Up early and off to Breakfast. The main chef was not working today so instead of an “American” breakfast we had a continental one – it was fine.
Then off down the major highway (Route 7) which was, as most roads, filled with potholes.
Then we stopped in at Ambalavao to visit the Antemoro Paper Factory and were introduced into how they hand make paper – and add flowers to the paper. Interesting process with lots of pounding and hand placement of live flowers, which are covered and dried in the sun. We didn’t see anything that attractive so did not buy anything, but we saw the paper almost everywhere we went on the trip.
Then to the Anja Community Reserve where we walked down a path to a pond full of water Lilies and saw many ring tailed lemurs. They were at the pond, most of them licking the dirt for minerals. They were everywhere in this private preserve – on the shore, in the trees, on the path… Their antics were quite fun and they could leap long distances. We also saw a couple of chameleons in the forest.
On the way out they were crossing the path to get to some trees on the other side so we were entertained by then jumping down from the trees and running along to jump to the next tree. There were some quite impressive rock formations in the area as well.
We drove along a bit and James asked if we could stop at a site where people were winnowing rice. We got out, wandered over, and they invited us to do some winnowing as well. We all tried it - just beating the rice stalks on a rock to separate the rice. Kids would go to the field and bring back rice for us to use. Quite fun and the people seemed to enjoy our antics.
Then a long drive on the rutted road to a small market where we bought a small suitcase to send stuff back to Tana when the driver returned. Road was full of sights of people carrying things on their heads, zebu carts, and hand carts.
We stopped at a small overlook to watch the sun go down – very nice African sunset, then to our lodge for dinner and the evening. It was all solar powered so we were warned that power would be off about 5:00 AM the next day.