I'd heard about a tropical desert island off the eastern coast and after wrestling with the sand, decided I had to find it.
fist step was tracking down this guy
His name is Werlhof, he's the official ticket seller for the Melissa Express boat and he is the Fonz reincarnated. He speaks good English (a rarity over here) and even with a Malagasy accent, he still manages to sound like the Fonz. I bought my ticket from him and then settled down to wait as I know there's no way on earth that the boat will depart on time (it was only 1.5 hours late leaving)
Life by the river, as I wait for the boat to leave
This guy with the roaster in the water (it's definitely alive, and not very happy)
I asked someone what he was doing, and he explained it's a "sport chicken", the mind boggles, I don't remember seeing hens doing the 100m breaststroke. However, gradually I worked out that actually he means the so-called "sport" of cock fighting. This one is a particular favourite and it's getting the gold star treatment of a plunge in the murky looking river.
Suzi safely strapped down on board
Meanwhile below decks, in the seating area, everyone was donning their lifejackets- a worrying move I thought
A journey that I was assured would be 45 minutes but was almost two hours! I arrive at Ile Sainte Marie
Apologies, bit of a video nasty, but IT'S ONLY MY SOCKS
The first time I'd had access to running water since the mud incident (and I'd only worn the socks for one day I hasten to add)
Looking in the other direction was this peaceful scene, from my hotel window, the women doing some early morning fishing
I'm heading somewhere more relaxing
A pirogue with my bike gear, and off we go to this tiny island
where the hardest part of the day is deciding which beach is the most picturesque