I was looking through some old photos today and I stumbled across my photos from a kiting trip to Madagascar. I don’t know why I haven’t shared any of these yet, I mean they’re not particularly well taken but they do show a landscape the likes of which I’ve not seen before or since. Talk about remote, this place would make Black Hawk Down look like a pool party.
If you haven’t got a truck like this, you’re walking.
We rode in the back of the truck to a lagoon. The fence marks the perimeter of the nearby village.
Meanwhile these outriggers serve as transport and fishing vessels for the village
We pointed expensive lenses at this lad while he proudly held up a replica of a boat for us.
World champion kitesurfer Mitu Monteiro was out there with us, here he is showing the kids his whittling skills
Always tough for me to look at this photo of a dying leatherback turtle. But it would feed the village, and I always remember how we ate an absolute banquet on that beach in front of the villagers. We’d bought it with us in the truck, the parents would not let the kids come close to us.
There was no abundance of anything, let alone surplus in the village. Don’t catch? Don’t eat. The nearest shop was about 15 miles away on foot, through the thorny scrub land.
Theft was just not an issue out here. The locals had no use, no market for our electronic goods. Only the young kids showed an interest in the cameras.
But they just could not get enough of our kites! I doubt they’d seen a kite bar before, but they knew enough to just hang on!
Kids all over the world instinctively know when a show’s about to start. We didn’t speak their language and vice-versa, they just lined up on the sand when they sensed something would happen.
After a good day’s kiting, you have to go out for a beer. Here we are, later, at a nightclub some 10 miles away
It was just as wild as the first village. This is the ‘bar’, basically a woman’s house. Out of shot were people trying to sleep in that room.
Mixing with the locals. This house belonged to the guy next to me (2nd in from left); it was about 50 yards from the night club, made entirely of sticks.
And as you’d expect, the music from the nightclub was loud to the point of damaging.
Can’t understand each other even with the music off, nothing for it but drink beer and swagger about on the dance floor
The next morning, we were back at work. It might have been remote but I never said it wasn’t a lot of fun.