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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, 9 November 2008

Baobabs, lemurs et al!

I couldn't resist making the above photo black and white, it just seemed to suit it ~ and Madagascar does seem to still be in a bygone era with no mod cons!
We were happy to be leaving central Madagascar and heading for the white sand beaches ~ who wouldn't be?!
On our way there we passed villages and red sand plains which had the baobab trees growing on them. The baobab stores water in it's trunk and people and animals tap this in the dry season. The fruit is called monkey bread and is also eaten by people and animals. The trees can live for over two thousand years. We saw one that was nearly two thousand years old when we were in the Spiny forest near our beach resort.
As we were driving along I saw a very big bird in a tree, I asked Carol if she'd seen it and she said yes.... it was enormous! We called out to Ian that there was a big bird a way back. He just looked at us and turned round! I think he hadn't forgiven us for being suppressors when we didn't tell him about the other bird we saw. We went on and on ~ like women do! Finally when we got off the coach he asked if we'd really seen a big bird! We said yes, it was ginormous and he'd missed it, it could have been an unknown species! There are still animals and insects being discovered on the island and it serves him right if it was some undiscovered species! Fancy not believing us; we even named it Jenerol Ginormous! Jenerol came from a corruption of our names.... Jeannette and Carol and the ginormous came from it's size! We passed it too quickly to get a photo.
Where ever you go in Madagascar there are kids willing to pose for free! They all seem to carry their smaller brothers and sisters.

This was a market place we passed, they have these in every village on the main road, hoping to sell food and clothes to weary travellers I suppose.

The big root vegetables are cassava which is served boiled.

These water holes are rare in the hot dry south.

Although he couldn't speak English, Madagascans speak French, this little boy made it clear that he wanted his photo taken and wanted to see himself in the digital display!

Baobab trees, these are probably a few hundred years old.

Some more of the living accomodation. The tribe here is nomadic so only build homes from straw. Non-nomadic tribes use stones and wood. Some of them seem to be falling down before the people move on.
More baobabs, the red soil is very rich in iron.

This iguanid was on the wall of the toilet! I use the term toilet loosely, it's just a wooden hut with a hole in the ground! It's best to hold your breath in there; if you can imagine a dry hole in the ground where people go to loo with no flushing facilities and 100F outside. It smelt pretty rank! Some of the toilets I just couldn't even get near! Luckily you don't seem to want to go so much when it's so hot out. Most liquids you drink are just perspired off.... thankfully!

More baobab trees.

We stopped at Zombitse Park, a small area of forest where brown mouse lemurs live. First of all we spotted this large chameleon.

There were also some rather pretty flowers in the forest.
I loved this bamboo bark, it's so decorative don't you think?!

It's another one of those iguanids that I saw in the toilet, I could spend longer getting him into focus out here! I didn't want to stay in that loo any longer than I had too!

I love epiphytes that grow in trees.

Here's another chameleon, he looks like he takes his job as a tourist attraction very seriously!

Now, this little guy just melted my heart! He's a brown mouse lemur, they're about 8" tall and absolutely adorably gorgeous!

If I could have brought him home with me I would've done! It was love at first sight!

He certainly has the wow factor doesn't he?! They're nocturnal and he'd been asleep in a tree trunk we passed. He must have heard us talking and come out to see who had disturbed his sleep! We were only about 5ft away from him, I think he was the highlight of my holiday! I've never seen such a beautiful animal in the wild before.

After we got back on the bus we continued heading south till people on the bus started shouting to Manou, our driver, to stop.
This first one was taken from the bus window as we drove by.
It's a sifaka lemur, they're very noisy and have a raucous cry.
He looks like a man sitting in the tree doesn't he?!
The next one I took with great difficulty as he insisted on sitting in the tree with the most branches! Try focussing on him instead of the branches, it's near on impossible but at least he came out clear enough to see in a photo!
I managed to get closer for this one and he came out clearer. I wished he'd come down and stand on the roadside for a well posed photo but he wouldn't!
There's still quite a way to go till we get to the beach with more photos of ramshackle huts and sand dunes. Oh, the sands dunes we had to climb! We had a very nice minibus for our tour which was very comfortable but once we got to the south the roads were just sand, white powdery sand like talcum powder! It was impossible to drive the bus on these roads fully loaded so we had to get out and walk; stopping every so often to dig Manou, or rather his bus, out of the sand. It was useless trying to rev up as he'd just sink deeper into it! Anyway, more of that next time!
I'd just like to say thanks for your comments on the last entry about Donna. I was so shocked when she emailed to say she'd had a heart attack and surgery. I thought she'd just stopped posting because she was angry about her journal not being migrated but I should know that it takes more than that to keep Donna away from her computer! I'm sure she'll get over this with our prayers. I'd decided this journal was going to be for travels only but Donna has been such a great friend to me that I had to post on here; my other journal, Welcome To My Travels,imported from AOL is private and although I added readers not many have replied to accept. If you want to read it then I'll re-add you, just leave a note in the comments.
Another thing before I go! Andy and I are going to the Caribbean on a cruise in April. We'll be visiting the Dominican Republic, Tortola in the Virgin Islands, Barbados, St Lucia and Antigua. I'm booking it this week after clearing it at work.
Have a good week, stay warm out there!


Joan said...

I think that holiday is the best wildlife one you have been on to my knowledge it has been great how do you think your cats would have reacted if you had brought home that little Lemur. Love Joan.

gina said...

i think it's so cool being able to shoot all the varied animals in the wild. i remember in mexico we saw several iguanas...huge....just sitting and sunning. so interesting ins't it? i can see why you'd want to make a pet of that small lemur, he was adorable. i've also enjoyed seeing the peoples from the country, though often sobering as they have so little. i know you are excited about your upcoming trip!

Lainey Laine said...

Brilliant entry again Jeannette - I just simply love your photos and we are learning alot too. I love those trees! Yes we are praying for Donna. Bless her. I dont think Im on your other jounal. Laine xx

Jeannette said...

My favourite pictures are the lemur, I want him!! the yellow flowers and that beautiful bark. Thanks for sharing.

Connie said...

It all seems lovely in the photos-but you were really roughing it out there,the heat-digging out the bus,sweating constantly,and Lord knows what all.But you made it seem like it was like a walk in the park.It's nice to visit these foreign lands vicariously through you.I'll never see the lands that you have and with your photos and stories -it's like being there with you.
Many hugs to you and Andy


Chris/cacklinrosie101 said...

I'm still so amazed at Madagascar. The trees are really different. What amazes me is how friendly the children are. They are so adorable. I love the b&w shot.

Did I get an e-mail and respond to you private blog? Ugh, I'm getting so darned forgetful. If I didn't, I loved to be added. xx

Ally Lifewithally said...

Jeannette thanks for this lovely entry ~ I really enjoyed the read and the Pictures are great ~ I too would love to have that little Lemur he was so cute :o) ~ Ally

Julie said...

I just love your photo's as you well know. Thanks again for sharing.

Sandra said...

Hi Jeannette,

I was listening to your journal when suddenly the man stopped talking in the middle of the entry! Silly! Great photos again,the lizards are fascinating and the baoboa trees are so strange looking. I think the epipthytes are orchids. I know that some orchids are known as epiphyical because they draw water from the air and that one certainly resembled either a Vanda or a pansy orchid. Hmm...the toilets don`t sound that good but when you gotta! :o)

Love Sandra xxxx

Sandra said...

Hi Jeannette,

I was listening to your journal when suddenly the man stopped talking in the middle of the entry! Silly! Great photos again,the lizards are fascinating and the baoboa trees are so strange looking. I think the epipthytes are orchids. I know that some orchids are known as epiphyical because they draw water from the air and that one certainly resembled either a Vanda or a pansy orchid. Hmm...the toilets don`t sound that good but when you gotta! :o)

Love Sandra xxxx

Kath said...

Brilliant posting as always Jeannette.The pictures are terrific.I love the cutie pie Lemur.Who wouldn't want to take him home LOL!!Thanx for sharing Take Care God Bless Kath xx

lisa jo said...

If you post in the private blog, please send me an email letting me know. The lemurs are gorgeous....the one where you got so close is amazing!! I can not imagine having to dig a vehicle out of sand. You are a strong lady! XOXO

and now i am itchy from thinking of that reptile looking thing near a toilet. eww!

Adirondackcountrygal said...

I love the lemur too, you should of brought several and sold them on the black market.

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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