Madagascar Day 6: Leaving Mikea and Studying Extra About Sapphire Gross sales

Mikea Lodge, Madagascar

Our keep in Mikea was quick however oh so candy! To be utterly trustworthy, I didn’t sleep a lot as a result of my lucid dreaming was uncontrolled because of the fixed stimuli contained in the tent, however the daytime experiences have been value it.  

(That was random of me to say but it surely implies that when wind is blowing or there’s sounds whereas I’m sleeping I often have very vivid, reasonable, and principally terrifying desires that I can usually management but additionally have a tendency to show into sleep paralysis. I’ll be writing a complete publish about that quickly).

So we boarded the boat once more; this time it was excessive tide so we may load up from the shore as a substitute of taking the cattle cart. We spent the hour lengthy boat trip taking within the sights alongside the shore, which have been each the gem-colored waters, and beach-front villages.

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Don’t make us go away Mikea!!!

Then it was one other two hours on the sand and dust highway from hell that appeared prefer it by no means ends. After we lastly reached the paved highway, I virtually received out of the automobile and kissed it. Not that it was drastically higher since we nonetheless needed to swerve round potholes, folks, and slower autos.  

We stopped on the best way again in Tulear the place we had organized to satisfy with the native lady who offered Sapphires first. And will have additionally contemplated attempting to e-book the one hour flight again to Antananarivo slightly than spend the subsequent two days driving.

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The smaller stones are the actual sapphires, and the larger ones are all the time just a few kind of cheaper crystals

Full disclosure, we had organized to satisfy her earlier than we knew about how dangerous the mining situations have been, and the toll they tackle the setting. In my first posts I discussed how I’d solely need and counsel shopping for gems from locals so the cash goes straight again to the neighborhood, and within the final publish I defined what actually goes on with the sapphire mining. 

The lady and a person got here with the gem stones, which have been in worn down jewellery packing containers or folded in paper. I don’t know loads about shopping for gem stones however a minimum of knew you have been purported to weigh them and take a look at them within the gentle for impurities. Scratches or uneven cuts often is a designation that the stone is actual and not artificial.

After they first pulled out all the stones, I used to be instantly drawn to the large ones first. They glittered in colours of royal blue and purple, and additionally some that have been clear like diamonds.However they weren’t sapphires. The sapphires are about one twentieth of the scale of the bigger ones, as a result of the bigger ones are constituted of pure stones and crystals which can be extra plentiful. Sapphires are uncommon and arduous to search out, and while you do discover them, they’re often in small items.

I weighed and chosen two of the “bigger” sapphires (and by bigger I imply greater than the remainder of the tiny ones that they had — these have been the identical sizes we noticed at most outlets), plus a much bigger non-sapphire, and she quoted me a reasonably good value of about $50 for all three.

Then they talked about one thing about with the ability to get pink sapphires — that are much more uncommon, and the deal continued. The lady needed to take a taxi to go get the pink sapphires, and though we have been pressed for time, the wait was value it.

The pink sapphires have been twice the scale and weight of the blue sapphires, and due to this fact in fact, twice the price. I ended up with one 1.7 carat pink sapphire and two 1 carat blue sapphires for $160USD. This can be a nice deal in comparison with the price of 100% actual sapphires offered by jewelers, however the actual worth for me was acquiring a pure factor from Madagascar, which most likely will now not exists sooner or later.

As I discussed within the publish earlier than this one, the controversy of supporting shopping for sapphires or not is a troublesome debate. On one aspect, if you should purchase them from locals, you might be serving to lots of people who want the cash to outlive.

However on the opposite aspect, you might be encouraging extra mining with ridiculously low wages for miners, and the deforestation that it causes.

I might love to listen to your feedback under on a doable resolution to this!

Arriving in Isalo and Jardin Du Roy

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One of many many little cities we handed on the 10 hour drive to Isalo National Park

I’m not going to lie, after hardly sleeping for 2 nights and catching a little bit of a chilly…I handed out for almost all of the trip to Isalo. I did get up randomly at one level simply in time to see the phrase “Pharmacie”, and requested our driver if we may cease so I may get cough medication.

By the best way, for these of you nervous about getting sick or injured whereas touring, FEAR NOT. Each time I’ve gotten sick or injured, I’ve simply simply popped right into a pharmacy…or hospital…and gotten something I wanted. Not simply that, it’s all the time been medication that works ten occasions higher and is ten occasions cheaper than it’s within the U.S.

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Natural cough syrup I purchased for about $three that helped kill my chilly in 2 days

If you wish to learn extra about what to do in the event you get sick overseas, I’ll have a radical publish about that subject up quickly as properly, so be sure you subscribe to my emails!

And if you need some extra reassurance concerning the monetary points of getting injured or sick overseas, examine this publish out: Nations with the Most cost-effective Healthcare

ANYWAY! After buying some natural cough syrup for about $1 (that truly labored), we stored driving into the night time to achieve Isalo. Sadly nightfall was simply sweeping in once we received there, but it surely was sufficient gentle to provide us a glimpse of the large regal granite stone property framed with bougenvellia bushes and towering boulders.

Though it was darkish, I may inform that the Jardin du Roy was one thing that would have appeared in a fairytale. The huge, well-manicured inexperienced garden, chirping with grasshoppers (that additionally had no disgrace in flying at you or attempting to share your mattress), dotted with the stone buildings that comprised the rooms was nothing in need of whimsical.

Madagascar Day 7: Horseback Using and Handicraft Procuring Earlier than Departure

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Does this not appear like a fairytale to you??

Should you haven’t learn a lot of my posts on right here or social media, I’ll go forward and let you recognize that I’m OBSESSED with animals. Particularly horses.

So after I noticed horseback using on the Wau Madagascar itinerary in Isalo at Jardin du Roy, I used to be past excited. Waking up at 6am to do it, not a lot, but it surely was on a regular basis we had earlier than the ultimate driving stretch again to the Antananarivo airport.

Seeing Jardin du Roy within the early glowing hours of the day was completely fantasy-like. The granite block buildings, manicured garden flecked with frangipanis, and towering boulders made me really feel like I used to be in France or one thing.

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Only a informal trot by way of the forest of Isalo the place Jardin du Roy is.

Then we received to the stables and I knew I used to be for actual in a fairy story. The U-shaped stables had a number of the most lovely horses I’ve ever seen poking their heads out of every stall. I instantly ran as much as all of them to say hello and give a scratch to every.

It was a contact resolution to choose which one I needed to trip, since I all the time go for the chestnut brown ones with white diamonds on their foreheads as a result of they remind me of my childhood horse Nikki. However since I used to be feeling fairytale-is, I went for the tall, all-white mare named Rochelle.

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All the things about this place was image excellent!

I’ll go forward and let the photographs do that expertise justice, however belief me after I say, it was nothing in need of magical!

Madagascar Handicraft Procuring

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Simply on the point of re-decorate my whole condo with these lovely raffia handicrafts.

The quantity of Madagascar decorations I now have for my condo is obscene. Thank goodness I solely had a little bit little bit of Malagasy Ariary cash left, as a result of in any other case I might have wanted a further suitcase to get every part dwelling.

Should you’re into shopping for native handicrafts, souvenirs, decor, luggage, and so on., positively what till the top of the journey. Each as a result of then you definately don’t have to hold it round, and additionally as a result of the perfect place with the most affordable costs is a pair hours outdoors of Antananarivo.

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Somebody positively purchased three of these rugs…and then had to determine tips on how to ship them again to the U.S.

I can’t keep in mind the identify of the precise location as a result of we simply stored stopping every time we noticed stalls, however there’s an space in between Ambavalao and Antananarivo with tons of them.

You possibly can negotiate costs, however to be trustworthy, they’re already so low-cost, and these folks want the cash greater than you do, so simply pay full value.

We FINALLY made it again to the airport in Antananarivo after an especially lengthy week’s journey. The quantity of perception, schooling, and experiences I had was priceless, and has motivated me to put in writing much more once more, and share extra personally about locations value visiting and how we will help them.

I’ll have a complete suggestions an information publish out subsequent, and once more, in the event you’re interested by becoming a member of an eco-tour subsequent 12 months with me, please drop me an electronic mail or remark under!

Disclaimer: This tour was sponsored by Wau Madagascar, nonetheless all experiences, writing, photographs, and opinions are my very own.

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