Australia Day, Mahajunga

Sailing ship sunset

Sailing ship sunset

Yes, I know it’s not January 26th and I am not in Australia. However, there were lots of similarities that reminded me of the great southern land.
After an exciting and adventurous day yesterday driving thru the Malagasy plains, outback style, things were on slower pace today. Odilon had picked up a flu of some kind, and spent a lot of time in bed, after de-dusting the Kat Kat. Ninah was busy washing, cleaning and organizing. I got up early again and had coffee at my local street cafe. A few kids were about playing, but not as enthusiastic. Well, it was Sunday yesterday.

I spent most of the day near or in the pool and kept busy on the net and doing other stuff. ‘Cirque Rouge’ was our destination for the afternoon, but with Odilon‘s flu, I wasn’t sure if we would make it. According to ‘Lonely Planet’ this is the main attraction in the closer Mahajunga area, just north of the city centre. And no, it is not a circus. They are erosion’s and water carved limestone around the river bed. On our way up to ‘Cirque Rouge’, I noticed abounded eucalyptus trees and paperbarks in striking colours. These and other trees were imported from Australia a fair while ago, used for wood manufacture. Quite ironic really, as this country has many, many quality trees, which locals use for different carvings, or buildings. Meanwhile, very rare hardwood like Ebony and Mahogany still gets shipped around the world.

Eucalyptus trees lining the shore

Eucalyptus trees lining the shore

Anyhow ,when we passed a few eucalyptus trees, I yelled, ‘ koala’! Both, Ninah and Odilon were looking confused, as I said all you need here now is a koala. Ahhh, said Odelion, pretending to understand my humour. Shortly after, we arrived at ‘cirque rouge’. Is that it? It didn’t look impressive at all and the sun was fairly low already, not good for sunny shots. I am not the comparing type, but rainbow beach in Queensland, Australia, has more colours and scenic settings. The sun was setting on the ocean side. I noticed quite a few eucalyptus trees on a hill. The sun was still too high for sunset shots, so we had some watermelon. Ninah picked out the seeds and rolled a joint shortly after, with pre- prepped paper. What I mean is, that rolling papers are not available here. Instead, the silver paper from cigarette packages are used. The thin layer of alu foil gets carefully removed, which is extremely fiddly. I tried it, but gave up shortly after. Anyhow the paper leaves a sticky residue, which then sticks rolling the joint. Quite clever, as I have not seen that anywhere. Someone else knows about this technique..? Ninah is a good girl and doesn’t touch the stuff, just rolls with it. Only for tourists, she said. Instead she grabbed the plastic bag with crabs, they had for lunch yesterday and started munching. I looked surprised as they been left in the hot car all day. Surely they are not eatable anymore? I asked for one, to see what her reaction would be. Tsy, no good for Wassa and pointed at her belly, as she replied almost shocked that I asked. I said I know, no problem for Malagasy? No problem she said. I suppose,that’s what they eat from childhood onwards and their stomach is used to it.

Eucalyptus sunset

Eucalyptus sunset

I grabbed my OM-D,and went up the hill. Taking a few sunset shots. Eucalyptus trees as the preferred foreground, in my ‘paintings setting’. Maybe I got a bit carried away, thanks to barrak maheri. Just like Australia I thought. I had a good chuckle to myself, thinking to return with the words, in true blue dronga outback slang, ‘Just like Australia, mate!!! Naaaah, A-U-S-T-R-A-L-I-A!!! Fair dinkum, mate! Ha ha, but I couldn’t follow thru, laughing too much.

Besides, they would have driven off absolutely scared. They were wondering about the grin on my face though. I took a few more shots on the beach, Ninah and Odilon busy with selfies and portraits. After a while, I called them over to where I was sitting, watching the sunset and said no more selfies, lets just sit and watch the sunset. Tsara be, Ninah said, Tsara be.

Tranquil sunset

Tranquil sunset

Odelion, most times an aggressive driver, drove in snail tempo home. The effect when you think, you go really fast, but actually don’t. I thought of jumping out and walking next to the vehicle.
Ninah was busy on the phone and FB, I guess. I bet those selfies just taken, will appear on FB very shortly. Ha ha, and they did. I had dinner at our hotel and downloaded the second test of Allblacks vs Wallabies on YouTube. A few beers, some chips for dessert and watched the best game of rugby in a long time. The Mighty All Blacks won, but Ozzi had a good crack at it and would have deserved to win. Fair dinkum….

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