- Trip Outline
- Trip Includes
- Trip Excludes
A half day hike
10 minutes of car ride toward the starting point of the hike
03 hours of easy walk and accessible to everybody
From the cathedral located in the upper town of Fianarantsoa, we will start in the direction of a viewpoint. After driving for about 1 km, we will turn right on a track that leads to the viewpoint. After a little ascent overlooking the city of Fianarantsoa for about 1.5 km, you will reach a pass from where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the valley below. This is where we start our hike. Alternatively, we can also start walking straight from the town but the way is very steep uphill.
From this pass, the descent to the bottom of the valley starts through a Eucalyptus reforestation. At the end of this forest, the path carries on to a more open landscape that will lead you to a Betsileo village and its friendly and smiling inhabitants. Then, further down, the area of rice fields begins that you will cross by balancing on narrow borders surrounded by water. A bit more walking and you will arrive at the wine estate of Antsahamasina. After passing the wine estate, you will cross a bridge over the Mandranofotsy River, which during the cyclone season can carry pretty impressive quantities of water.
The walk continues on the other side of the valley through forests, traditional villages and more terraced rice fields which are wet especially during the rainy season. You will walk again on those little walls between the fields. Walking here requires either a lot of balancing and attention, or, if you are worried about your shoes, you can take them off for a foot bath in the clay.
A little further along, you will cross a small pine forest that reminds you of the subalpine forests of the alpine reliefs. On the left, the skyline of Fianarantsoa appears on the horizon as we approach the end of our journey. After walking along a track built on a dike in the middle of the rice fields, you can discover the basins of sedimentations where people make the characteristic bricks of the Betsileo country. The hike is ending in the busy street of Ankidona, at the southern side of the city. Before going back to the city center, a small tasting of mofo gasy (rice cake) is essential.
Thus ends the discovery hike with the theme of rice cultivation. After this tour, the rice will have no more secrets! Welcome to the land of rice!
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