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I was a bit previous about closing the trip yesterday.

For a start, John’s images reminded me that on the way to Christophe and Nadia’s home, they took us into the capital for a meal at the Cafe de la Gare, the old colonial railway station that boasted the first wifi connection for four days. There was an email message from Angie saying that the flight number for our arrival home did not exist. There were no messages from Netflight to suggest cancellations so I asked her to meet us at the airport as arranged.

After breakfast Christophe took a quick look around his collection to see how his plants had survived during his absence (fine) and then John started to sort his images and Christophe and I went through my images and with the help of Christophe’s knowledge and his substantial library were able to put names to many of them including snakes and lizards – a great help!  There was a good deal more that we saw than the plants and wildlife that are included in this blog. The amount that we saw and recorded is overwhelming. It is literally the case that at times we could not see the wood for the trees!

By about ten o’clock, when we were in advanced waiting made, I suggested that John & I might as well wait at the airport, in the hope that there may be wifi available. Christophe took us to the restaurant at the airport where huge tevesision screens announced in French that Donald Trump had won the US presidential election. I aske3d an English speaking waitress if I had understood correctly. She smiled and said ‘yes’ and added ‘Good luck!’ Time will tell how significant in world history this result will prove to be.

We again thanked Christophe for an excellent trip and reminded him that he and Nadia were welcome to visit us in the UK whenever they are visiting his Mum in France.

If the blog has encouraged you to go and see Madagascar and it’s plants and wildlife for your self then I can recommend our guides without hesitation. Contact details and a range of travel options can be found on their website at


Don’t be put off by the fact that the site is in the French language. On my laptop, if I open up a foreign language website with the Oracle Chrome browser, a right mouse click will provide the option to translate the text to the language for which your computer has been set up. Christophe speaks excellent English so once you meet him at airport, you have no language problems.

Organisers of C&S Conventions in the US and Europe should certainly consider Christophe as a speaker for lectures on Madagascar and its plant conservation issues and on a range of the island’s succulent plant genera. His favourite plant group are the Euphorbiaceae, he is fascinated by the huge range of diversity in the family – from almost invisible geophytes to tall trees.

Do look out for his articles in the various specialist and general C&S journals!

Christophe can be contacted by email at christophe.quenel@yahoo.fr

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