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The Zebu in the Rice Paddy

MADAGASCAR | Saturday, 12 October 2013 | Views [430]

Lovely girl, Ankarafantsika National Park

Lovely girl, Ankarafantsika National Park

Madagascar is Africa by association, having separated from the continent some 165 million years ago. Lonely Planet doesn't even include Mada in its volume on southern Africa and the Malagasy people consider themselves islanders - citizens of "L'isle Rouge."  Aside from the color of their skin they don't appear African either. They look more like Thais or Indonesians, their likely ancestors who landed on Madagascar at the time when Caesar was stalking the Forum.

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   Zebu stampede

The six-hour ride back to Tana from the park stretched into seven then 7 1/2, making me realize why we flew on the way out.  The scenery was stunning as we climbed to 1400 meters on curving roads: swollen red rivers, busy market towns and the greenest of of rice paddies.  Zebu, those hump-back cattle with the demonic horns, are everywhere.  Even in the center of "Tana they wander across the road as if they were in India.  Often mis-matched pair are yoked to wagons hauling everything from rice to families.  And I can state from personal experience that zebu steak is excellent, especially with green pepercorn sauce.

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Easter Island, 2012

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