11 things I forgot to tell you about Madagascar

Please forgive me, I lied. There’s one more blog about Madagascar. There are a few more snippets I’d like to share with you as well as a few more photos.

11 things I forgot to tell you about Madagascar

1.       As so many of our friends and family know, Madagascar holds a special place in our hearts. The experience of living on a catamaran for a couple of weeks on a relatively flat sea (most of the time) was one that I would never forget.

2.       Willem and Elize made this experience memorable for us and of course Duane was the catalyst of this trip – or were we his instigators? Yes, that story is in one of the blogs.

3.       Life on board was relaxing, yet busy. Between diving or learning how to, fishing, snorkeling and island hopping we weren’t bored.

4.       When we stocked up on food it was quite eco-friendly. We bought food at the market in woven baskets. There were very few plastic bags on the islands. I sincerely hope it is still the case.

5.       The clarity of the water in some places was so pristine and in other areas muddy. Russian bay was one of those places. I think it was tide related. In the evening, after we’d moored in Russian bay, we were under attack! We were mugged by little midges in their droves – like minute fighter pilots. We didn’t linger there, because they were quite a nuisance. They definitely wanted our blood, just like mosquitoes!

6.       Often we moored in a secluded bay, thinking we were on our own. A short while later a pirogue would drift towards us. Sometimes the occupant wanted to sell us fruit or fish and other times they wanted some medicine. I’m sure they were all convinced we were doctors on board.

7.       Some of the islanders worked on a bartering system from time to time. We would pay towards the produce and if we had an empty glass jar, we’d ask if they wanted it. There never was any hesitation to take them. It must have been ideal for them for storing things in the humid climate and there was very little glass available. Even the bottles for cold drinks and beers had to be returned.

8.       Did you know there is very little shade on a boat? At the stern there was a canopy that provided lovely shade, but we didn’t always want to look at where we’d been. In approximately 30 degrees Celsius heat we claimed a little sliver of shade from the mast and sail.

9.       The culture of Madagascar is quite extraordinary. There are various rituals and one of them is turning of the bones or Famadihana. About every seven years, they wrap the old bones in fresh fabric and then dance with them. It’s their way of respecting the dead.

10.   Many areas are very sacred and it would be wise to take heed of their customs. One of them is a sacred tree in Hellville. Worth having a look.

11.   Nosy Iranja and Nosy Tsarabanjina are just two of the many beautiful islands. We also explored Nosy Tanikely which is great for snorkeling and diving. Nosy Komba has a charm of its own. Unfortunately we didn’t get to Nosy Sakatia. Mitsio islands have the most interesting rock formations. I’ve seen pictures of similar formations scattered around the world.

 Sailing away to mainland

Sailing away to mainland

 Guided tour of Nosy Tsarabanjina by Duane

Guided tour of Nosy Tsarabanjina by Duane

 
 Pirogue in the bay

Pirogue in the bay

 
 Sailing to our next spot

Sailing to our next spot

 
 Island paradise

Island paradise

 
 A temporary village for fishermen for an overnight stay

A temporary village for fishermen for an overnight stay

 
 Sitting in the shade looking at the colours of the sea

Sitting in the shade looking at the colours of the sea

 
 Dive gear drying on the stern

Dive gear drying on the stern

 
 Rock formations Mitsio islands

Rock formations Mitsio islands

 

Conclusion:

I hope you’ve enjoyed my journey through a small part of Madagascar. If you haven’t read any of the previous blogs, here they are:

 

Dying to go to Madagascar after reading these blogs? Take a look:

6 Best Beaches in Madagascar