Monday, October 5, 2015

Here we go...

(I wrote this the second day I was in Madagascar, but due to slow wifi, I am only posting it now--now that I am in Mauritius...)

Or rather here I go. And also, I guess I already went (got here yesterday), but please indulge me so that I can get this down chronologically. I am off on a possibly delusional journey of self discovery and nature immersion beginning in Madagascar, gliding though South East Asia and ending in Japan. I wonder how many women embarked on a I-need-to-figure-my-shit-out trip after Eat, Pray, Love came out. I'm sure I'm not the only one and the travel industry must be very thankful. Regardless, I am here in Africa and ready to squeeze the most out of this island in the next ten days. Advice to fellow travelers: you need more than ten days in Madagascar. Nonetheless, I will do what I can a take everything Madagascar can throw at me in that time. So far I have seen the Queen's palace, ridden in a taxi-brousse for three and a half hours, seen the largest lemurs and the smallest chameleons in the world, and eaten a spectacular green peppercorn steak and banana flambe! Feeling pretty chuffed with my progress so far.

I arrived in Antananarivo yesterday after 20 hours of flying and promptly set out to do something before the sun went down (which is when my taxi drivers hinted I would be abducted by hooligans).  When I asked if I could walk to the Queen's palace, the lovely woman at reception told me that I could walk there no problem. I think in the States when someone says you can walk somewhere, we think it is about fifteen minutes away max, so I was surprised when I walked three miles straight up a steep hill through frightening traffic. But the view was worth it.


The palace is perched high on atop the hill, giving the queen the perfect vantage point to throw her enemies to their deaths.


The palace burned down in 1995 but this is the reproduction built in stone. They didn't quite finish due to lack of funding, but it is still impressive.


At the entrance to the palace, there is a sacred gate where circumcisions are still performed today.  It is tradition for the father or an uncle to eat the foreskin.... no comment. 

Alright, posting this is causing problems. Blogging may have to wait until I am in more reliable wifi locales. 


3 comments:

Chris said...

So cool you got to stand where Ranavalona slaughtered thousands. So much history there, natural and otherwise.

Michelle Haskey said...

Heather you are an amazing and inspiring young woman! You are such a great role model for your young cousins to look up to! Love you!

V said...

lol I've also done the Eat, Pray, Love journey and sincerely commend you for it. If anyone can go out there and tackle the world alone, I think you're in the running for doing a pretty good job at it. :)