Into the Rain Forest
The rain has begun to play havoc on the trip as well the support crew. We had reached Ranomafana at the foot of the jungle and rain forest. We can go no further the only option is to head up 200km through the forest and jungle to Finarina. Here I am able to meet up with the crew again.
We managed to find a Malagasy guide who knows the forest well and has offered to help, but he warned us of the dangers that it would entail and felt that it not a good time to do it in the monsoon season. Nick decided to join me on this leg for footage of the forests, our decision was made and we would leave at fist light the next day.
It was a steep ascent to the edge of the forest, rain sheeting down making the red clay underfoot treacherous and slippery. The path got narrower and narrower, as we reached the tree line. Everything seemed to hang, as if the curtain had been drawn and suddenly we were in a new world beyond.
Massive trees climbed into the mist draped with vines, moss and tree orchids. Rain ran like rivers down the trees and into the undergrowth which was embedded in rotting leaved mush and slush, with every step we sank up to our ankles. The mist wisped between the treetops, birds were chirping and there was a defining sound of insect life. The odd Sifaka monkey would jump around in the treetops, as lemurs hung upside down eating and watching us as we scrambled on through the undergrowth into the harsh unknown that lay ahead. In a way we were lost, blindly following Dauphine deeper and deeper into the cold clammy dark jungle for the days that lay ahead, and what was to unfold, no one knew.