Saturday, October 5, 2013

Day 72: Soaked But Stoked

A few weeks ago, we came across the term 'flashpacker' in our Borneo book. It refers to people who travel long-term, like a backpacker, but with much less stuff. For example, we wouldn't have brought heavy warm clothes with us or a sleeping bag because it wasn't something we needed for the first two months. We would've just bought warm clothing when we arrived in Madagascar and needed it, and then ditched whatever we didn't need. In some ways, it's something we aspire to, as it would be much nicer to carry a smaller, lighter bag. But it is more expensive so not something we will be doing on this trip. 

Seeing as we were totally soaked even with raincoats the day before, we knew we had to be better covered the second day for our longer hike. So Craig fashioned us a pair of matching rain suits constructed from garbage bags. When we'd been walking along for a half hour or so, Craig stopped and chuckling to himself said 'We're Trashpackers!

Notice the Trash bag skirts to keep our legs and feet dry
This hike took us deeper into the forest away from the sizeable tour groups for the most part. We saw four new lemurs, orchids, and many crazy plants. The hike was longer and harder including five river crossings, some necessitating getting wet (Craig's boots are still wet 3 days later), and many steep slopes, once again all through a relentless rain. The highlight of the day was watching the Milne-Edwards' Sifaka jump through the trees above us.

After hiking we thought we would walk down to a fancy hotel near the park entrance to have lunch. Entering the restaurant, with tables covered in white cloth three spoons per setting etc, we tracked mud along the floor as our drenched clothes clung to our bodies while pouring a constant stream of rainwater around our boot tracks. We were told quite politely that the cook had only prepared enough food for the guests of the hotel, we decided to try and call Ritza our taxi driver to take us home but our phone ran out of money. We must have looked quite pathetic and pitiful because as we discussed what to do, they decided that they could in fact serve us lunch and provide us a brief reprieve from the rain.

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