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Morondava : Journal | Pictures

More Baobab Pictures
The road to Morondava continues to be packed sand. Along the way we stop at a pair of intertwined baobabs (part of the tourist circuit and known as the "Lover's Baobab") and Baobab alley, a section of road lined with baobab trees. We pass through some small poor villages before reaching the national road.

The national road slows our progress considerably. The road is paved but full of potholes and crumbling on the edges. In many places the road is only wide enough for a single car so much of our time is spend waiting or driving off-road to manuever around other cars. The roads are no longer deserted -- people walk along side the road carrying wares to market and heading home from the fields.

We also begin to hit our first military and police checkpoints. Typically there will be a checkpoint just before reaching a town and one when you're leaving the town. For foreigners they are pretty harmless. Just be sure to have your passport and be resolute with not paying uncecessary bribes.

Morondava is a city of around 30,000 people that lies on the Mozambique channel. The roads are sand and the atmosphere is laid back. Morondava was preparing for a FAO-sponsored biodiversity parade which would be attended by the president the following day.

On the way back out of Morondava we witness a funeral celebration. Masses of youths swarm, yell, and madly push toward the coffin trying to lay their hands on it. From a distance, if one did not know what was occurring, it would look like a eruption of violence. Dust flies as the mob approaches, then bodies press against our window, the car rocks, and the procession passes. A strange experience but the first of several such encounters on the trip.

We return to Baobab Alley at sunset which appears to be a popular thing for tourists to do. There is a film crew from UNESCO running around trying to capture the right angles on the baobabs while foreigners in SUVs hand out candy and coins to children.

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Almost all pictures on this site were taken with a Konica Minolta

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