Wanna go on a train ballad in Ambatolampy?
Those last couple of months, I took some time to do some trekking with some folks who just love practising it for the sake of doing some physical exercise. I’m not really a sporty person but when I joined the Rando du Val fellows for their monthly trekking session, I just forgot about competition or physical endurance- all that matter was having fun, enjoying long hours of walking through mountains and valleys while improving my photo techniques with other amateur photographers.
Not only trekking is a great way for getting some fresh air, it’s also a great human adventure as you get to know other people while crossing that “tahalaka” in the ricefield, or when climbing that hill and talking about the view (while trying to pretend that you’re not suffocating Hint: it’s a good idea to bring your camera as you can also stop and try to get a good shot when all you actually need is a rest. But this hint only applies if, and only if, you’ve got fellow trekkers who are willing to wait for you at the arrival.
Anyway, the purpose of this post is to let you know about another ballad opportunity: it’s not necessarily a trekking per se since you’ll only walk 1h30mn with lunch in between. This one is organized by the Analamanga Tourism office (ORTANA) as part of their effort to arrange monthly outing for locals to discover Antananarivo and its surroundings (and history).
From a photographic’s perspective, this is a very promising ballad as:
- you’ll start at 7AM:I know – leaving your warm bed at 6AM to go for a trekking ain’t necessarily the best way to start the day for some of us, but photographers also know that good shots are taken at sunrise – and the best thing is that we’re at winter season now in Madagasacr, though we have a great foggy sunrise – a perfect condition for great shots IMHO,
- then you’ll take a train ride from Soarano to Ambatolampy (60 km from Antananarivo)- going through small villages, old tunnels and ricefields – a promising landscape that will surely be “decorated” by the smiling kids longing the railways,
- once you arrive in Ambatolampy, you’ll visit the now famous aluminium pot-makers. I expect that it would be great to get photos of how those pots are made in a smokey environment somewhere in Ambatolampy
- you’ll then walk through Ambatolampy’s town (located at 1600m of altitude), then have a lunch at Rodeo Grill. A sakafo Gasy can be pre-ordered for 5 000 Ariary (USD2.5)
- then you’ll visit the botanical garden called “jardin de la nature”, before heading back to the railway station
- as the train is expected to leave Ambatolampy around 3:15PM, I expect you’ll still be in the train at sunset, though it can be a great photo opportunity for capturing Antananarivo’s town from a not-so-familiar angle
So if you’re interested, hurry up to book at ORTANA . This will happen on July 9th 2011.
Here are the contacts:
Bâtiment IFANOMEZANTSOA, Escalier Ranavalona, Antaninarenina,
Tél. : 22 27051 /034 20 270 51,
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve been told the train can only accomodate for 200 people (including ORTANA staff and tour guides): trust me, this will fill so quick you will have to wait for months before the same experience will be renewed again (frankly speaking: I haven’t heard yet of one ballad experience organized by the ORTANA that has already been renewed- they always propose a new trail/experience- I know it, a lot of people are still waiting for a second run for the “rafting the river”) . Now, if you aren’t into taking photos, at least you would have enjoyed the ride and meet new people.