leaping_lemurs: (Lemurs Looking by the_reverand)
[personal profile] leaping_lemurs
This post would have been even more insanely picture-heavy than my Lemur Island post if I'd kept it all together, so I've broken it up to save your sanity (and your computer).

I’m so tired and hot that I may end up incoherent (count yourselves lucky that I’ll no doubt edit this entry before posting it), but I want to at least get down the basics of today. So...listiness.

1) If I were in India, I’d say I woke up with Delhi Belly, and since I can’t think of any inteteresting local rhymes, that will have to do. But I started on Cipro and Immodium and seem to be doing fine. It may only have been that last night’s meal (seafood in cream sauce) was too rich for me, but I don’t believe in taking chances, so I brought out the big guns. And fwiw, I knew going in that this was bound to happen, and this is nothing like my horrendous bout of whatever in Bolivia, so I’m sure I’ll survive.

2) Long drive but on a quite good road. The scenery was that kind of rolling flatness that kept climbing, with what looked like mesas to the sides periodically, and it was dry, and it reminded me a lot of the high desert of New Mexico. Different vegetation, but not radically so – there was even something sort of Joshua Tree-like – though the occasional houses and villages we saw were quite different in architecture and feel. We stopped at a roadside info station all about the fossils that have been found here, including (wait for it, [livejournal.com profile] aw_lemongirl) what must be Thomas’s Supercroc. I took pictures of every sign. :-)

Here's Supercroc in English:

And just for fun, in Malagasy:

A dino who looks like he belongs in the Martinverse to me:

There was a chicken wandering around, leading me to wonder why did the chicken cross the road?

And I got a shot of another picturesque abandoned building that was on the hill above the exhibit.

3) Arrived at Ampijoroa, a very large national park comprised of a dry deciduous forest, at least one lake, a red gorge (which we’ll see tomorrow) and who knows what else. Also arrived to good news. Our room was miraculously available (I guess they hadn’t gotten a better offer), so though poor Vy – who works miracles with his cell and his persistence – still had to sleep in a tent, which later proved balky to set up, we got a tiny, very basic room with 2 twin beds, a tiny desk, a window ledge for storage and paintings of local bird species on the walls. Right on the walls, which I thought was a neat touch.

Our room also came complete with a big hole in the screen, which Terry plugged with a Kleenex. (You can also see our toilet roll, which we have to remember to carry with us to the shared toilets.)

The trails here are sandy and easy to walk, and the hills rare and relatively easy. The heat, though, is a killer. It was 100 degrees Farenheit at around 11:00 AM, and shade is sparse, because this kind of florest doesn’t have a dense canopy the way the rain forest does. It’s a dry heat, and despite what they (and I) always say about “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity,” I can now say with perfect certainty, “Bullshit. It’s the heat.” As miserable as the heat is, though, it’s worth the exhaustion and muscle cramps of incipient dehydration to see this much amazing wildlife.

4) On our morning walk we saw common brown lemurs,

Coquerel’s sifakas (a type of lemur) that let me get some amazing shots (warning: picspam ahead),

He looks so worried!

a fat-tailed dwarf lemur (a nocturnal species, so he was napping - and I didn't get a good shot), and another nocturnal species, the Milne-Edwards sportive lemur. (There are a ton of different sportive lemurs, and the name just cracks me up.) This guy was napping in a hole in a tree, with just his dozy little face showing.

Our afternoon and evening activities will come in the next post.
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November 2007

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