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Old 02-04-2014, 03:58 AM   #241
Tiffany OP
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Laugh Time for a Tea Break

Cloudy, damp weather - reminds me of home




and then I see this magical sight


For the ignorant amongst you - these are tea plants

I manage to get a look around the tea processing plant starting with the racks of leaves being dried out




The leaves go through a whole series of heath-robinson type machines


the machines bear this proud plaque- they've come all the way from Gainsborough



the sacks of tea leaves

for a tea lover like me, travelling in a coffee-dominated culture, this was a real treat (call me sad if you want!) I could smell the tea in the air


and they sell them in cute little lemur bags - I bought a few and then the ultimate moment - the tasting...




A proper teacup and saucer

I enjoyed it so much, I had two cups and promptly had a caffeine rush!

One of the most touching monents was when I spotted the proper English kettle- complete with English plug AND wall socket


One more thing to do before I left - my Mum had been commenting that she thought I was looking a bit skinny so I weighed myself on their scales

- "Mum, you'll be pleased to hear that I'm still heavier than a sack of tea"
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:44 AM   #242
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'Oh god it's that bloody woman again , bleating on" BULL POOP !

You keep it coming woman , the cup's not any where near running over .

Tell the truth , how much weight did you lose on the trip ? I was thinking all through the trip , "how on earth does a vegetarian stay sated on a trip like this on the run eating only when opportunities arise" ? I try from time to time the veggie only thing , but 90% of the time I'm hungry in no time . On top of that I never feel sated like I do with a burger or a steak .

Thanks for sharing another great trip , TheReaper!
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:40 AM   #243
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Enjoying your trip report immensely. The photos of the critters were terrific
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:29 PM   #244
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Amazing ride report! Thanks for sharing, Tiffany!!
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Old 02-06-2014, 01:06 PM   #245
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Thumb Cheers Folks

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Originally Posted by TheReaper! View Post
'Oh god it's that bloody woman again , bleating on" BULL POOP !

You keep it coming woman , the cup's not any where near running over .

Tell the truth , how much weight did you lose on the trip ? I was thinking all through the trip , "how on earth does a vegetarian stay sated on a trip like this on the run eating only when opportunities arise" ? I try from time to time the veggie only thing , but 90% of the time I'm hungry in no time . On top of that I never feel sated like I do with a burger or a steak .

Thanks for sharing another great trip , TheReaper!
Thank you Reaper - for the vote of confidence in this bloody woman
I know you meat eaters can rarely understand about vegetarians and what we eat - in Madagascar it was a lot of cold spaghetti from the street stands, rice gets served frequently - sometimes beans, sometimes veg with it, I don't eat eggs at home un less suffering froma hangover, but when I travel I'll eat them. Not the most varied diet but still a lot better than Mongolia and Argentina- my worst countries for dining in local eateries.

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Enjoying your trip report immensely. The photos of the critters were terrific
My David Attenborough impression, I have to say, the animals have been incredible, and just wait until you see the freaking shark I swam with, read on for a few more days yet.

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Amazing ride report! Thanks for sharing, Tiffany!!
Thank you for the feedback and appreciation.
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:46 AM   #246
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I love these kids



I love your trip as well
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Old 02-09-2014, 12:45 AM   #247
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Laugh Leaping lemurs

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I love your trip as well
Thanks for that and yes the lemurs are very friendly...
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Old 02-09-2014, 12:58 AM   #248
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Cool2 Rodaside Scenes

Back on the road,
tarmac = yes
brick houses = no




The local café has a menu on the wall- this is the height of sophistication, actually having a menu. It's mostly meat,, though I'm still working on some of the Malagasy menu items. Probably the only item you will recognise is tripe - they're fond of their offal here.



Fuelling up at the petrol station I spot the usual overloaded van, piled high with luggage



Getting closer, I can hear the raucous sound of the livestock on board




The ducks don't seem happy, and wait a minute...




A turkey has sneaked in with the ducks!

The bridge ahead looked like a scene from a war film


There was no alternative for quite a distance, so a long detour was called for.
The roadside shacks sell just about anything - this was the local purveyor of stones



The landscape has changed again, and I'm now surrounded by lush, green rice paddy fields
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:49 PM   #249
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Thanks Tiffany, lets see some more….. You are the best!!!
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Old 02-19-2014, 04:51 PM   #250
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Okay- it's been over a week- I'm starting to go through withdrawal. Donde estas, amiga?
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:18 AM   #251
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Your Madagascar ride report

Loving this report, interested in how the tea tasted? Simon
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:02 PM   #252
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Laugh I'm back

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Okay- it's been over a week- I'm starting to go through withdrawal. Donde estas, amiga?
I know, I know, it's been toooooo long, no excuses, just too busy, I've been away at a Bike Show in London - hello to all the ADV riders who came over and said hello - though I do suspect that some of you had no idea who I was but friendliness is always appreciated.

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Loving this report, interested in how the tea tasted? Simon
the tea was bloody lovely Simon- but as I'd been having to put up with warmed milk with a spoon of sugar in it masquerading as tea, I'm sure any type of real tea would have been tasty.
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:14 PM   #253
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Laugh meanwhile, back in Madagascar...

I was invited in for a cup of tea, but had to ride on


I knew I was finally getting back to civilisation when I spotted these roadside stands selling souvenirs


You would not believe how much I wanted to take one of those giraffes on my bike with me (incidentally, there are NO giraffes in Madagascar!!)

and more terraces covered in paddy fields - the Madagascans consume more rice per head than ANY other country in the world



At this point I was still luxuriating in all the greenery, after the orange mud in the east and dry sand of the south.
I picked up another hitch-hiker...


I think it's a male- somewhat less blood thirsty than the females, and no, it is NOT on a weather-beaten area of my skin but on the bike seat.
He had a good look around the bike


I reached the central point of the island and then continued north, it suddenly started looking eerily clay -like around me


and just to prove self-timed photos don't always work out properly
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:28 PM   #254
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Laugh catching up...

OK I'm on a roll, lets get some more of this out tonight, never mind that I should be phoning my Mum and preparing for teaching in the morning...

Yummy - a street-side breakfast of some completely unidentifiable soup type thing


I'm just hoping it isn't meaty.
Meanwhile across the street, the entertainment was provided by the local lads playing open-air table football or Baby Foot as it's called over here


This is what the breakfast table looked like (and my fellow diners)


Not quite Tim Hortons but the doughnuts weren't too bad.

I'd managed to ride all the way up to a real town with real buildings



and even better, a friendly bike place



this is Piste Rouge, where Suzi was put in the capable hands of Alain and his crew


I went for a quick test-ride and to look at the coast as the sun was setting



You know, I never tire of those gorgeous tropical sunsets when the sun slowly sinks over the sea
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:49 PM   #255
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Cool2 I'm loving Madagascar and all its colour

Some culture for you, the room rates (in french) from my hotel



In case you're interested, I opted for the second from the bottom, it basically means a room with a fan, shared bathroom and loo. 18,000 Ariary/£6.

I was in the town of Mahajanga famous for many things including what is possibly the fattest baobab tree in the country - 21 metres in circumference, in fact so big that it forms its own roundabout


I even stopped long enough for a still photo to be taken - one of the advantages of being in a town is that there are other people around whom I can ask to take a photo.


Mahajanga marked the end of the good roads and the possibility of more of that nasty stuff that I'd been having problems with in the south. I paused at one of the most colourful spots I'd seen on my whole journey
Humour me with this one folks as I set the scene
Scene 1
paddy fields with women thinning out the plants

Scene 2
The flame trees framing the field

Scene 3
the zebu ambling into view

Scene 4
The star of the show - Suzi, attempts to steal the scene from the zebu


but actually, it was this guy, with his wheelbarrow who stole the scene completely as far as I was concerned


I'm not sure he had ever heard of pneumatic tyres. there are times like this when I fall in love with my travels all over again.
(I did warn you at the start to humour me with this one)
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