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LeuCat Adventures
Join us in sharing our adventures as we sail around the world. NEW!!************************************************************************* GET A COPY OF OUR TECHNO-TIPS DOCUMENTS--JUST CLICK ON THEM UNDER THE "FAVORITES" HEADING ON THE RIGHT
Year 7 Day 259 A Long(er) And Windy(er) (And Bumpier) Road
Dave/Mostly Sunny

This morning we faced a 7 hour drive to reach our lodge in the Ranomafana National Park. As it turned out, not only was the ride much longer than any of us were told, the road also ended up being very windy as it wound itself down and up mountains and toward the end the end of the trip the tarmac would disappear for long sections and be replaced with deep ruts and pot holes. However, I am getting ahead of myself.

Before we left the town of Anstirabe we first visited two workshops. The first was a Zebu horn workshop where they take the horns from the Zebu and turn them into various neat items. The items ranged from jewelry and bracelets, to spoons, knives and forks, to various forms of bowls, salt and pepper shakers, bottles and even dice, dominoes and game boards. We were given a demonstration on how they made such items which was very interesting to see.

Next we went to a semi-precious gems shop which we all found fascinating. They had all kinds of stones, fossils, and gems. Having a geology background, I enjoyed this shop the most.

As we made our way back to the van we were accosted by street hawkers trying to foist their wares on us. It was even difficult to fight our way back into the van, the hawkers were that aggressive. Once the van's door was safely shut, the engine was started and we began our very long and tiring drive south to the national park.

Our accommodations here are rather spartan as the lodge looks like it was a former backpacker's motel. Our dinner was barely editable, the bed's mattress is thin and there are mosquitos everywhere: even inside the mosquito netting that hangs over our bed. Without a doubt, this is the low point of our tour so far. At least we share great company being with Portia and Steve and the four of us joke about this is just part of THE adventure.

Tomorrow we go on a 3 hour, very tough and hilly trek looking for different types of lemurs, chameleons, and other animals. This is supposed to be the premier national park in all of Madagascar so we have high expectations. We shall see...

The Long And Windy Road

As we worked our way south, down the long and windy Route 7, we stopped and enjoyed this view of these stepped waterfalls.

The Long And Windy Road

This shows the rough casting of the pot lid that came out of the mold. It will be trimmed, ground, and then polished to make the final product.

The Long And Windy Road

Once the mold is made, they removed the pot lid that use used to make the impression, close the upper and lower molds together and then pour the molten aluminium into the mold. Once the metal cools, they break up the mold, remove the new pot lid and then repeat the process to make another one.

This photo show the upper and lower molds just before they close them together and pour the molten metal into the mold. The hole in the upper mold, located in the upper right hand corner of the mold is where a spout is insert and the molten metal is poured into the mold.

The Long And Windy Road

While the molten metal is being prepared, these fellows make the molds using molding sand. Here, they are using a pot lid to make an impression in the molding sand.


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