If you happen to find yourself in Ambohimanarina for a day or two and get bored of seeing me, here are some more options for your entertainment
- Visit the Vanilla fields – the SAVA region of Madagascar grows over 70% of the world’s vanilla. Take a walk through the forest to see where some of the word’s best vanilla is grown. If the season is right, help hand pollinate each flower, or learn how to dry the beans. Just make sure not to go on your own as people are very protective of their fields and thieves are common.
- Watch a soccer game – if it’s Sunday spend the afternoon watching a soccer game. If you’re lucky and the town wins they might get a cow as a trophy.
- Fruit – The surrounding hills are full of fruit trees waiting to be picked. There’s mangoes, bananas, coconuts, litchi, oranges, and more. To experience everything the area has to offer you’ll have to stay all year, but once you’re here you may not want to leave
- Hike Marojejy National Park – The highlight of the area is Marojejy National Park. The entrance is located 2 km from my town. This beautiful park offers lemurs, birds, chameleons, waterfalls, and beautiful views. It takes a few days to hike to the top and back, but it’s more than worth it.
- Walk – If a full on trek isn’t your thing then just take a walk in any direction. There are rivers and mountains and forests to behold.
- Fish – the river that runs through town parallel to the road is the perfect place to test out your fishing skills. See if your fancy rod and reel can beat the young boys with their bamboo ones.
- Coffee – Vanilla isn’t the only cash crop in the area. If you’re a coffee addict take a trip out to see where the coffee in the region is grown. Take home some beans to try them out!
- Rice – rice is life everywhere in Madagascar and Ambohimanarina is no different. Spend the day plating, wedding or harvesting rice
- Walk the cows – Due to the poor roads in the region cattle is walked over the mountain range from the cattle rich lands of the west. I’ve heard to take anywhere from 5 days to two weeks to make the trek. If you’re as talented as my father you’ll train a cow to let you ride it so you don’t have to work as hard.
- Enjoying the slow pace of life – take time to unwind and slow things down. Spend the morning chatting with the neighbors or an afternoon playing with some kids. You really only need to accomplish one thing a day to consider the day a success
you get bonus points if you learn how to pronounce Ambohimanarina in less than a day