Trekking in Isalo National Park
Taken from the Madagascar Team 1 Journal, originally by Dave It was that time of day usually reserved for breakfast television presenters and smugglers; indeed, it was half-past-four in the morning that the intrepid squadron arose to take on the challenege of crossing the baron and hostile desert that was the Isalo National Park. And at the end of our quest? -- the post of gold at the end of the rainbow, the greatest accolade, the tomb of Tuten Kahmon, a large deep pool: the Piscine Naturelle, into whose tranquil waters we could plunge, breaking the aqueous serenity like ducks to water. But sadly some failed to realise the importance of our mission, despite the thorough and comprehensive briefing that I, Q, had administered to my aspiring Bonds only the night before. It still grieves me to report that there were some members of the team severely lacking in moral fibre and unable to shake a leg at the appropriate hour. Despite the small minority of cads and their tardy reveille, the piscine marsh was not hindered. With cat-like tread, we began our stealthy trek - pausing to watch the sunrise on its rebellious subjects, we began the ascent of the formidable Isalo massifs which proved the blockade between us and freedom. Those imposing hills, the searing sun and the heavy storm of pervasive locusts proved little challenge for strong-minded expeditioners and we lunched by a stream, eating the pestilent creatures that had conspired to block our path in a glorious gesture of poetic justice. And it was proved to the treacherous doubters, who cast aspirtions on the wisdom of a 4.30 am start, that Q knows best. The lions share of the afternoon was spent reaping the benefits of our physical challenege in the ice torrents of the Piscine Naturelle. So, having demonstrated the capabilities of a fully operation fighting unit, we were only left the task of proving our superior intellect. The combined forces of Sam, Oli, Kay and Katie met this challenge admirably, scoring a full ten out of ten on their joker round of the Sunday-night Pub Quiz. Today proved as stiff a test as any rebel alliance will ever meet and a glimmer of hope for the continuation of the Human race.
August 3, 1997