Madagascar – Red train carriages catching the afternoon sun. Residents gathered to share the moment. Animated in their conversation. Children selling sticky donuts whilst others play on the tracks. I photograph the atmospheric scene, limited to only warm smiles, locked into my English in a place where even basic French would award me a dialogue.
I’m told by my guide that the passenger train stops here three times a week and always draws a crowd.
I wonder if it felt the same on the days Gerald Durrell, Prince Phillip and David Attenborough arrived to visit the Park. Distinguished guests, naturalists welcomed to Andasibe.
Andasibe Station Buildings.
Passengers on. Passengers off.
Two girls going off to sell their food to the passengers.
A social gathering outside the station building.
Balancing on the tracks … Harder than it seems.
The other side of the tracks.
The bathroom – if you need it.
Tina and I spent at least an hour here, people watching. Having something to eat. He translated as I spoke to a group of woman who admired my simple sandals, reminding me that ‘shoes’ was a common language for woman, no matter where in the world.
Waiting for a train takes on a new meaning. The train wouldn’t take me anywhere, yet it was transporting me to a different era. One when the pace was slower and time had the luxury of standing still.
I could have lingered indefinitely. Feeling deep inside that I belonged in this Naturalist’s Promised Land.