Madagascar & Aldabra Expedition: Island Music & Beachside Barbeque on the Barren Islands
Today we visited the Barren Islands which are a small group of 9 coral islands about 15 miles off the coast of mainland Madagascar. We specifically visited Nosy (Island) Andrano (water).
The island is inhabited by semi-nomadic Vezo people who spend weeks to months on the island in makeshift huts.
Their culture is tied to the sea and fishing is what they do.
Near their village, they were drying their catch and preserving it in salt.
Today the sea was a bit calmer, so our Zodiac ride to shore was quite comfortable. We joined a group for a Natural History tour of the island, which became a meander through the island.
The Vezo people were very friendly and helped our team set up a sun shelter tarp on the beach. This may be called water island, but water is a precious commodity and the nearest source is the mainland about 15 miles away. An especially long distance to travel in their outrigger canoes. Our very generous team offered to fill their 5-gallon containers; the Vezo must have felt like they had hit the jackpot.
The Ship must have filled over 75 of these containers.
It was again very hot in the sun, but we were able to enjoy our meal under several pop-up tents that had been set up. What could be better – a refreshing cold beer along with hamburgers, hot dogs, and great cookies for dessert.
Oh, and let’s not forget a little island music. This is one of our guest lecturers jamming with a Malagasy musician that is sailing with us.
There was plenty of food remaining and we invited the islanders to join in after they had been so helpful. We can only hope “our” food of hamburgers and hot dogs sat well in their stomachs since this type of food is not part of their normal diet. This was a picture taken by one of our friends of one of the native women, who after tasting a potato chip for the first time, could not get enough of them!
In the evening our guest musician and his female accompanist put on a performance of Malagasy music in our lobby area. They were awesome!