Saturday, 3 September 2016

Sunset at Alley of the Baobabs

August 29

I woke up at the Kirindy Lodge feeling quite unwell. We were scheduled to go on a daylight nature walk. Po went to inform the guide that I could not do it. He came a bit later to check on me.

At about 10:30 I said that I would try. So the four of us started a hike from the lodge. I was able to get a good shot of a red fronted brown lemur (same type we saw at the waterfalls on the boat trip). But I started feeling really sick. I finally said we had to go back. The guide was quite concerned and led me by the arm all the way back.

Po had ordered soup for both of us for lunch. I could eat very little.

After lunch we headed south. It was a day to see lots of baobabs. I was starting to feel a bit better. Our first stop was the sacred baobab. José was going to show how wide it was, but a man yelled at us that we could not wear shoes in the enclosure as it was a sacred area. José said that he had visited many times over the years and never had had to remove his shoes. This was not a good place to walk around barefoot, so we left the enclosure. I did not find the sacred baobab that impressive. I was more impressed with the fire that was burning just north of there.

We carried on down the busy narrow road. There were lots of baobabs. We passed through some more fires. According to José, baobabs tend to survive fires due their water content. The rest of the habitat does not. I was just about to say something about controlling the fires when we passed a house that was burning.

Our next stop was the baobabs amoureux (baobabs in love).  We turned off the main road and went a few kilometres down a side road. There we found the two entwined baobabs and a strip mall of vendors selling little wooden baobabs amoureux. There was also a lady selling bananas which José had me visit. He has learned that I like to eat bananas, that they are good for my sometimes troublesome stomach (not related to my current condition), so is making sure that I am stocked up.

We headed on to the Alley. José got us there early, which was great for taking a few photographs before the crowds arrived, but meant that we had about three hours before I could take the obligatory sunset photo. After taking several photographs I was sorely tempted to tell José to just take us into Morondava. Although I was feeling much better, it was quite hot and the thoughts of the hotel were quite appealing.

However, I hung in there and got my shots. Me and a few dozen other tourists and locals. It turned out to be an interested cultural experience, the culture of tourists. There were Japanese, Korean, Serbian, had to be French, American and many others. I can confirm the Korean, Serbian and American because I talked to them. We had a long time to chat while waiting for sunset as we waited in the prime place for the shot. Meanwhile there was a football game (should use the world wide term) going on with tourists and locals. There were busloads of Malagasy school children.

Once the sun set, Po and I quickly left the scene so that we could be first on the road to Morandava. After a few kilometres we hit the first paved road we had seen for awhile. The road into Morandava was crazy busy with the usual of pousse pousse, motorcycles, taxi brousse, zebu carts and people. Morandava is big place, over 500,00 according to José. The sides of the roads were jammed with businesses. We travelled down to a road by the Mozambique Channel to our hotel, the Sun Beach.

As much as we could tell in the dark, it seemed to be quite nice. We could feel the wonderful sea air.

A lady came to the room  to ask our order for dinner. We had only one choice for each course, the main one being shrimp. This is a hotel that treats those on half board as a bit second rate. They seemed to have an interesting menu, but we were not shown it. Luckily Po and I eat almost everything.

It was great to get another hot shower. There signs in the room forbidding the washing of clothes. Po has decided that we are only wearing a few things and that she will be washing them herself each evening. She decided to defy the order.

We headed down to dinner. A man, I assume the owner, came out to inquire why I was only having a main course, no starter. I explained my stomach issue, which satisfied him. I was not able to finish my shrimp. The wifi was bad so we headed back to our rooms and as per our Madagascar habit went to sleep early. Sleep was easy as the hotel was very quiet.

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