The Madagascar Journals
June 24, 2012 6:56 AM   Subscribe

The Madagascar Journals is part one of a charming, thoughtful travelogue by Matt Kresling. Linked from Uke Hunt, purveyors of all fine things ukulele.
posted by condesita (8 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
After years of lurking here, I finally found an item worth waiting a week to post. Parts 2-8 are still pending--I can't wait to see if Matt finally gets to Madagascar, and what he finds there.
posted by condesita at 7:52 AM on June 24, 2012

This is fantastic.
posted by stbalbach at 9:51 AM on June 24, 2012

Just putting this out: Is Matt somewhat self absorbed?
posted by robbyrobs at 10:26 AM on June 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

Travel literature has long been criticized for being self-centered. The positive side is that it's a journey of self-discovery mirrored in the external journey. To criticize it on those grounds is to be critical of travel literature as a genre. Stories about self discovery, growth and change may be threatening for some people. Others may be jealous or suspicious of the lack of ties and freedom to do whatever with no responsibilities to other people. This is implicit in Matt's comments about leaving his girlfriend and mother, the old men's comments about settling down and marrying, the AIDS orphans etc.. I might suggest there is more to this than simply Matt is self-absorbed. Not to mention the awesome scenery, people and thoughts about travel.
posted by stbalbach at 12:08 PM on June 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

Enjoy travel stories. Enjoy traveling, the real details and the inner journey. Thanks for this video. It's worth watching.

An exbf just returned from Madagascar. He lives in Bali now. This was his FB comment about his recent trip: "Madagascar has clean beaches, the emerald color water, like Sardinia. Not too different from Goa 40 years ago or Bali 60 years ago.

For those who are Italian, you may enjoy the Andilana a 5-stars hotel in Nosy Be. It has all the toys for on water or underneath it.

And then again for those of you on small budget who want to enjoy great music and to dance with beautiful women, check out Les Arcades, Jacques Lasry who owns and operates it with affordable and comfortable environment. Jacques has been there for 13 years and understands the rhythm."

The Les Arcades Hotel is in Diego-Suarez, now named Antsiranana, at the northern tip of Madagascar.

Madagascar is an amazing corner of the planet, lots of cultural layers. Just this part alone is extraordinary: "Following the prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, Madagascar split from India around 88 million years ago, allowing plants and animals on the island to evolve in complete isolation. "..."Over 80% of Madagascar's 14,883 plant species are found nowhere else in the world, including five plant families that are only found on the island."

Also interesting tyrants, then and now.

The shipwrecks off the coast of Madagascar are many.

May to October sounds like the time to go.
posted by nickyskye at 1:28 PM on June 24, 2012

Looking forward to The Madagascar Journals 2 and 3 to see what happens when he actually gets to Madagascar.
posted by nickyskye at 4:58 PM on June 24, 2012

Uke Hunt

Are they any relation to Mike?
posted by Strange Interlude at 3:37 AM on June 25, 2012

There are of course memories everywhere, but for Madagascar I think I'm always going to remember the road between Antananarivo & Tamatave, when it started raining.

Everyone pulled off the road, waited for it to stop, then hand-dried their engines before proceeding. The only thing I can think of is that their various belts & seals were sufficiently worn that they didn't function well when wet.

Weird way to spend a few dozen minutes by the side of the road under the tattered grass awning of an abandoned charcoal stand.

Charcoal is going to destroy that country, if it hasn't already, but occasionally the stands come in handy.
posted by aramaic at 2:54 PM on June 25, 2012

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