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I left the comfort of Auberge de La Table, sad at having to leave behind the two Gekko’s that had kept the insect count down to a minimum in my chalet. We were still on asphalt, on RN7, Route Nacional 7, the main road from Toliara to Antananarivo. ‘Will we do anymore rough driving?’ I asked, almost with a hint of disappointment? ‘Oh yes!’ came the answer.

We stopped to take pictures of a small number of Pachypodium lamerei, in leaf and in flower. I had to climb a small hill to get pictures of the flowers.

Pachypodium lamerei in flower

Pachypodium lamerei in flower

Pachypodium lamerei - some 3m tall

Pachypodium lamerei – some 3m tall

We were soon joined by a few kids with sticks, showing us their pets, Chameleons that I christened Chammy and Chummy. The kids requested 5,000 ariary for us to take pictures of each Chameleon. We did not go into specifics such as how many pictures we could take for this amount, but started snapping away.

Chameleon on a stick

Chameleon on a stick

Soon we got fed up with Chameleon’s on a stick, so I asked for the animals to be transferred to my shoulders and asked John to use my camera for some pictures.

Chammy & Chummey - they seem to want to come to England

Chammy & Chummey – they seem to want to come to England

Farther along, a village known for its gem stones and precious metal dealers. Lots of big luxurious houses and sparkling 4x4s among the usual shacks and huts.

Panning for gold and gems

Panning for gold and gems

Again, the sun was low in the sky – not the best light for plant photography, especially as we were looking for tiny geophytic plants. They were soon found and as before, their caudex was hidden underground.

Euphorbia primulifolia var. begardii

Euphorbia primulifolia var. begardii

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