Sunday, September 21, 2008

Prepared August 16, 2008

Felt a little sad to miss the boat-pushing, but we had to get a move on to beat the sun and heat. We had 24 kilometers to cover to Kirindy Mitea National Park, which we would cover by foot and in a cherrette, the local ox-cart transportation. It took about 6 hours to get to Kirindy Mitea, and I bet the zebu were ready to be rid of their charges when we arrived (3 people, 150 pounds of luggage, 70 pounds of bananas, plus the cart). We alternated between a slow walk (and I mean slow--I would leave the cart in the dust when I walked beside it) and a chipper little trot. Those cows could move when urged to, but otherwise they preferred slow and steady.

Watch us cross the huge mud flats that edge Kirindy Mitea to the north. A salt operation extracts hundreds of tons of naturally-produced salt from here by hand every year.

Get off the road--I even got to try my hand at navigating for a while!

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