Monday, February 15, 2010

Ile de la Madeleine

My friends and I went on a mini-adventure this weekend to the third and last island we’ve visited off the Cape-Vert Peninsula, Ile de la Madeleine. The island is uninhabited, and is a national park. It is mostly a bird sanctuary, especially for the feuilleton, a dramatic white bird only found on this island and the Cape Verde islands. Apparently its name in English is the red-billed tropical bird—boring. That species and many others give the cliffs and coves of the island a dramatic contrast, thanks to their… droppings. When I showed the pictures below to host family, my brother didn’t believe that this was true, but my father confirmed it, saying, “That’s not snow!”

The island is also home to unique baobab trees with branches that grow along the ground because of the strong wind and shallow soil. The fruit of the Baobab tree, called monkey bread in French is used for many things in Senegal, including a juice, a sauce eaten with fish and traditional medicines. Our guide picked one for us and we got to taste it in it’s raw form. I’d describe it as a pasty tart, sort of like dense rhubarb powder.

The island was formed by volcanoes and has eerie rock formations. The sand is a unique mixture of black volcanic rock and white and pink from shells and coral. It was definitely great to get away from the city buzz for a day and take in the calm nature of the island. Enjoy the pictures!

1 comment:

  1. Emily, your photos are stunning! I love seeing your travels.