Big Tsingy, big fun.

Another long day of driving. Actually the second day but yesterday I was too sick to even open my eyes in the car. I woke up with a pounding headache and nausea around 2am, with body aches. These delightful, hangover like symptoms remained with me all day until this morning. I just sat in the car with my eyes closed, alternating between dozing off and throwing up a bit in my mouth. Delightful. I haven’t eaten much more than rice since Antisirabe. Amanda thinks I had dehydration sickness from the day in the Tsingy, but I’m convinced I had 24 hour malaria. Much more sexy and makes for a better story.

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Village classroom near Tsingy

Enough about my ailments, at this point I just have a testy tummy but am back to my normal, cheerful, loudmouth self. Again, we took not one but two ferries en route to Bekopoka. The second, shorter ferry was at sunset. While we waiting to board, a gaggle of children approached and demanded, “Madam, photo!” And then shrieked with delight when I showed them their photo. I now have about 40 photos of those kids. I also learned the Malagasy word for “candy”, and had to say, sorry no candy, repeatedly.

Our hotel in Bekopaka was cool and of course, had a pool!!! The next morning we hiked big and small Tsingy with a guide. We did the big Tsingy first, spying some lemurs on the way in. We had harnesses to secure to cables at various points. First you hike a forest with some scramble. Then hike through a cave. Then hook in and climb up the Tsingy. Then climb along the Tsingy up to two observation points and over a suspension bridge. Then hook in and climb down the Tsingy, then through another cave and back through the forest. This hike was my favorite part of the trip and likely Amanda’s least favorite.

I loved loved loved climbing over the rocks. The limestone was sharp but had so many grooves for you hands and feet. The path was so narrow and at times you had to hold onto the cable. This was not an easy hike, or safe hike! This path would never fly in the US. I love climbing up things and love heights. So much fun. My favorite moment was atop the Tsingy when we saw sifaki lemurs JUMPING amongst the Tsingy peaks. Amanda got an amazing photo.

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This friend in the big Tsingy had a baby clutched to her

Our guide seemed annoyed and wasn’t too helpful, which sucked because Amanda did need some help climbing. Early on, Li left us and went back because his stomach was bothering him, thankfully he caught up when we ascended the Tsingy and under the care of the guide, Amanda would’ve fallen to her death (her words) and I was not towing her body out of there.

After some lunch at a local place (rice, broth and some veggies), we hiked the smaller Tsingy for like an hour. That one was much smaller but still super fun (though that’s when my headache set in). Afterwards we were so sweating and dirty, we soaked in the pool until after sunset. We went to bed super early, we were exhausted.

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Amanda and I conquered the Tsingy!

Yesterday on our drive back (two ferries again), we stopped at the sacred baobab and the loving baobab. We had time to spare and hung out poolside at the bar at a new hotel before going back to baobab Avenue for sunset again. Then we drove to Morondava, which definitely had that hip, party beach vibe. We stay at a hotel on an islet, across from the beach. We had a nice dinner outside by the water.

Today we were off to Tana at 5:30am. We will stop along the road as we drive, tomorrow we fly up to the north to camp and hike in the rainforest for three nights, Marojejy National Park. We tired to convince Li to change our flight to Nosy Be and the beach, but he insists we will enjoy the trek and camping. I think Tsingy kicked our asses a bit 🙂

(In case you’re curious, we booked our tour through African Safari Tours Holiday Vacations!)

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