Andranomandroatra: Amparaky Geysers
Of all activities in the area that day, this was my favourite. In fact, it was a first-time thingy. Don't know, I just think I love it. I liked it at the Itasy lake but I prefer it here.
The geyser site counts 4 geyser springs. They lie on a aragonite plaque (see last picture).
I think one reason is my fascination about the ephemeral aspect of geyser. As I could understand, geysers exist thanks to a volcano activity underneath. Now, my all-time fascination was about when it would explode. At least, for that reason, I'm interested in volcano existence proof of evidence.
I couldn't help but feel a bit sad and disappointed while being explained that since a local company is extracting aragonite stone from this site, less pressure is applied to the mineral & spring waters beneath the surface. Hence the smaller height at which water spews out. Whilst the one on pic4 used to spew out at 20-25 meters high, it only reaches one meter high nowadays.
Anyway, one great thing is that all the four-five geysers on his site spew edible mineral water. Less "salty" than the one collected in Antsirabe area & sold as Visy Gasy & Rano Visy. Even the taste, I prefer it here.
A not that great thing, it is wasted. When I was there, I saw that they tried to collect it in a basin to allow people to cure arthritis. I think the collection is not functional yet. Still, it's worth the détour.
On my way back, found out the dirt road to Amparaky (about 5km) was not for every car. We crossed small, low (VW Golf, little Peugeots) & weak cars having to turn back & skip the geysers. Uncontrary to the perfectly tarred Tana-Analavory-Ampefy main liaison, the roads to Itasy sites of interest (the waterfalls, the geysers, the Itasy lake & islets), although of only 4-5km length, are to be assimilated with bumpy rides. No that bad as roads (no big holes, for instance). Nevertheless, since the tar hasn't completely removed, small-low/weak cars would be in trouble & one which can ride those roads shouldn't drive that fast.
- Road Trip
- Adventure Travel
Ilôt de la Vierge - the belvedere islet
Itasy lake is big, way, way big. 3500 ha and the 3rd largest in my island.
It is beautiful, as any big water surface can be. Blue. Still. Like spotless, the only spots being those pirogues fishermen use for fishing in the lake.
It is even more beautiful with the dramatic volcano mountains that edge it. My pictures only show parts of the chains, mountains, rocks that surround the lake. Still, the views we had standing on top of Ilôt de la Vierge were enchanting, soothing.
Plus, it was 3pm when we reached the top of l'Ilôt de la Vierge, the sun was not at its highest. It began to move to the West & lower already. A special light it was. Aaah! another promise, besides hitting the waterfalls in February, is to get to the islet late enough to enjoy sunset looking onto the lake.
Took tons of picture of the lake, from different angles. Like it when the blue of the water surface matches the colour of the sky (you may say it often happens, if not all the time). Still, that day, it was like a blue world just cut in two by golden-beige-greyish mountain ranges.
As usual in this Itasy area, this spot of interest is just 4-5km from a main arteria. Exiting Ampefy, on your way to Soavinandriana, once you can see the lake with those islets at your left, turn left (at village touristique level). Then drive the dirt road for about 4km to reach the islet which has the white top, Ilôt de la Vierge. The white top is a statue of Virgin Mary that dominates the lake at about 5.5m height. Be ready to climb the col. Be ready to enjoy the panoramic view, bit by bit... until you reach the top & soon be able to enjoy it at the fullest. 360° view
Pic#4 is of the statue...
- Road Trip
- Hiking and Walking
Was there only one activity, besides lunching one fresh fish, to do in Ampefy, it will be this that guides will show to you: the Liliha waterfalls. For many, "Ampefy" means "Liliha watefalls".
The Liliha is a riverstream that runs through villages & which, in Antafofo village, falls at 25m high. It was impressive, even more once I descended the stoneblock stairs & reached the riverbed level where I snapped the main picture. I liked the storming sounds. I liked the spray that moistened my face. I liked the view of Liliha downstream. Of course, the falls impressed me although we were told to return here in February, rainy season, as then we'll see the "water curtain". We promised ourselves to return there next February.
It's an easy activity to do as the spot is located just 4-5 km from the main arteria: the Analavory-Ampefy liaison.
7 km from Analavory junction, you'll see the first lake, Angavo lake at your left. At your right, a "Chutes de la Lily" sign. Turn right and ride the once dirt road for about 4-5km. Just beware, this used to be a tarred road, not totally a dirt road... bumpy ride it can be. At the entry of Antafofo village, you'll see a parking lot (with fine!) where to park your car. You'll enjoy the walk through the Antafofo village, way picturesque (pic#3).
It used to be a nice drive when we returned from the waterfalls since the setting sun was behind us & everything looked golden.
Oooh! btw, Liliha is pronounced (lee-lee), that's one reason the lazy colonials (French) who didn't know how to pronounce it the right way changed it into Lily (as in "Lily of the valley"). The sign still reads "Chutes de la Lily" if I recall it well. Right spelling is Liliha.
- Road Trip
- Adventure Travel
... but a very nice lake and a calm and beautiful landscape around. Until about 20 years ago there still lived crocodiles in this lake in front of the small hotel, where I stayed. But with more people living in this area and more tourists the crocodiles are gone.
Between the volcanos are many small lakes and when you look at them you may see a crocodile.
- Hiking and Walking
This is the main street in Ampefy. You can see the results of the last rain. And it is quite enough for the gesse to enjoy the muddy puddles.