Through couchsurfing.com, I'd been in touch with an American Peace Corps worker and went to visit her
Sarah is very blonde and from Michigan - two major contrasts to being in Madagascar
She's been out here for 18 months and had a lot of good information to share and advice to give. We had lunch at a market restaurant and she introduced me to the drink rano'apango - boiled burnt rice water. Which although it smelt pretty bad, it tasted alright, like a strong roibusch (redbush) tea from South Africa.
I managed to run out of fuel- schoolgirl error, I hadn't realised that the bike had been handed over with the reserve switched on. This meant I had a bit of a delay, when I pushed the bike to the nearest village and paid someone to cycle the 6kms to the next fuel stop and bring back a coke bottle of petrol. So I was unable to get to my destination that night- because there's no way I'm riding in the dark over here. I was a bit stuck for accommodation options, the only place in the small town had red light bulbs and also rented by the hour!!
However the owner was very nice and assured me I would be safe there rather than out on the road with the animals and the brigands!
As I rode in through the gates, I saw what looked like a familiar sight-
a van identical to one I had travelled through the 'Stans with a few years ago.
the next morning (after a very peaceful night's sleep) the owner of the establishment and his wife posed for a picture
I made it back to Tana, and stayed at the house of a friend of the bike shop owner (long story)
The house was full of Enduro trophies
And the only reading material were motocross and Enduro magazines...in French naturally.
Dinner that night was provided at the house by a couple of well...reprobates is the only word to describe them, they're originally from Reunion Island and have ended up in Madagasacar. They washed it down with lots of rum, which I managed to decline.
It was back to the bike shop in the morning, to give back the 250cc and pick up the DR 350.
And time to pack it
Here I am attempting to fill the Coyote Saddle Bag
And here is what I put in it
Time to head north
for some adventures,