"Antananarivo- Antsirabe roadtrips: focus I" Faritanin' Antananarivo Travelogue by Norali
Faritanin' Antananarivo Travel Guide: 393 reviews and 1,080 photos
It is the same as the one used for BSJ since Tana-Antsirabe is a portion of BSJ.
For those who hate maps, I just warn that you need it while travelling in Madagascar. The land is huge and it's so easy to be lost in.
One may wonder why I had not put this section in my series of Travelogues in Big South Journey (Madagascar page).
Well, many reasons for that.
First, we are entitled to 5 travelogues per page. The first three albums were dedicated to Big South Journey, this trip I made with my Belgian friends. The others were dedicated to "Malagasy cuisine" and to maps of my roadtrips in Madagascar ... so, not any place left for extra pictures.
BSJ I gives the overall conditions and trip arrangement as well as overview of cities and areas we went through. BSJ II is a focus on Horombe plateau. BSJ III is focused on Isalo region. I think Tana-Antsirabe deserves a focus as well. This is the purpose of this page.
I am convinced that best place for extra-pics on Tana-Antsirabe trip is definitely here since both Antananarivo and Antsirabe cities belong to Faritanin' Antananarivo (province). Right?
170 km to drive through, to marvel at. 3 hours are enough if you don't stop over cities. A good arrangement will be to leave Tana at 7 am so to have time to stop over cities you want to visit, take pictures and arrive at Antsirabe for noon lunch.
To begin with, rocky mountains.. with small villages and ricefields at the bottom of them. They are part of landscape, esp. while driving through Ankaratra massif (2700 m)...
Tombs are part of the landscape in the Highlands.
You may see in the middle of desolated areas well-kept tombs. This comes from importance of razana (died persons) in Madagascar. In fact, we believe that once dead, everyone has this special status of ancestor whatever the age, the caste. For instance, my cousin who died at the age of 4 has this status of ancestor.
This belief leads us to regularly change the cloth of our dead relatives. This happens in the Highlands, within Merina and Betsileo tribes. It is called famadihana (re-burial). A special Tlog in this page will be dedicated to that.
This belief is seen to make us give much importance in dead relatives than in living ones. In fact, famadihana is a celebration that costs a lot. Burial (the first one) costs a lot as well since one has to wrap died bodies in silk lamba (see my tips in Antananarivo city for that). And above all, even poor families make tremendous efforts to keep tombs in good shape.
I find this one beautiful.
This guy makes those tiny wood cars and trucks.
He is not the only one since the road is full of stalls selling those local crafts. It seems that frenzy competition is on the way in this sector. (see my shopping tip)
At mid-way between Tana and Bira, find Ambatolampy and its restaurants.
This is a region of hard workers as well. In addition to agriculture, people specialize in ironwork. Making tools such as spades, kettles that Malagasy households use in everyday life.
I once visited a house of people who melt iron and aluminium to make kettles.
When I was a kid, I remembered visiting a covent (?). The sisters there made cheese. Once in a while, we went to Antsirabe in Easter holidays and just visit worshops in the area.
It seems that people there are more sophisticated in their interests than anywhere else. They breed trouts as well.
Well, I am not kidding by saying that. Those activities are really different from what people in the island are busy with.
Many restaurants in this area.
Picturesque landscape in Imerina region. Hills and cracks
Tanety are made of those hills where grow steppes and conifers. Conifers are really common to this region. What I deplore most is soil burning. In winter, some vandals just set fire on those tanety. I know that they are not cultivated areas. It is not soil burning for slash and burn agriculture then. I think it is more related to crime or political gesture (it seems to be that in the past).
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