Written by Hank Woolley.
The team hard at work on our first day of prospecting at Manamana Plateau.
Salama from below the mango trees at our camp near the Manamana Plateau along the banks of the mighty Ambatomainty River! This is our third day out here, and I’m going to be honest: I’m sore as a tenrec that’s been run over by an ox cart. We’ve done some amazing hikes over tens of kilometers of disgustingly gnarly terrain. Outcrops are sparsely distributed and CRAZY steep, but despite the less-than-ideal conditions we have found some cool rocks and invertebrate/ tree fossils. Sandstones abound in this field area, but unfortunately most of them are of marine origin, which isn’t conducive to dinosaur hunting. That being said, our camp is exquisite. Not only are we situated under a canopy of mangoes and tamarind, but we have access to two springs of crystal clear water and beautiful views of the plateau we’ve been scrambling up and sliding down for two days. Also, we have six soldiers with automatic rifles in our camp to protect us from the local bandits (Dahalo), and if you think climbing a mountain is stressful, try doing it staring straight up the barrel of an AK-47 as you trudge uphill. That’s Manamana in a nutshell for ya. Here’s some cool photos we took:
No roads, no rules.
Joe and Ian demonstrating the low-hanging fruit principle.
Our intrepid geologist Madeline enjoying the view after some intense climbing.