Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

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MargoZ
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Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by MargoZ »

I've never met anyone who has been to Madagascar and, working on the basis that many Stampboarders may be in the same position, here are some pictures Glen and I took last week travelling about the central area of Madagascar, which may be of interest.

There were LOTS, but I've pared them back to the basics. :mrgreen:

(Our African Safari photos the week after are here - https://tinyurl.com/GreatFishRiver )

Enjoy!
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Antananarivo airport welcome ...... some Malagasy women wear a natural cosmetic which is a bark residue. Interestingly Burmese women also use a similar wood residue to protect their skin.

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Antananarivo streetscape - even in the capital city rice paddies are all pervasive.

Antananarivo is universally abbreviated by locals to 'Tana'.

Madagascar was first settled by groups from Borneo before the 5th century AD.

There has since been significant settlement from various African groups but there is a strange ambience of South East Asia in Africa.
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Sunday recreation - the national sport is Rugby, but soccer is huge too - both were being played on this field in Tana.

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Washing Malagasy style - few people have running water or power, so even in Tana washing is carried on at the river.

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Pousse pousse drivers - the Malagasy rickshaw, a popular form of transport in all sizeable towns. Foot power even uphill pulling 2 or 3 passengers as we see here.

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Pousse Pousse drivers smoko ....

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Typical central highlands rural landscape - wet or dry paddies with two storey brick houses. Usually a few zebu grazing in the paddies.
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Typical Malagasy eatery -"Hotely"- lots of rice, fresh vegetables and zebu - the major livestock. Washed down with "Three Horses" beer.

Of course this is Stampboards so my thread would not be complete without a picture of Glen at a Malagasy Post Office - very remote in the countryside. :lol:

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French colonial legacy - the characteristic French roadside milestone.
Language is another. though many people only speak Malagasy (linguistically unique- closest language is a dialect from Borneo). Almost no-one speaks English.

Oh, and the bread - even the humblest village seems to have good baguettes.
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Main rural transport is the taxi-brousse (a jammed packed minibus). For many the only alternative is walking to and from markets and manually carting back food plus charcoal for cooking and potable water. Kids not exempt.

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Ladies on their way to the Ranomafana market.

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Village kids - even the youngest child has to pull their weight in the family economy but unlike many pampered western kids with everything these kids with nothing can still manage a cheeky smile.

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This little guy aged about 5 is cutting twigs with a machete in the countryside to be converted to charcoal for cooking.

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Malagasy folkloric performance.

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This little one was watching Mum in the folkloric dancing and hoping for a chocolate biscuit ...... she was not disappointed!

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Our 'suite' at Ialatsara Forest camp. No power, lights, or running water, but fabulous food rustled up by Daniel the greenie owner.
Wildlife is hugely at threat from deforestation, but there are wildlife warriors like Daniel doing their best to teach local villages to live sustainably.

And that brings us to the fabulous wildlife - the following pictures were all taken at Ialatsara Forest Camp, Ranomafana National Park, or The Lemur Park.

All the local guides who accompanied us were articulate, enthusiastic and dedicated.

There are definite potential benefits for the country through ecotourism - Ranomafana is a great example, but huge challenges and time is running out at the forests are cut down and converted to charcoal ....
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Setting out on our lemur hunt.....and this is what we found:


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Cunningly camouflaged Chameleon


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Re: Madagascar- a road less travelled

Post by goof »

Great photos Margo, looks like you've had a lovely trip so far. The chameleon photo is superb.

I'm impressed by the eco hotel, better to be in the middle of the action without running water than miles away. Can't imagine it would keep the damp away from the stamps in there though!!

Have a wonderful final leg of your journey.

regards
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Re: Madagascar - a road less travelled

Post by JonEboy »

Brilliant photos and narrative - thanks Margo.

Like most others here I expect, this is the nearest I've ever been to Madagascar
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It doesn't look a patch on the real thing!

Tell me, are the locals always so keen to let Glen loose with the ink pad and cancel? It seems a familiar photo!

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Re: Madagascar - a road less travelled

Post by tooler »

GREAT PHOTOS! :D

Thank you Margo for sharing these.

You are right, I will never be lucky enough to visit these wonderful places. Thanks to Stampboards, I have seen a lot of it.
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Re: Madagascar - a road less travelled

Post by AMark »

Margo,

Those are fantastic photos. :D

I love the city and the countryside shots, life as it happens. :D

Please keep them coming.

Thank you for sharing.

Cheers!
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Re: Madagascar - a road less travelled

Post by Global Administrator »

A very backward place.

Appalling roads. BASIC accommodation outside Tana

Madagascar is FAR larger than either France or Spain etc.

A few more of the random pix I took -
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A totally WOODEN bicycle!

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Coffee is a major crop

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Stunningly disguised Chameleon

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Re: Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by Brummie »

Thanks Margo, looks like you are having a great time.

I love the smiles on the children.

After seeing how the women wash there I will never complain about washing or for that matter any housework again. :shock:
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Re: Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by Wolfgang »

Great and nice impressions of your journey - thanks!
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Re: Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by henrik_rrb »

Fantastic photos from an unusual place! It seems like you two are having a great time! Thanks for showing us, as others have written already, it's probably many of us who'll never get there. But now it's on my wish list at least! :)
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Re: Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by yiphinwai »

Great place! Nice to this strange island nation.
Also, do-it-yourself postmarking the stamps :lol:
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Re: Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by KevinHedley »

Thanks for the virtual trip. It might just put us in the mood. :wink:
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Re: Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by Tassie_Stamps »

Great pictures, thanks for sharing them.

Looks like a fantastic trip. :D
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Re: Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by Global Administrator »

yiphinwai wrote:
Also, do-it-yourself postmarking the stamps :lol:
Yes they were for a couple of members here. HOPE they arrive! :)
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Re: Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by kerailija »

These are really stunning photos with some great details. I can only thank You for sharing them.
So thanks :D

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Re: Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by ewen s »

Great pix Margo and Glen - another place I'd love to visit some day. The Lemurs would be something else to see in their natural habitat I reckon. Did you get to see them leaping around?


Cheers,

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Re: Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by sukhothai »

MargoZ wrote: Image
Typical, just bloody typical! These bloody postal workers in Madagascar are always just too slapdash in their work, never looking at the letters they are franking and probably working at a snails pace too!

I would've complained and got this guy sacked! :wink:
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Re: Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by ScotsmanAbroad »

Outstanding photos and commentary! Love it! :D

A few centuries ago, Africa was carved up by European countries, now there is a new landgrab going on. Asian powerhouse economies (China, Korea, and Japan) are buying up all the land. I've heard that Samsung owns huge chunks of Madagascar! Don't know if it's true.
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Post by stallzer »

What an interesting place. I love the Pictures of the wild life!
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Re: Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by warm »

Great stuƒƒ

Ta for sharing

Looking forward to see more

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Re: Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by aethelwulf »

Your pictures of Tana look so much different from in Casino Royale. 8)
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Re: Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by parryaw »

did you see any orchids there? madadascar is famous for its orchids too!
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Re: Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by Global Administrator »

parryaw wrote:
Did you see any orchids there?

Madadascar is famous for its orchids too!
We saw some wild ones in the forests. I'll see if we took any pix!
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Re: Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by MargoZ »

Just for you, Parryaw:

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Most of the forest we visited was 'secondary' - but dense all the same.

The remaining 'primary' forest is relatively inaccessible (which is probably what has saved it) - that's probably where the best orchids are, but there were some interesting and diverse plants even in the secondary forest.
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Re: Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by Lakatoi 4 »

Extraordinary pictures, the close up's of the animals and flowers are particularly good.

Looks like you two had some fun over there.

A belated Happy Birthday to Glen by the way :!:
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Re: Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by parryaw »

Those are some nice orchids! madagascar is home to great wild life and orchids!

Here are a few other madagascan orchids.

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angraecum sesquipidale which is pollinated by this fascinating moth

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angraecum magdalenae, i have one of these but it is yet to flower...

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These are not my pics, i lifted them off the internet :)
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Re: Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by Allegheny »

Nice pictures from Margo and Glen!!!!!
It's like being there myself.

Thanks for sharing them with us
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Re: Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by Allanswood »

Margo's Chameleon photo would make a nice stamp...


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Post by MargoZ »

I love it Greg- you have missed your vocation 8)
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Post by Global Administrator »

Greg - that looks better than most ISSUED stamps! Great art skills.

We saw quite a few Chameleons in Madagascar.

One big one shown below in the jungle in first 2 pix, we moved from a branch to a red tree, and his colour started changing slowly to match the new surroundings.

3rd pix is of a small Chameleon in daylight .. can you see him? How the guide did sure beats me!

All the other pix I took on a nocturnal walk down a road in the jungle. Pitch black and guide saw these (somehow) via torchlight. One is a small green frog.

The tiny green one at end of a fern frond showed up in his torch as a slightly different colour.
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Can you spot the 2" long Chameleon? Our guide did, walking along a trail. :mrgreen:

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All the photos we took above, were using a tiny little point and shoot hand held camera.

Anyone who took higher quality cameras there, would have had a field day.
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Re: Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by Global Administrator »

ScotsmanAbroad wrote:
A few centuries ago, Africa was carved up by European countries, now there is a new landgrab going on. Asian powerhouse economies (China, Korea, and Japan) are buying up all the land. I've heard that Samsung owns huge chunks of Madagascar! Don't know if it's true.
I think that was the PLAN by the previous President Ravalomanana to sell or lease HALF all arable land in Madagascar to the Koreans. THAT lead to his demise in recent years, and he is now in exile in South Africa. :lol: :lol: :lol:

The Military coup that outed him in 2009 has yet to be tested at an election, but one was announced whilst we were there, for later this year.

In Madagascar ancestors are very heavily respected and revered and "turning the Ashes" is regularly done of the deceased, to the accompaniment of a feast - I snapped this one in the countryside -

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These people live a subsistence lifestyle, and while they generally have no money, they have land to grow anything they plant in it, so at least the family are fed.

Formal paper titles to land in the country do not exist - it is just accepted that this piece of land belongs to X and Y and Z family.

So the large steps forward since 2002 under President Ravalomanana came to a grinding halt when he attempted to hand the Koreans much of the land. And things have sagged politically since.

Madagascar has an abundance of natural resources, and well governed it could have a bright future.

We were in a National Park, and saw 1000s of alluvial gold particles sparkling in a creek running under a bridge 1 metre under us. Amazing.

Glen
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Re: Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by Brummie »

Brilliant camouflage, I only just spotted the one in the foreground, I thought it was part of the branch but saw the one at the back left.

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Post by Allanswood »

You just knew I had to give it a go...
My first mini-sheet. :D


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I quite like it, just a bit of fun using your images.
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Re: Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by parryaw »

Nice! Looks better than the current stamps they are issuing !
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Post by Global Administrator »

Greg .. you really have the knack for that stuff .. amazing. Brilliant work, from very low rez images really. :mrgreen:

This little PO in the remote rural backblocks had never had tourists in it I do not think, who wanted real stamps.

We had a few members who asked we mailed a card, and we did so.

You'll note the vertical stamp is in 2 currencies, the old "FMG" one from years back, and the newer "Ariary" as well, so was in his stamp drawer for some years I'd guess.

The actual postage rate to Europe, Americas and Australia was 1900 Ariari. HOWEVER as this tiny place never sees tourists (our driver only stopped there to cash a money order thingo to pay for petrol!) they needed to overcharge us the 1960 Ariari (about $A1) as shown below, as they clearly had no need to keep any 1900 value stamps on hand.

If you want to final Tweak your mini sheet to be 1900 Ariari face value, they'll look 105% spot on! (and "Chameleons" needs no apostrophe!)
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I find some wild animals in my mail box yesterday. :mrgreen:

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From their hollydays in Madagascar Margo and Glen send me this nice postcard.
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Stamps (close up)
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Thank you.

Hope you two have a great time there.
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Post by Allanswood »

Done, I think? I've changed the image. :D
I'm seeing lime green images everywhere now...
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Post by MargoZ »

Fantastic Greg. Can't believe you whipped such a lovely design so quickly.
I think we should start a campaign to get you on AP's design team.
Now have a glass of Midori :lol:
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Re: Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by ewen s »

Great pics of the chameleons Glen and Margo. Where do you rate Madagascar on the list of places you have visited?

Cheers,

Ewen :)
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Re: Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by Global Administrator »

ewen s wrote:
Where do you rate Madagascar on the list of places you have visited?
Ewen, I have been very lucky to have travelled to over 125 countries and my usual answer is my favorite 'country' is the NEXT one I am visiting on holiday. :)

As all well know every destination is very different, and THAT is the wonder of travel. Take each one at face value, and never pre-judge and you will enjoy it.

For instance even on this short trip the contrast country to country could not have been greater. We had a day in Singapore who regard themselves as the "Master Race" in Asia with everything glitzy and shiny, and up market shopping malls that stretch for miles. We were there on their 48th "National Day" and our guide managed to involve us in a rear end traffic accident.
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Then we flew to Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, which has its own charm but is several cogs down the totem pole from Singapore. And where almost no-one speaks or understands English oddly, despite 150 years of British rule.

I visited the "Blue Penny" Museum there in Port Louis, that contains the multi-million dollar MINT pair of the legendary "Post Paid Mauritius" stamps -
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At Mauritius we arrived at the airport check-in desk THIRTY (30) minutes before scheduled take off for our International flight, as our dopey guide had driven us to the other side of the island to show us beaches, and not allowed nearly enough time to get to airport.

My best begging and pleading and wheedling accomplished, we JUST got on the once a day flight to Madagascar, as the doors were closing.

Bare traces of roads, wildly overcrowded, and being ecologically raped by locals by who do understand if you cut all tress down for firewood (no-one there can afford gas bottles and there is no electricity to speak of) and never re-plant, you are in VERY serious trouble going forward. It is quite a few cogs down the totem pole even from Mauritius, but very interesting in its own right. :D
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From the 4th world conditions of Madagascar above, where we stayed in a remote jungle camp with no power, running water or light, direct to the opulence of a 6 Star Safari camp in the South Africa Eastern Cape. :mrgreen:
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And from there a few days exploring the Cape Of Good Hope where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans merge -
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Then a flight to Mumbai/Bombay and 8 hours later, back into the 3rd world, and then a day in Thailand, so each place has its own attractions. :D
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Re: Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by ewen s »

What a contrast between those places! After seeing all those pics the travel bug is well and truly biting again
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Re: Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by patg »

Image
From the 4th world conditions of Madagascar above..........
"Meats back on the menu Boy's!"; or perhaps better known as the local version of Mickey D's. :D

Other than that, great pictures.

Thanks,
patg
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Re: Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by Flash »

Wonderful photos and commentaries.
Thanks for sharing that with us.
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Re: Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by Catweazle »

What a great holiday - going to different places around the world like this sure beats ol' Bali and Christchurch anyday!
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Re: Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by aethelwulf »

ScotsmanAbroad wrote:Asian powerhouse economies (China, Korea, and Japan) are buying up all the land. I've heard that Samsung owns huge chunks of Madagascar! Don't know if it's true.
From the Daily Telegraph article China 'to rent five per cent of Ukraine' today,
Madagascar was forced to scrap a plan to lease 1.2 million hectares to South Korea in 2009 after angry protests against "neo-colonialism".
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/1033200 ... raine.html
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Re: Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by jcs137 »

My sister who is in her late 70s and her daughter spent nearly a month travelling from one end of Madagascar to the other last year.

They mainly used trains to get from one place to another and apparently had no illness or problems.

Mind you she's a tough lady being interned by the Japanese in China when a child and having worked in both Guatemala and Gabon over the years.

Great pictures by the way.
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Re: Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by MargoZ »

Good on your sister- she sounds very intrepid!

You certainly need a month in Madagascar to scratch the surface- its a very big and diverse place.

We only travelled down the centre and sadly we didn't get to the west where the baobabs are mostly located:

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Re: Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by ajolicoe »

Lovely pictures really! I would love to go there but my better half would have a fit with the conditions of the housing and the food:)
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Re: Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by aethelwulf »

All's not picture-perfect in Madagascar, according to today's BBC,
Madagascar bubonic plague warning

The Red Cross and Pasteur Institute say inmates in the island's dirty, crowded jails are particularly at risk.

The number of cases rises each October as hot humid weather attracts fleas, which transmit the disease from rats and other animals to humans.

Madagascar had 256 plague cases and 60 deaths last year, the world's highest recorded number.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-24461474
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Re: Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by Global Administrator »

Thankfully we dodged the Bubonic plague there! :lol:

However Margo was ill for weeks afterwards.

She went and had all tests done, and got a call from the NSW Infectious Diseases Department .. before her doctor even saw the results!

She had something nasty called Shigilosis or something sinister sounding!

She was banned from handling food preparation, or mixing with young children, or the old and frail. Luckily she does none of the above, and she was OK after some tablet courses.

Seems we got it from staying at a jungle camp in the Madagascar mountains which has no electricity or running water etc, so the mind boggles at how food was prepared!

Glen
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Re: Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by gmoney »

This thread has had all images transferred to Imgur and has been restored to its former glory by the volunteers working in the "Anti Ransom Forum".
John
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Re: Our Madagascar PHOTOS - a road less travelled

Post by Global Administrator »

Allanswood wrote:
You just knew I had to give it a go...

My first mini-sheet. :D
Image
I quite like it, just a bit of fun using your images.
Great salvage work John ..... many thanks. :mrgreen:

It was worth it to preserve Allanswood's amazing Stamp Miniature sheet, made from the happy snaps with a toy camera we took there at night-time. 8)

Glen
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