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East Sussex, United Kingdom
I'm a 62yr old AOL refugee, living on the south coast of England. I love travelling and sharing my photos. I live with Nina and Katinka, my two Maine Coon cats.


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Crystal Clock

Friday, 19 December 2008

Our desert retreat!

I thought that in the depths of winter you may like to see some flowers! These were outside overhanging my patio at the hotel I stayed in in the desert in Madagascar. It was a wonderful place called Relais de la Reine which means 'the throne of the queen', a French built and owned place set in the desert which reminded me of the American mid west. There are birds there, like the Bensons Rock Thrush, which are only found in this desert and nowhere else in the world. The place is full of birds, butterflies and lizards. We had three days there, the rooms were beautiful, I even had my own patio to sit on overlooking the gardens and pool. Below are some of the photos I took in the grounds.

This was my room with mosquito net which the maid used to let down in the evening while we were at dinner.

The bougainvillea which grew next to my room.

A cute lizard which was on the eaves of my cabin.

One of his friends!

I don't know what these flowers are but thought they were pretty!

These wooden statues were in the gardens outside the restaurant.

Views from the restaurant.

The patio outside the restaurant where you could eat if you didn't mind sharing your meal with flies!

The gardens were beautiful, they looked so natural in this setting.

The pink is bougainvillea, the purple is a jacaranda tree.

The steps leading to the restaurant.

I loved the wooden statues, they'd look nice on my balcony!

The blue sky would look nice over my balcony too! Lol!

Looking down at our cabins, how I wish I was back there in the desert heat!

My patio on the right with the bougainvillea overhanging it.

It was very lush considering we were in the desert!

I showed you this locust before, we found him by the roadside with a female friend.

His lady friend, I've neven such colours on an insect before, they were beautiful, they almost looked hand painted!

This next one is one of the biggest butterflies I've ever seen. They were all over the hotel grounds and were the size of a starling! When I was on my patio I kept seeing shadows going across the grass and thought it was a bird till I looked up and saw these butterflies going overhead. At the airport you have to walk out onto the tarmac to get on the plane. As we passed the back of the plane this huge butterfly came fluttering towards the engine. As it got near to the plane the engines blew it backwards at about sixty miles an hour! It just did somersaults for fifty yards then came flying back, it seemed to be having great fun!

This is the end of my postings on Madagascar and as you can see we did stay in some wonderful hotels and beach huts. It was a great trip and I loved seeing the lemurs in the wild, all the birds and chameleons too. If ever you get the chance to go I can highly recommend it, the scenery's stunning, the people are friendly and the wildlife is second to none. I hope you liiked the photos as much as I liked taking them!
I'll leave you with my favourite sunset photo, I'm keeping this journal for travel photos so probably won't post here again till I come back from the Caribbean in April.
Have a good weekend, stay warm and have a great Christmas and a very happy new year. I'll be posting on my old private journal so if you need access let me know and I'll add you.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Baobabs and tortoises!

I had a few minutes to spare so thought I'd quickly upload these, well it was a choice between doing the washing up or uploading and the uploading won! Lol!
The photo above is the long sandy path we had to walk down to get to the forest, it was 5am and still dark. It really gave our calf muscles a wake up call walking through the sand!
The next photo is of the octopus trees, these are covered with very hard thorns giving them protection from the animals there ~ who must have been still asleep at that unearthly hour!

This little fella was still asleep when we got there but he did come out of the bushes and pose for a while!

He's a radiated tortoise, one of the species who live on Madagascar. I love tortoises, I always had one as a pet when I was young right up until I left my ex when I was forty.

I love the baobab trees, remember the Tree Of Life at Animal Kingdom in Orlando? That was a man made baobab tree with carvings of all the animals on it.

The sun was just coming up by now, seemed like we'd been up for hours!

Carol and Rita watching Mohamed demonstrate how to climb the baobab. The locals make these footholds in the tree so they can climb them to collect the fruit. I'd still rather use a ladder!

Blue sky and another beautiful hot sunny day, I miss these hot sunny days now I'm back home!

The last one from the forest but I've got a few more to share of Madagascar which I missed out when I was uploading to Photobucket.

I shall say goodbye now, this entry was done in a record 21 minutes! I do like the way it loads photos so quickly, AOL was just so slow with that ~ when they would actually allow you to load them!
Have a good Sunday and stay warm, it's absolutely freezing here but we have a sunny day with a sprinkling of clouds today after the atrocious rain and gales yesterday. See you soon!
Tag by Donna today.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Into the Spiny Forest!

I've finally got a few minutes to spare to quickly add these photos. Madagascar seems like a distant memory now. the winter has really set in here with temperatures down below zero at night and not rising much in the day.
On the day we went to the Spiny Forest we had to get up at 3.30am and leave by 4.30 to get to the forest by daybreak. I almost opted out of it due to the early start but finally decided that I should go as I'd paid so much for the holiday.

This first photo is of tree bark. I'm fascinated by the colours and texture of bark as you may have noticed!

Baobab trees in the forest, these trees can be up to five thousand years old. We saw one aged two thousand years.

This one had twin trunks.

This is the big two thousand year old one that we posed in front of, it was ginormous!

I think this is a weaver birds' nest.

Fruit gowing on the baobab tree. On the right you can see the spiny octopus tree that gives the forest its name.

These are called wax camouflaged flatid leaf bugs. It was fascinating to watch them running up and down the tree branch.

Birds were collecting nesting material, it was spring time when we were there.

A two year old baobab tree. They grow very slowly.

A sun birds nest.

I liked the splashes of red flowers around the forest.

Leaving the forest we passed a village where the occupants were just waking up.

These people were going to the sea to wash their clothes.

This poor half dead chicken upset me. His head was hung almost to the ground, his feathers were all crumpled. I think he was dehydrated, lack of water was one of the problems here, it hadn't rained for almost a year.

Considering the huts we'd seen, this one was quite respectable looking.

These zebu were waiting to be harnessed up to their oxcart.

The little girl was selling necklaces for less than thirty pence each, around 70 cents. bought two from her, they were made of seeds and beans.

Mohamed and a little boy. The kids seemed to love him wherever we went!

On the way back to the hotel for breakfast.

It seemed a very hard way of life for these people but they were so happy and friendly.Well, I still have a few more photos of the Spiny Forest to add but I'll leave it for tonight and add more at the weekend. This week has flown by, probably because I worked Sunday then had Tuesay off as it was my birthday. I thought yesterday was Monday until I was told today that we had got to Thursday already! It doesn't take much to confuse me! Lol!
Anyway, have a lovely weekend. I'll try to get round to you all. I fell behind in reading as I worked 75hrs last week. Far too long but we had an emergency at work and I had to be there.
Thanks to Donna for the tag tonight.

My Creative Spirit award given to me by Gina

My Creative Spirit award given to me by Gina

Superior Scribbler award given to me by Jeannette

Superior Scribbler award given to me by Jeannette

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