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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

Sunday, 26 October 2008

On the way to the rain forest

We've got as far as the long journey to Ranomafana It took all day to drive there and nearly as long to post these photos in this journal! We left at 7.30am and arrived about 7pm. We drove through the highlands and down the plateau, stopping for a picnic lunch in a small rain forest where we saw some of the damage caused by the cyclone earlier this year. The scenery on the journey was quite spectacular. It's amazing how an island has such diverse scenery ranging from desert to highlands, waterfalls, and rain forests and all along the coast there's white sand beaches fringed with palm trees. Madagascar has the second largest barrier reef after The Great Barrier Reef of Australia.
Today I'll just show you some of the scenery we passed on our way to see the lemurs in the forest. Here's a photo of some of our tour group. l-r.... Rita, Stuart, Kathy,me. Mohamed, Teodor, Yvonne, Carol and Barry. Note my leech socks! Lol!

A waterfall

Selling craftwear

I wish I knew how to balance a bag on my head like this!

This is the local cinema!

A vegetable market

Where ever we stopped there were kids coming to see us

View over the terraced hillsides

This tree trunk had turned to stone

There were a lot of gemstones in Madagascar

A river in the Highlands

I think this is a kind of bee eater

A fisherman patiently waiting for a bite

This bridge was blown up by Madagascans, they burnt the Queens' Palace down too, seems they do these things when they get angry with the government!

Looking up the other way on the same river

More beautiful scenery

This particular tribe wore very colourful robes thrown across their shoulders

Sunday morning, these familes were waiting to go into church

A Madagascan version of a skateboard

The whole congregation were here to see us!

These are fungi in a rain forest where we had a picnic

This tree was blown down in the cyclone earlier this year

How does she balance it?!

I loved the scenery!

Mohamed loved talking to the children, they all seemed to love him too

Madagascar is the fourth poorest nation in the world. Although the people survive by growing their own food they have little else

It puzzled me why so many wore wooly hats, it was so hot there!

This lady is giving out the pens, pencils and sweets we took for the children

I asked the lady if I could take a photo of her and her baby
I love the colour of this lake which is near to the rain forest we were heading for

You can see by all the trees that we had just about reached our destination of Ranomafana National Park. It'd been a long drive but the ever changing scenery made the time go fast for us.
I'll leave it here and the next entry will be of the animal encounters we had.
I've been talking to Andy about holidays next year. We're hoping to be able to book up to go to Perth, Western Australia; a Caribbean cruise to Tobago, Virgin Islands, Barbados, St Lucia and The Dominican Republic. I'm also booking up to do a tour of Tunisia. I've been meaning to do it for a few years but what really convinced me to go was the fact that Mohamed, my tour manager in Madagascar is Tunisian and does the tours in Tunisia for Saga. During this last tour he convinced me that I'd like to go after promising there weren't many steps there! I'm holding you to that Mohamed! In Madagascar there are hundreds of steps ~ big ones almost 18" high with no hand rails! With the pneumonia it was hard work getting up them! I've told him I'll go over in May but I may change that to June as we're hoping to go on the cruise in March or April.... I don't want all my holidays squashed up too near to each other! Lol! We won't go to Perth till November '09.
Have a good week!


Lisa said...

I am so intrigued with your pictures, they are awesome. I am always amazed people can balance such things on their heads, I can't even do the traditional book for posture!

I mean no disrespect but the boy in the photo showing the robes looks as though he is wearing a tablecloth. The peoples garb is so colorful!

The scenery is gorgeous, what a contrast ~ such breathtaking scenery amidst such poverty.

The cinema is something else, I doubt they have many feature films shown there.

Very interesting, I love looking and your pics and reading your commentary.

Julia said...

I just love all your shots. Its like traveling with you, except no danger of leeches or dust and its cool, etc.... Love them all.

gina said...

oh how i love you sharing your experiences with us!! the scenery is simply amazing, but i enjoy reading and seeing about the people as well. i'm amazed they can balance things on their heads..but even more so with the size of some of those packages! you know how i love birds...i especially liked the bee eater. looking forward to your next entry. :) btw...i am hating trying to make entries with multiple pix!!

Chris/cacklinrosie101 said...

This seems like such a fascinating trip, Jeannette. I did notice that the children all seem to come around when you are taking pictures. I liked the cinema plus the scenery is just gorgeous. Did you ever find out why they wore the wooly caps? xx Chris

Lainey Laine said...

Awwww Jeannette Im loving these photos! Brilliant - you really do have a natural eye for a good shot! I especially love the people shots and the one with the lady and her baby. You are so lucky to be able to go to such interesting places. I would love to travel one day. Laine xx

D said...

great pictures as always.. love seeing and hearing about your travels.. man I'd love to balance a bag on my head too........ or would I? LOL
love ya

ADB said...

I have heard much about Madagascar, particularly at cyclone time, but it is great to see it through your pictures, Jeannette. The Malagasy appear to be fairly cheerful, in spite of their destitution.

Joan said...

Hi Jeannette loved the pictures not sure what kind of bee-eater it is a bit different from the European one. The scenery look so beautiful and a bit barren at the same time. Love Joan.

Sandra said...

Hi Jeannette, I managed to get here at last. Thanks for showing us the photos of Madagaskar. I knew nothing about the place until now. It looks really lovely there and the people, for all their opoverty are so colourful and look very happy. I wonder could I learn to carry my shopping on my head like that? It would really save my achy wrists. I think I might get some funny looks in! :o)

Love Sandra xxxx

MariesImages said...

Thanks Jeannette for taking me on your trip...Ü The sites were spectacular! And I didn't have to worry about leeches! ;)

Shelly said...

Fantastic Jeannette!!!! Thank you sooo much for sharing these with us!!! I love them.

Diama ~*a.k.a*~ Cherry said...

a tree can turn to stone? and just because its hot to you it may not be hot to them they are used to it born in raised lol.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful.... ,amazing pictures from our intrepid explorer ,you have really given us a treat sharing these wonderful pictures ,and you didnt forget my chunk of wood even though it had turned to stone lol ,as you say they are so poor the little boys with their homemade skate board ,our kids dont know how lucky they are Jan xx

Ally Lifewithally said...

Thanks for sharing your pictures Jeannette they are lovely and I enjoyed learning more about Madagascar ~ Ally x

Julia said...

Hi Jeannette, I just tagged you.

madcobug said...

I found all this to be very interesting Jeannette. Interesting places and interesting people. great photos. Hugs, Helen

Linda :) said...

I love sharing all your travels with you but I think this is my favorite so far... Your pictures are beautiful!!

natalie said...

Dear Jeanette,
Beautiful job of documenting Madagasgar! Thanks!
please come and visit me too!
It should be a standard blog with some of your old AOL buddies listed.
Great to see you again.

Sugar said...

ty for coming by my new blog. :)
love seeing & hearing of your travels.the pics were awesome!
have a good day.

lisa jo said...

MY GOODNESS. Amazing to see up close pics from a place so far away from me....gorgeous pics as always....what a beautiful yet so poor place.....thank you for sharing! XO

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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