Tag: Travel

Madagascar – Island Hopping

David Loughlin Island Hopping in Madagascar, Nosy Be, Nosy Ambariovato, Nosy Tanikely.


Just an hour and a half flight north of Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, lies the sleepy island of Nosy Be (big island in Malagasy). Known for its beautiful beaches, sleepy villages and French influence, this archipelago serves as a jumping off point to a number of smaller islands in all directions. One finds it easy to disconnect from the digital world here, not only because of the abundance of under water dive excursions, horse back riding, island hopping, wildlife and scenic parks, but on these islands you are so far off the grid…electricity is unstable, it can and will vanish during any one of the many fierce lightning storms which pass over daily.

Local fishermen return with this day’s late afternoon catch. Want anything?
David Loughlin

No shortage of resorts along the beach offering a full range of accommodations. Enjoying an ice cold beer at high tide.

A local woman combs the beach in search of buyers of her fresh fruit.
David Loughlin

Low tide Southwest side of Nosy Be, peering south down the beach.
David Loughlin

Warm sunsets with fast moving clouds.  The sky constantly changes.

Raw video of a lightning storm in slow motion to expose the bolts.


Exploring – Hell Ville, Nosy Be, Madagascar

Peaceful drive into Hell Villa, the main town on Nosy Be. Great deals on local coffee, vanilla and many other spices.

Here you will find hundreds of merchants selling anything from freshly caught fish, local produce, electronics or whatever you need.


Island Hopping – Nosy Be to Nosy Komba (Lemur Island)

Off the coast of Nosy Be lies a volcanic island famous for the preservation of lemurs appropriately nicknamed Nosy Komba (Malagasy for Lemur Island). For a nominal fee of $35. USD, about 110,000 Malagasy Ariary you can travel via boat to any number of outer islands and explore the deep blue, snorkel, picnic or in my case, get up close and personal with a community of Malagasy lemurs.


Nosy Ambariovato

After 35 minutes of ocean wind in my face, we arrived at Nosy Ambariovato. A picturesque island, covering 25 km2, complete with lush jungles.  This island once service as a navigational aid to former mariners with its lighthouse.
David Loughlin

Eager to explore the island, we beached the boats inside the cove. Overhead winds from the Indian Ocean provide persistent change of light, as the clouds above cast quick moving shadows on the tropical landscape, alternating between soft and deep rich colors.

Just some stock video footage of our arrival on the beach on Nosy Komba.


Malagasy Lemurs

After a 20 minute hike into the forest we encountered thin trees with curious lemurs, hungry for a fresh banana. Connecting with these guys was an experience…playful, trusting, but mostly motivated by food, they are fun, bold and eager to jump on your shoulders for a bite to eat. Don’t be surprised if some jump on you from behind, they are not shy when it comes to asking for food.
David Loughlin

This little guy is curious to see if we have food. Friendly little animals.

This lemur is fascinated with the cell phone.
David Loughlin


Other Creatures on Nosy Ambariovato

Lemurs a only a few of the natural surprises you might encounter on Nosy Ambariovato. The reptiles are among the most colorful I have ever seen.

I’m not a big fan of snakes, but everyone else took the same picture, so why not.
David Loughlin


Rum & Lime – Sleepy Beachfront Bar

I found a sleepy beach bar offering shots of local rum, a 50/50 mix of rum, local lime juice served with a salted rim.
David Loughlin


Nosy Tanikely

Heading back to Nosy Be, we stopped at an even smaller island in the archipelago named Nosy Tanikely. The lighthouse on the island was once the navigational aid for nautical traffic in these waters.
David Loughlin

Boats tied up, lets explore this island.
”David

David Loughlin

The lighthouse located at the islands highest point is a reminder of days when navigation was visual not electronic.
David Loughlin

Atop the lighthouse you get a panoramic view in all directions.

David Loughlin

David Loughlin

View from the lighthouse – Your chariot awaits. Gazing down at the beach you gain perspective
David Loughlin

Local fishermen
David Loughlin


H O R S E B A C K   O N   N O S Y   B E
The mid-morning start of a half day ride across the lush countryside on Nosy Be. Horseback through the Malagasy countryside, crossing through many local farms and plantations.
David Loughlin

Pausing for a rest and taking in the sights before descending to the beach.
David Loughlin

David Loughlin

A warm day today, so its time to head to the beach for some fun in the bay with the horses.
David Loughlin

Hmm, Where to go next…

Deep contemplation on the next destination.

 

Singapore

David Loughlin – Exploring Singapore

I have visited Singapore three times in 2017 already, mostly two day stays on my way to some more tropical, exotic local like Bali, Sorong and Raja Ampat.  All told, I spent about a week in this country and I must give it credit.  I love the fine dining, elegant hotels, tropical weather and shopping.  I purchased three custom tailored suites for less than $1K, about 65% less than back home in the states and to my surprise, they were delivered to my hotel the same day by 8:00 pm.  Nothing like the pool and bar at the Sands although I am not much for heights, but the view is beautiful.   The social scene at the hotel pools in Singapore is amazing.

Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia

David Loughlin – Exploring Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia

I love islands and the feeling of sand on my feet. Exploring new islands is one of the best feelings ever.  The Indonesian archipelago has more than ten thousand islands, only a few places on earth that create a blank canvas for explorers.  Nusa Lembongan lies just off the coast of Bali, located about 11 kilometers southeast of the main island. It is a small island with the length of 4.6 kilometers at its longest point and width of 1.5 kilometers at its widest.  Only a 30 minute ride by speed boat and your in paradise.

D R E A M   B E A C H
This statue gazing out to sea says it all and gave me inspiration to return to Singapore again, before heading to North and East Africa weeks later.  Singapore, now there is an interesting country.  I have visited Singapore three times this year already,  vastly expanding my wardrobe from all of the great deals and and new Asian designs.  Between Africa and South East Asia, my wardrobe has increased in size by about 45%.  Acquiring stuff along the way.
David Loughlin


David Loughlin

Looking out to see from Dream beach with the Devils Tears behind me and Dream Beach to the left.  Exploring this beautiful island.  The roads on these tropical islands are serene.

D E V I L S   T E A R S
David Loughlin

Tourist parking.

The view of Jungatbatu Village from the hilltop above.

On approach to the island…the bay is lined with resorts perched atop the lush green hilltop.  Take some time and resort hop and see what each resort offers, grab lunch at your favorite place.

Boat bobbing in the sea.  My view from a cliff side cafe as I mingle with a group of German ladies on holiday.


David Loughlin

Seashells are like memories
I have combed some of the most remote island beaches over the past 4 months.  Many of the beaches have loads of seashells for the taking.  Just be sure to get up early and beat the locals as they clean the beaches of these beauties before 6:00 am.   Many are the largest and most colorful shells I have ever seen and so abundant I gathered about 15 pounds of them, extra luggage was required.

Picked this Indonesian bridal necklace up in Sorong, a chartered coastal city in the eastern Indonesian province of West Papua.  Hand made of shells and red coral, this piece of art weighs pounds and is almost 3 feet long.  Returning home with this in perfect condition was not easy.  Not sure what to do with it.

Diving Nusa Lembongan
Nothing like a day of diving with Capt. Morgan, not his real name of course, but much easier to pronounce.  What a great human being.

Another beautiful day in Indonesia. Magnanimous, grateful and blessed to be here at this point in time.

Ku De Ta – Seminyak, Bali

One of the most prominent hot spots on the island, Ku De Ta in Seminyak features a unique layout with a main restaurant area, a dedicated bar, a centerpiece lawn bordering the beachfront where special events take place and a special private loft for secluded moments. A dedicated sunset box provides the perfect vantage point to enjoy the crimson horizon and its own in-house international DJ team plays an impressive series of compilation albums, making Ku De Ta top of the list for music. This one-stop dining and chill-out spot has a ‘French bistro-esque’ beach side garden setting with many cozy corners to choose from. The kitchen serves a menu of pan-Asian cuisine including Thai and Japanese as well as Moroccan, European and Mediterranean flavors. Ku De Ta is a perfect venue to enjoy lazy breakfasts, hearty brunches and lunches, as well as tapas. Enjoy candlelit dinners for two at the intimate dining room, called ‘the pergola’.

Opening Hours: 08:00 – midnight
Location: Jalan Petitenget, Seminyak Tel: +62 (0)361 736 969

Website: http://www.facebook.com/KUDETA

Exploring Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

Time for some Digital Detox, yoga and mindfulness.  Feeling very grateful for the opportunity to explore this beautiful country, to learn the culture, savor the food and share the beauty with a wealth of Aussie visitors.  Special thanks to all of my friends and family for being a part of my life.

Purity, total fulfillment of all desires, the absence of cravings, friendliness to all, truthfulness, wisdom, tranquility, blissfulness, sweetness of speech, supreme magnanimity, lustrousness, one-pointedness, fearlessness and absence of divided consciousness – these are the constant experiences of one who is established in Being.

— Deepak Chopra

My home for the next week. The Alaya, Ubud, Bali

Rice Fields in Ubud.
David Loughlin

Monkey Forrest

David Loughlin

Centered

Feeling centered.  Another beautiful day at the Ayana on Bali.  Love this resort and the Rock Bar on the cliff, a perfect place to enjoy sunset with that special someone.
David Loughlin Bali Indonesia

South Africa

CAPE TOWN, CAPE POINT, WINE COUNTRY, SABI SANDS GAME RESERVE

Cape Town in the month of December. I highly recommend the Table Bay Hotel and you wont want to miss the brunch, the selection is one of the best I have ever seen.

I had an opportunity to explore the wine country, sample some vino at a couple of the wineries.

W I N E   C O U N T R Y
David Loughlin


C A P E   P O I N T,   B O U L D E R S
David Loughlin

Boulders Beach, just outside of Simon’s Town in South Africa.
David Loughlin


David Loughlin


David Loughlin

C A P E   P O I N T

S A B I   S A N D S   G A M E   R E S E R V E

Mpumalanga, South Africa.

This was a great lodge to unpack for a bit. They offer a morning and sunset safari where you can see all of the big game. Two pools, outside dining, a spa and great service.

The bar and lounge at Lyon Sands.


T H E   G A M E
We tracked this one for about an hour while she hunted.  The scent from a nearby pack of gazelle captivates her attention as she hunts for a target.  What an experience.  I found myself within 3 feet of this one as it stalked prey passing by my jeep.
David Loughlin

High vantage point for hunting.
David Loughlin

Chance encounter with this one in ta water hole. Just relaxing.
David Loughlin

Up close and personal. I felt a bit uneasy about the limited amount of distance between this big guy and my lens, but it made for a great photo.
David Loughlin

Lions napping on the rivers edge, late afternoon.
David Loughlin

David Loughlin


David Loughlin

Some of the game at Sabi Sands captured on my camera.
David Loughlin


David Loughlin

Relaxing this pair graze.
David Loughlin

Early morning safari. The smell I had to endure to get this shot…
David Loughlin

Sunset winds down a day of photography.
David Loughlin