It was time to go away for a weekend. Five friends and I took an extremely bumpy, two-hour taxi brousse ride to Mahambo, a beach village. Every time I began to doze off during the drive, I was jolted awake by one of the plentiful potholes.
The Vanilla Café, the hotel we stayed at, had a restaurant, bar and bungalows made from bamboo and traveller’s palms, which are fan-shaped trees that are also called ravenala. Most houses on the eastern coast of Madagascar are made almost entirely out of traveller’s palms.
I have always wanted a photo of me hiking through nature in a foreign country with a surfboard. It made me feel like being in one of those surf safari documentaries. Although when I actually got out with the waves, I looked nothing like that.
Sidenote: Many of these pictures weren’t taken by me, but by my friend with a waterproof camera.
Some local dudes who owned/worked at The Vanilla Café brought us to their surf spot, waxed our boards and gave us lessons.
Surfing actually gives me loads of anxiety. I’m sure every time I go out that I will die, but I still love trying whenever there’s the opportunity.
The sun was absolutely scorching that day. I got my worst sunburn yet. But these dudes whipped up this little shelther in less than five minutes. Not pictured: A herder and his zebu grazing nearby. The beach was completely empty otherwise.
Snorkeling was quite murky, but the reef was beautiful none the less.
Chameleon! Contrary to common belief, chameleons don’t change color to blend in with their background. Their color changes based on their mood. I’m glad I am not a chameleon.
This black-and-white ruffed lemur is unfortunately semi-captive. It has an open cage but swings around in the nearby trees as it wishes. This type of lemur is known for its loud and raucous call.
We woke ourselves up at 4:30 am to catch the sunrise. Then promptly grabbed our surfboards and went for another session.
On the ride back, we made a stop in Foulpointe at Fort Manda, the last remaing fortress in Madagascar. Built in the early 1800s, the walls are made from coral, sand and eggshells, with egg whites used as cement and it’s furnished with British cannons.