8th January 2012
24.12.2011 - 14.01.2012 19 °C
Today we did a 10km walk through the south part of I’Isalo. It was brilliant and a welcome relief after the leeches. It’s dryer, more rugged and expansive than Ranomafana, and we only saw two bugs the whole day!
Additionally, there were some awesome streams, waterfalls and pools in the gorges between the canyon sandstone mountains - places I’d do anything to visit with more time to spare and without a guide. While I fully get the idea of having a guide, a 3 hour hike tends to take 6 because you stop for every plant and creature along the way, which is accompanied by a full explanation, description and a name in French, Malagassy and Latin.
It rained. Obviously. But not badly.
It’s raining heavily now, which likely has something to do with the cyclone passing the south-west coast and hitting us directly.
It’s now 6 hours later. Even Noah’s Arc is offended.
I believe we got in the better half of our trip sorted before the rain got awkward. To put it in perspective, Zina, who has lived in Tana all his life and who has been driving south through Madagascar for 11 years, said that he has never experienced a week of solid rain like this. Normally, (like just before we arrived), daytime temps reach about 40 degrees and “the rainy season” consists of expected afternoon thunderstorms. Right now, we have mid-winter-post-snow-flooding-Cape-Town happening here.
We’ve decided to skip our planned night’s stop at Ambalavao (3 and a half hours north of here) and head straight through to Ambositra- 8 hours in the opposite direction to the cyclone’s path. Ambalavao only has a paper factory anyway and an amazing reserve (that we-thought-was-closed-but-that-is-in-fact-actually-open-at-this-time-of-year), but that will be washed out and inaccessible now. It also has Zebu market that doesn’t occurr on Tuesdays and Wednesdays like the book says, but only on Wednesday and Thursdays. So be it. We get the message.
The pigs next door stopped squealing. I presume they’re in the arc.