A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about cashew nut

Marrakissa

Another heavenly place


View Galavanting in The Gambia 2019 on Grete Howard's travel map.

I slept surprisingly well last night, despite the upset tummy yesterday afternoon and several rather unpleasant dreams overnight.

We are meeting Abdoulie first thing, who will be our birding guide for the morning. He is early, and so are we.

Brikama

Heading for Marrakissa, we drive through Brikama, which is the second largest town in The Gambia, and absolute pandemonium. I try some of my usual drive-by shooting (photographically speaking) as we are stuck in the traffic jam. The following images are photographed through the window glass of the car, so apologies for the somewhat inferior quality.

large_b7e00650-7af1-11e9-a882-ebeecf336466.jpg
Waiting for the school bus

large_c886b850-7af1-11e9-a882-ebeecf336466.jpg
Bread delivery

large_de0cab30-7af1-11e9-a882-ebeecf336466.jpg
Coffee on the go

large_edb65f90-7af1-11e9-a882-ebeecf336466.jpg
Hitching a ride

large_1a5cbb70-7af2-11e9-a882-ebeecf336466.jpg
Heading for the Laundry

large_7d758980-7af2-11e9-a882-ebeecf336466.jpg
Donkey Cart

Likky Bom

The sign on the rear bumper of a bright yellow car puzzles me greatly and I ask Abdoulie what it means. He is as bemused as we are, and to our surprise pulls over the driver to ask him. “It's my nickname” says the mystified kid in charge of the adorned car “nothing more than that”. I do wonder if he realises what sort of connotations the sign has, albeit with a slightly different spelling.

large_3db16450-7af6-11e9-98e3-9d6961888a74.jpg

Marakissa

First we stop on a bridge to check out the birdlife along the wetlands area.

large_c15849c0-7b11-11e9-993a-5fd5f31c9782.jpg
Senegal Coucal

large_f3ec4940-7b11-11e9-993a-5fd5f31c9782.jpg
Wire Tailed Swallow

large_01d86f20-7b12-11e9-993a-5fd5f31c9782.jpg
Great Egret

large_118a60e0-7b12-11e9-993a-5fd5f31c9782.jpg
Double Spurred Francolin

large_2865d1a0-7b12-11e9-993a-5fd5f31c9782.jpg
Cashew fruit with the nut hanging down below

large_3c0bb9e0-7b12-11e9-993a-5fd5f31c9782.jpg
Red Eyed Doves

large_4ca39ed0-7b12-11e9-993a-5fd5f31c9782.jpg
Squacco Heron

large_6906ec80-7b12-11e9-993a-5fd5f31c9782.jpg
Western Plantain Eater

large_7fbf9300-7b12-11e9-993a-5fd5f31c9782.jpg
Purple Glossy Starling

large_9147f270-7b12-11e9-993a-5fd5f31c9782.jpg
Senegal Parrot

large_60cb1cb0-7b1e-11e9-8e06-ad645587d09a.jpg
Red Billed Firefinch

large_3c2a1980-7b21-11e9-8e06-ad645587d09a.jpg
Yellow Fronted Tinkerbird, doing its best to hide

large_59047de0-7b1f-11e9-8e06-ad645587d09a.jpg
Common Bulbul nest building

large_1448c1f0-7b30-11e9-b3c7-2d734227b023.jpg
Yellow Throated Leaflove

large_31b67bc0-7b25-11e9-87bc-ab80f2207b51.jpg
Piapiac

large_71281750-7b25-11e9-9ca9-1f25aaa6c580.jpg
Lizard Buzzard

Ants

Abdoulie warns us to be careful when stepping over the marching ants. Too late, David has already been invaded. Lots of jumping, shouting and a few choice words later, he drops his trousers in the middle of the field to get rid of the ants. Thankfully I am too busy laughing to photograph it.

large_ef8e2f30-7b25-11e9-9ca9-1f25aaa6c580.jpg

large_bfd5b050-7b30-11e9-bc79-a9a9d955c8ef.jpg
White Faced Whistling Ducks

large_749907e0-7b35-11e9-81b5-cf57682dec75.jpg
African Jacana

large_2fae5510-7b38-11e9-86e2-9fac5777075b.jpg
Fine Spotted Woodpecker

large_f50ecf70-7b41-11e9-b844-37934c6901b7.jpg
Woodland Kingfisher

large_fec59390-7b42-11e9-93df-433cc4501cea.jpg
African Golden Oriole

large_6c3ccce0-7b43-11e9-80e9-bffb193375e3.jpg
White Billed Buffalo Weavers

large_5d3ad4c0-7b44-11e9-93ed-058f98c0db7a.jpg
Long Tailed Glossy Starling

large_6c1f3d50-7b44-11e9-93ed-058f98c0db7a.jpg
Blue Bellied Roller

Black Faced Quail Finch

We see a number of these little birds fly out of bushes without warning, but trying to photograph them proves extremely difficult.

large_728df070-7b47-11e9-93ed-058f98c0db7a.jpg

Eventually Abdoulie takes my camera and goes off stalking them.

large_816e6160-7b47-11e9-93ed-058f98c0db7a.jpg

After a lot of time and effort, he manages to creep up on one of the quail finches on the ground to grab a quick shot. Good man – I have to say I admire his patience.

large_90afb700-7b47-11e9-93ed-058f98c0db7a.jpg

large_a9538bb0-7b47-11e9-93ed-058f98c0db7a.jpg
Yellow Throated Leaflove

large_dbceac00-7b47-11e9-93ed-058f98c0db7a.jpg
Grey Heron

large_dbde1fe0-7b48-11e9-93ed-058f98c0db7a.jpg
Village Weaver

large_e9383ef0-7b48-11e9-93ed-058f98c0db7a.jpg
Pin Tailed Whydah

What an amazing place this is turning out to be. I shall leave you here now and continue in another blog entry. Ciao.

Posted by Grete Howard 04:37 Archived in Gambia Tagged ants roller woodpecker heron starling weaver oriole bulbul gambia jacana swallow coucal francolin cashew_nut the_gambia piapiac whistling_ducks glossy_starling plantain_eater firefinch abdoulie brikama bread_delivery licky_bom bumper_sticker marakissa tinkerbird leaflove buffalo_weavers quail_finch whydah Comments (4)

São Tomé - Agostinho Neto - Mucumbili

Sombre history and a west-coast hide-away paradise

-50 °C
View São Tomé and Príncipe 2018 - the Lost Islands in the Centre of the World on Grete Howard's travel map.

Memorial dos Heróis da Liberdade

Yesterday, at Trindade, we saw the memorial at the site of the Batepá Massacre where hundreds of natives were killed by Portuguese forces in 1953 during a rebellion, and Agostinho was telling us how they were “thrown in the sea, like animals”. Today we visit the spot, at Fernão Dias on the north coast, where those murdered were transported by the truckload and their bodies unceremoniously dumped in the sea off the now-defunct pier.

large_23085ab0-64ad-11e8-b372-5de39560233b.jpg

A memorial has been erected here too, listing the names of all those killed in the fight for freedom.

large_05860fd0-64aa-11e8-8fd2-5db5a4f313c8.jpg

large_469a5ee0-64aa-11e8-b372-5de39560233b.jpg

large_f6159e70-64aa-11e8-b372-5de39560233b.jpg

large_fee6da00-64aa-11e8-b372-5de39560233b.jpg

An abandoned ship lies off the coast as if to pay tribute to the fallen martyrs.

large_22480d60-64ac-11e8-b372-5de39560233b.jpg

Old Tree

We stop beside a tree, more than one hundred years old, for Agostinho to explain how they used to make canoes.

large_b2615350-64ae-11e8-b372-5de39560233b.jpg

I am more interested in playing with a young kid who is selling fruit at the side of the road.

large_ba61aa50-64ae-11e8-b372-5de39560233b.jpg

large_c224d140-64ae-11e8-b372-5de39560233b.jpg

Agostinho Neto

Named after a benevolent Angolan doctor (late president of Angola) who fought fervently in the battle against Portuguese colonialism, the roça (plantation) and surrounding village is now mostly in ruins and lies partly abandoned.

large_459016a0-64b1-11e8-b372-5de39560233b.jpg
The abandoned hospital on the hill

large_ac4ff3b0-64b1-11e8-b372-5de39560233b.jpg
The old botanical gardens is now the governor's house

Many of the picturesque old buildings (these would have been for the managers) have survived and are now in use.

large_31320c80-64b2-11e8-b372-5de39560233b.jpg

large_e9460090-64b4-11e8-b372-5de39560233b.jpg

large_29e8c920-64b5-11e8-b372-5de39560233b.jpg

large_8e871b30-64b4-11e8-b372-5de39560233b.jpg

large_4c5e4ee0-64b4-11e8-b372-5de39560233b.jpg

Hospital

The old hospital, built as part of the roça (plantation), now lies abandoned, with a number of poorer families having moved into some of its many rooms.

large_01c39320-64b6-11e8-b372-5de39560233b.jpg

Unleashing my inner Urbex (Urban Explorer, a popular genre in photography), I wander around some of the abandoned halls and wards.

large_ccdccd60-64de-11e8-ba7f-6b4b48ad6ebd.jpg

large_e62ff4e0-64de-11e8-ba7f-6b4b48ad6ebd.jpg

large_ef5e92b0-64de-11e8-ba7f-6b4b48ad6ebd.jpg

large_01b78890-64df-11e8-ba7f-6b4b48ad6ebd.jpg
Love the home made bicycle

Poverty

Categorised as a 'least developed country', São Tomé is mostly dependent on international aid, and is among the poorest in the world, with more than half of the population living below the poverty line, and 29% in extreme poverty.

large_225b8d30-64df-11e8-ba7f-6b4b48ad6ebd.jpg

large_2c9e3310-64df-11e8-ba7f-6b4b48ad6ebd.jpg

Pounding the corn is extremely hard work, and the locals find it very amusing that I would like to have a go.


.

The population of São Tomé is relatively young, with children aged 0 to 14 years representing 44.4% of the population, yet only 38% attend secondary school.

large_3b82c2b0-64df-11e8-ba7f-6b4b48ad6ebd.jpg

large_441806b0-64df-11e8-ba7f-6b4b48ad6ebd.jpg

large_4c68c7a0-64df-11e8-ba7f-6b4b48ad6ebd.jpg

large_5cf49ea0-64df-11e8-ba7f-6b4b48ad6ebd.jpg

Blue Lagoon

This sheltered bay is popular with snorkellers as the pristine waters are teeming with fish.

large_c13b5000-657c-11e8-a5a1-ebc357eb970c.jpg

An ancient baobab stands on the beach – those of you who have followed my blog for a while will be aware of how fond I am of baobab trees.

large_cd70c530-657c-11e8-a5a1-ebc357eb970c.jpg

Picnic

At a small picnic area, we make a quick stop with coffee, juice, fruit and biscuits.

large_497386c0-657f-11e8-a5a1-ebc357eb970c.jpg

This is the place where the Portuguese first arrived back in the 15th century.

large_1ead7910-657e-11e8-a5a1-ebc357eb970c.jpg

large_31bfacd0-657e-11e8-a5a1-ebc357eb970c.jpg

large_3d4532f0-657e-11e8-a5a1-ebc357eb970c.jpg
Star fruit. I explain to Agostinho that, although we buy these fruits in the UK, I have never seen one actually growing; and he promises to look out for a star fruit tree for me.

large_e545ed50-657e-11e8-a5a1-ebc357eb970c.jpg
Taiwanese guava, they taste a little like unripe pears.

large_d5efe1c0-657f-11e8-a5a1-ebc357eb970c.jpg

large_e2924990-657f-11e8-a5a1-ebc357eb970c.jpg

large_94af40a0-6581-11e8-a5a1-ebc357eb970c.jpg
Agostinho calls these carozo nuts, but I believe we know them as 'tropical almonds' (Terminalia catappa). They taste very similar to regular almonds.

Here they are, growing on the tree:

large_faf2a670-659c-11e8-a8a2-13af1f2d31bc.jpg

large_28f86b40-659d-11e8-a8a2-13af1f2d31bc.jpg

large_14e3e4b0-6587-11e8-82a7-1984a2bab67a.jpg
Dug-out canoes on the beach

large_6bb7ab30-659d-11e8-a8a2-13af1f2d31bc.jpg

large_a7f9d8c0-659d-11e8-a8a2-13af1f2d31bc.jpg

Tunnel

The road hugs the coast on the north-west of the island and at one stage it goes through São Tomé's only tunnel.

large_c7b3cd80-6587-11e8-82a7-1984a2bab67a.jpg

It is a popular place to stop and take photos.

large_e0488700-6587-11e8-82a7-1984a2bab67a.jpg

The coastline here is rugged, with some interesting rock formations and crashing waves.

large_73af06b0-658b-11e8-a544-13c26211e3ad.jpg

large_817d4450-658b-11e8-a544-13c26211e3ad.jpg

large_89f8bec0-658b-11e8-a544-13c26211e3ad.jpg

As we head inland, we pass imposing old plantation houses and more modest wooden chalets.

large_dc974c90-658c-11e8-b259-9971aa718e68.jpg

large_e80f3e20-658c-11e8-b259-9971aa718e68.jpg

large_f07a64e0-658c-11e8-b259-9971aa718e68.jpg

Roça Monte Forté

The old plantation buildings have now been turned into a guest house and restaurant, with a small craft centre and a garden bulging with fruit and vegetables.

large_90165260-6593-11e8-9645-b9d07147af97.jpg

large_9b762810-6593-11e8-9645-b9d07147af97.jpg

large_75a36630-6597-11e8-a303-4d43083140b4.jpg

I love this place, it has so much character. The bedrooms look basic but more than adequate, with a bed, mosquito net and en suite bathroom.

large_7eb9e820-6597-11e8-a303-4d43083140b4.jpg

large_7e40a400-6598-11e8-a303-4d43083140b4.jpg
Basket weaving

large_8b616390-6598-11e8-a303-4d43083140b4.jpg
Cacao fruit

large_9b40f500-6598-11e8-a303-4d43083140b4.jpg
Calabash fruit

large_1d4de610-659f-11e8-a8a2-13af1f2d31bc.jpg
Cashew fruit - the nut is the curious dark thing hanging down below the fruit

large_38ed6e90-659f-11e8-a8a2-13af1f2d31bc.jpg
Lemon tree

large_b021a730-6598-11e8-a303-4d43083140b4.jpg

large_9a2cc1b0-659f-11e8-a8a2-13af1f2d31bc.jpg
Love the modern TV screen on the rickety old veranda.

large_267e3c20-65a0-11e8-a8a2-13af1f2d31bc.jpg
David takes a pre-lunch snooze while I wander around taking photos.

large_6b0a25c0-65a0-11e8-a8a2-13af1f2d31bc.jpg
Bananas

large_96c2c640-65a0-11e8-a8a2-13af1f2d31bc.jpg

large_44757ad0-65a1-11e8-a8a2-13af1f2d31bc.jpg
View from the balcony

This is the sort of place that we love staying in, but unfortunately it is not to be this time, as we are only stopping here for lunch.

large_92bf7100-65a1-11e8-8bf0-15bd98dfd949.jpg

large_34b85390-65a3-11e8-8ec4-97876b3ac879.jpg
Grilled bonito fish with onions

large_4261cb20-65a3-11e8-8ec4-97876b3ac879.jpg
Pumpkin, carrots, cabbage and shoo-shoo (a type of courgette or marrow)

large_643f3a20-65a3-11e8-8ec4-97876b3ac879.jpg
Fried plantain

large_6ee053b0-65a3-11e8-8ec4-97876b3ac879.jpg
Dessert: cashew fruit and papaya

Another first for the Howards: eating the fruit from the cashew nut tree. It is obviously not that common over here either, as Agostinho takes the rest home for his children, who have never tasted it, plus some seeds to grow his own tree in his garden.

large_ad272ae0-65a3-11e8-bc29-fd7363235f9c.jpg

Mucumbili

After a leisurely lunch we make our way to Mucumbili, our fabulous eco-lodge for the night. We check in and are shown to our room, a rustic wooden cabin built on the edge of the wooded cliff, with a balcony on stilts overlooking the valley and ocean beyond.

large_16e768c0-67eb-11e8-ab10-d337a43033ab.jpg

large_224087b0-67eb-11e8-ab10-d337a43033ab.jpg

large_347d4300-67eb-11e8-ab10-d337a43033ab.jpg

large_4268cca0-67eb-11e8-ab10-d337a43033ab.jpg

large_4d907b50-67eb-11e8-ab10-d337a43033ab.jpg

large_56b86260-67eb-11e8-ab10-d337a43033ab.jpg

large_66127020-67eb-11e8-ab10-d337a43033ab.jpg

Each cabin has a name rather than a number and I am absolutely thrilled to find that ours is called 'Carambola', meaning star fruit.

large_e9f54160-67eb-11e8-ab10-d337a43033ab.jpg

large_f3340bd0-67eb-11e8-ab10-d337a43033ab.jpg

Not only that, we have a star fruit tree right outside!

large_0d8ff0c0-67ec-11e8-ab10-d337a43033ab.jpg

We spend the rest of the afternoon on the balcony with a bottle of chilled white wine, watching the birds and the fishermen.

large_7a9c0c30-67ec-11e8-ab10-d337a43033ab.jpg
São Tomé Prinia, and endemic to this island

large_9386d4f0-67ec-11e8-829e-4f9665ebd931.jpg
São Tome Speirops, another endemic

large_aef9a820-67ec-11e8-829e-4f9665ebd931.jpg
Southern Cordon Bleu

large_bc6af8b0-67ec-11e8-829e-4f9665ebd931.jpg
São Tomé Sunbird - yet another endemic

large_ace0e4d0-67ed-11e8-829e-4f9665ebd931.jpg
Bronze Mannikin - not a very good photo, but it is the only one I manage to capture as he is hiding behind long grasses

Above us circle a couple of Yellow Billed Kites, and butterflies and lizards abound.

large_ec3b27d0-67ed-11e8-829e-4f9665ebd931.jpg

large_f52c6e80-67ed-11e8-829e-4f9665ebd931.jpg

large_fee91b80-67ed-11e8-829e-4f9665ebd931.jpg

This is my idea of heaven: a gorgeous rustic lodge miles from the nearest habitation, lots of birds and other small critters to keep me amused, a glass of something enjoyable and the man I love with no other human sound (or sight) for hours.

large_4d663a30-67ef-11e8-829e-4f9665ebd931.jpg

large_df0f59d0-67ef-11e8-ab10-d337a43033ab.jpg

What we do hear, however, is a strange clicking sound. We spend a long time trying to work out what it is. After a while it becomes obvious that it is coming from a bird, but which one? Eventually we discover the answer: the small São Tomé Prinia is somehow flapping its wing in a manner to make a fairly loud clicking sound. How bizarre.

large_980f5860-67ee-11e8-829e-4f9665ebd931.jpg
The noisy little prinia

large_acba0670-67ee-11e8-829e-4f9665ebd931.jpg
Northern Cordon Bleu

large_bee29d80-67ee-11e8-829e-4f9665ebd931.jpg
Sao Tomé Speirops

large_d8939c70-67ee-11e8-829e-4f9665ebd931.jpg
Prinia

large_e6552fe0-67ee-11e8-829e-4f9665ebd931.jpg
Cordon Bleu

From our balcony we can see the fish jumping in the sea, causing small ripples on the surface of the water.

large_fab651d0-67ee-11e8-829e-4f9665ebd931.jpg

The fishermen all make their way towards that area, but by the time many of them have reached the spot, the fish have moved on.

large_35dd4b60-67ef-11e8-829e-4f9665ebd931.jpg

large_3e1665a0-67ef-11e8-829e-4f9665ebd931.jpg

Dinner

Dinner is taken in the open-sided restaurant, with each cabin having its own dedicated table.

large_88441cd0-67ef-11e8-829e-4f9665ebd931.jpg

large_92ede8f0-67ef-11e8-829e-4f9665ebd931.jpg

large_9b0dfcf0-67ef-11e8-829e-4f9665ebd931.jpg
Vegetable soup

large_a63c8970-67ef-11e8-829e-4f9665ebd931.jpg
Pasta with crab, cream and Parmesan cheese

large_b5951090-67ef-11e8-829e-4f9665ebd931.jpg
This is not quite what David was expecting when he ordered 'apple pie'.

After dinner we yet again sit on the balcony for a long while, taking in the sounds and sights of the jungle after dark. There is next to no llight pollution and the stars are out, but unfortunately so are the clouds for a lot of the time.

large_2d5865a0-67f0-11e8-ab10-d337a43033ab.jpg

And so ends another delightful day in paradise. Thank you Undiscovered Destinations.

large_5a32c9d0-67f0-11e8-ab10-d337a43033ab.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 12:27 Archived in Sao Tome and Principe Tagged children birds fish fishing memorial kite paradise tunnel lizard birding fishermen bananas poverty heaven stars hospital baobab cacao rustic abandoned plantations bonito massacre astro martyrs blue_lagoon bird_watching roca eco_lodge undiscovered_destinations calabash astrophotography batepa_massacre prinia endemic_birds vinho_verde fernão_dias memorial_dos_heróis_da_liberdad agostinho_neto urbex abandoned_hospital star_fruit tropical_almonds rugged_coastline roça_monte_forte basket_weaving lemon_tree cashew_nut cashew_fruit mucumbili carambola life_list white_wine cordon_bleu speirops after_dark apple_pie Comments (4)

(Entries 1 - 2 of 2) Page [1]