not to drink alcohol nor to eat dinner. But I did accept the bar man's kind offer of an herbal infusion which he said would help settle things. I have no idea what was in it, but it tasted pleasant enough, a bit like Earl Grey. Laurent was in the bar too, so we chatted a bit and made plans for a walk in the tsingy tomorrow. But we learned the WiFi was only available in an area they called the office, in practice a fairly pleasant sitting area with multiple sockets for charging devices. So we went there to get online and check messages. Thankfully it worked well so we were able to clear some backlogs and let people know we would only be in touch spasmodically.

We went to the restaurant at dinner time where Chris enjoyed his meal while I kept him company. Then we went back to the office to make the most of the opportunity to be online. But I was really tired and struggled to stay awake despite my afternoon nap.

At 9.30 we went back to our room, enjoying the stars overhead. The heat had subsided and by the time we went to bed at around 10.00 a cooling breeze had got up and was blowing through the hut. We tucked ourselves in under the mosquito net, more than ready for sleep!

Posted by ToonSarah 19:38 Archived in Madagascar Tagged landscapes people birds road_trip views hotel market africa reptiles

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It's horrible to get ill when you travel so I do sympathize. You kind of feel you have to keep going but at the same time have no motivation to do so.

I must say I love all of these lizards you keep finding. I am very fond of lizards.

by irenevt

Saraj, thanks for sharing your Madagaskar discoveries... Those birds are amazing, and the villagers must be fun to meet...

by Vic_IV

Glad you're enjoying these posts, Irene and Victor :) The 'lizards' here are all chameleons, endemic to Madagascar!

by ToonSarah

sorry to hear that your illness wasn't over, but luckily enough you still could enjoy the beautiful country! Love your pictures, yep, I said it a few times, but it is true, you are a real inspiration to us all!

by Ils1976

Thank you Ils - I just travel and take some photos, nothing so inspirational about that!

by ToonSarah

Yes you do! Whenever you go somewhere, your foto's just want me to go and visit that place as well ... so, yep it really is!

by Ils1976

Well, thank you Ils, I'm glad to be doing that!

by ToonSarah

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