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  • Day100

    Nosy Be, Madagascar

    March 27, 2015 in Madagascar ⋅ ⛅ 86 °F

    Nosy Be means “big island” in the Malagasy language. That gives you a taste of the overwhelming things we have been experiencing! Nosy Be is best known for it’s ylang-ylang trees which are the basis for a perfume. The main town that we tendered into is named “Hellville”. Now, that brings many images to mind, but the name really refers to the town being named for Admiral Hell. It is a busy little city that is a bit more civilized than our recent ports of Mombasa and Zanzibar. Jeff and I took a tuk-tuk (I love tuk-tuks - they are a small covered seat that is driven by a motorcycle that has a front on it). I know, bad description, but they are everywhere and a cheap way to get around. We paid $5 for about a 20 minute tour of the town and it’s outskirts. I could ride a tuk-tuk every day!
    We took 2 boats to the island of Nosy Komba to visit a local village and a lemur reserve.
    It was interesting to see the local village which was quite poor, but have a profitable source of income from the lemur reserve. We had a taste of the homes, cooking facilities and crafts of the people who live here. They have many opportunities of natural resources, but no real way to capitalize on them.
    The lemurs are about as sweet as you can imagine. All you have to do is hold a banana and smile at them and they are on your shoulder. They are incredibly soft, fairly heavy and have velvety hands. As I gave one of them a tiny piece of banana, the gentleness of their demeanor was remarkable. They have no real predators and have lived protected in this area for thousands of years.
    This was another surprising port that yielded wonders that we’d never imagined. We approach these unusual ports with very low expectations and are always amazed at the offerings, if one is prepared to look beyond our standards.
    The first photo is a wild lemur on Jeff's shoulder enjoying a banana from his hand.
    The second photo is an unbelievably colored chameleon.
    The third photo is a beach where the locals are displaying their wares, in this case, beautiful embroidered cutwork tablecloths and runners.
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  • Day103

    Nosy Be, Madegascar

    March 27, 2015 in Madagascar ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    Nosy means island and Be means big so this is the biggest of the little islands off the coast of Madagascar. We left the not so appropriately named Hell-Ville and traveled over to one of the smaller islands Nosy Komba to see an animal distinct to the island of Madagascar, the lemur. It is a cool little animal that is very much like the monkey but with soft little hands. The little village on the island has about 2000 people and a few turtles that Nancy managed to find.
    Other then the boat almost breaking down on the way over it was an uneventful day and pretty enjoyable. We are getting where we are enjoying the nature rather then the cities in this part of the world. There is a depressing amount of poverty in some of these countries that is hard to think of an answer to. While tourism is a start it is difficult to see how that is going to sustain the population growth that is going on in these countries/islands.
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