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We enjoyed a nice relaxed breakfast at the very comfortable Hotel Orchidee du Bemahaha  at the entrance to the village of Bekopaka before today’s outing to the Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park.

This morning, John and I were taken on a guided tour of the ‘easy’ circuit of the Park. The Tsingy is a Malagasy term, meaning ‘where one cannot walk barefoot’ while another website suggests ‘walking on tiptoes’. It refers to eroded limestone rock formations where over millions of years, water has eroded the rocks creating a desolate landscape of razor edged hills. I have seen similar landscapes in Brazil where again we navigated the rocks with great respect and still picked up a few cuts.

I’ll let the pictures do the talking:

The Tsingy National Park

Landscape in the Tsingy National Park

To make this terrain accessible for humans, an extensive system of wooden walk ways with hand rails has been built that zigzag through canyons where the exposed roots of the local strangler fig trees lead towards daylight and where occasionally our heads pop above to tops of the rocks.

John emerges from the rocky landscape

John emerges from the rocky landscape

If I understood our guide correctly, the Pachypodium here is Pachypodium menabeum, not a name that I am familiar with. A search on the internet suggests that this name, dating back to 1934, was declared invalid but has recently been resurrected.

Pachypodium menabeum

Pachypodium menabeum

The walk was made no easier by the high temperatures (around 35 C) combined with high humidity and by lugging heavy cameras and supplies of water with us. Our guide took pitty on me and carried the bottles and the heaviest of my camera+lens. As we were nearing the end of our walk, our guide became excited as he had spotted a family group of lemurs along the track.


Lemurs! Verreaux’s sifaka

I enjoyed a rest at Hotel Orchidee, catching up with emails, when the router was on and organising the images taken to date. Call it ‘Trip Admin’ 🙂

And John? He went back for another guided tour, in a canoe, up the river, to inspect a cave.


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