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Madagascar, the boat trip part 1 by Ellie Harland

We boarded The Spirit of Malala 5 days ago on May 20th. From the port of Nosy Be we spent most of the day sailing to an island that would be our home for the night, Nosy Momoko. Upon arriving we erected our weathered and sand drenched tents on the beach and returned to the boat for dinner - it's worth noting that the food upon The Spirit of Malala is exceptional after 6 and a half weeks of rice, beans and pasta at camp.

This particular island is sacred so any toilet duties are only permitted in the sea and no shoes are to be worn at any time. Sophie informed me that she had a delightful moment taking in the views of the Milky Way and the bioluminescent algae in the sea while on a night-time adventure to relieve her bladder. After dinner we snorkelled and the resided to our tents for bed until an hour or so later waves began lapping at our tents and we were all forced to get up and pull them higher up the beach!

In the morning I emerged from my tent around 7 and found Alex, Harry and Menjah (our fantastic Malagasy staff member) feeding an enormous tortoise in between our 2 large tents. We subsequently woke everyone up and spent a good deal of time awe of the tortoise, dubbed Terry by Harry. We then did turtle and bird watch for half an hour before we had breakfast back on the boat.

We visited 2 waterfalls that day, the first included a walk through a village where the children have never been nor will ever go to school. In the future there are plans to build both a school and a hospital however this all depends on funding. It’s safe to say that the second waterfall was the favourite of the group, not least because of the actual waterfall but because of the hike we did.

Part 2 to come…

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