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Ilakak, Madagascar.

We arrived on the high plateau, there was nothing but a lonely tree on this immense expanse, the wood had been transformed into charcoal, sadness overcame me, I thought of Easter Island.

Our 4x4 which had looked good was about to give up the ghost , first of all the air conditioning and now the way was more and more difficult and the noises under the bonnet made us remember that the term engine explosion was not overrated.

We descended gently towards Ilakak ,the Western town, where some sapphires had been discovered several years ago.

At the entrance of a bridge stretching over a dried river bed I noticed a  bed of rock overhanging the high rock walls, I stopped the 4x4 asking myself if it would start again, but a few kilometres away with scarcely a look, I wondered if one had ever known such shining crystals under the blazing sun.

My son had just joined me and we collected some translucent pebbles, whites, yellows but no pinks or blues, unfortunately.

The horn sounded because the temperature had become unbearable in the 4x4.  We started off painfully just as far as the Far West shanty town of gaping gaps punctuated by a bar,chickens and bicycles.

The round crystals were quartz and the 4x4 was dead at the entrance of the town.




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