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Old 10-14-2013, 03:33 AM   #61
Tiffany OP
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Laugh Pamplona meets Pirates of the Caribbean..

Just to backtrack a bit, pre-sister
I had to get back to the mainland of Madagascar and this was the boat myself and Suzi the bike were taking to the open sea in



To be honest there is a something that I would think of as a better ferry but my timings meant I was heading out in this. They quickly got Suzi on board




All was peaceful in the early morning on the beach, as I waited for more passengers to arrive; a duck seller approached and wanted to know if I was interested in his wares. I pointed out I was travelling by motorcycle and he offered to tether them, still ive, to Suzi


I declined.

and then all hell let loose when the earlier cargo, a zebu (African cross between an ox and a cow) charged back onto the beach



with half the village either running from it or chasing it
I was one of those cowering behind a tree taking these photos





this appeared to be the end of its adventures but it tossed its head, charged at the guy who had hold of the rope, who, quite naturally let go and ran for his life (with the rest of the village watching and roaring with laughter)

the zebu then changed tack, having been chasing up and down the road and the beach, it headed away from the people



and out to sea





this was on full zoom - similar to those blurry Loch Ness monster photos from the 1950's. This is definitely genuine.

At which point as it reached 1/4 mile out to sea with no sign of stopping, the boat guys ran out from the café where they were having breakfast and took to the boat in attempt to head off the zebu




Hmm, yes, well spotted, that IS Suzi acting as part of the Inshore Lifeboat rescue team, strapped down in the boat which is little more than a glorified rowing boat.

They reached the zebu, grabbed its trailing rope




and brought it back to shore at a forced march version of a swim




however, as its feet reached solid ground once more, it took off, lowered its head




even angrier than before and we had the Pamplona Running of the Bulls on a tropical beach again



Until finally, after a lot more bull charging, it was finally caught and tethered to a tree on the beach to calm down

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Old 10-14-2013, 03:50 AM   #62
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Old 10-14-2013, 04:22 AM   #63
Tiffany OP
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Cool2 Back to Mainland Madagascar

There is a lot to catch up on after just a week without internet, so here we go

With all the zebu drama, I hadn't noticed how many people had gathered on the beach for the boat to the mainland. They quickly climbed aboard and I squeezed in between a granddad and a 10 year old. In total there were 20 people and about 10 kids ont he boat plus a lot of luggage and of course, Suzi the motorbike.
It looked something like this




yes, the eight year old is fast asleep against the bike.

It was a relatively short journey, around 40 mins to the mainland and we soon found ourselves surfing in on the waves, landing on a sandy beach



children were passed off the boat first and it was all hands to help out

this was the sleepy head and her baby brother




Bags were passed off next, and then they all heaved the boat up the beach. Except there wasn't much movement. It wouldn't budge and the waves were breaking over the stern, swamping the boat. a shout went out, now I'm not much of a Malagasy speaker, but even I could tell that the yell was "Get the bike off or we lose the boat" - I'm sure there are shadows of Jonah in this somewhere.
I couldn't protest, they undid the ropes, grabbed Suzi and hauled her overboard in almost waist deep water.
I admit I panicked a bit, but there was nothing I could do, but the guys did well and hauled her quickly up the shore.



This woman in the foreground was more concerned with her charcoal brazier. They pulled and hauled Suzi up the beach.




and then everyone helped to get the boat up high beyond the reach of the waves



I stayed to make sure all was well and to pay my fare.
I looked around, I had absolutely no idea where I was, I'd been landed ont he coastline of Eastern Madagascar somewhere north of Soaneirana ivongo (bit of a mouthful that one). It was just a beach, no jetty or anything, they had been unable to show me on my map where I was - it was too small to be graced with a name.
So I took off, heading south, heading inland a bit to find a track. The track soon petered out into water



which I managed to cross, the next part had a thoughtful bridge of sorts, for pedestrians and bikes






In this part of the world, this is major infrastructure.

But then things went downhill when I had to follow this stream




Unbelievably, I came across another bike with a couple of local blokes wearing some sort of hunting gear.




They could only reply yes to everything I asked them. So I continued south with the sea on my left, until suddenly I came out onto the local equivalent of the M5, complete with a lorry blocking the way



That sandy track may not look much but it was the best chance of a main road I had seen for almost a couple of hours.

I reached a river, with a vehicle barge ging past




I took a pirogue with the welcome sight at the other end of Madame and the lunch table



I selected the veggie options - the meal is called compose, and you choose what you want. My eal looked something like this



Madame was able to confirm that I was ont he correct road and shortly after I saw this welcome sight



For the uninitiated, that is a Malagasy kilometre post, set at intervals on major routes (it may take a slight stretch of the imagination to see this as being a major route)

Even better, the S/Ivongo 8 potentially means I am just 8 kms from the town with the very long name and where rumours have it, there is tarmac.



I was thrilled, but then it doesn't take much to please me
and so I promptly fell over




I've mastered the picking up with your back tot he bike, so not such a problem this time.

and I was a bit more careful with the next section



a note to self to maybe not bring pillion riders this way.

hotly pursued by something that looks like it should be in a horror movie



I made it to the safety of yet another pirogue

where Suzi was loaded in some quite stagnant water, made to look prettier by some floating plants -believe me, it was stinking and I was almost knee deep in it as I helped the blokes to lift her up and into the pirogue.



at the other end we had a bit of a problem, I thought the shore looked odd, it turned out we had a longish haul to more solid ground




and then when I reached the village entrance, it was completely underwater, early rains had caused flooding



The next 20 minutes were spent trying to find a route between the thatched huts and up onto solid ground.
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Old 10-14-2013, 04:43 AM   #64
Tiffany OP
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Wink Travelling Life

Yes, I found the tarmac and yes, I made it to civilisation, though if you can call this civilisation



They've got wings and to give you a sense of size...



Nearly the size of my hand. I had entered the land of the giant cockroaches. To add to my problems




It had started to rain, this is the view from my room at the best hotel in town looking towards the shared toilet. And to prove it's a proper hotel, here are the rules...



if you can read Malagasy.

However I was more concerned with the rain, this is supposed to be the dry season in Madagascar

I put all my layers of clothes on and headed out, things were not much prettier on the roads. Looking at this picture, you may be surprised to hear that they are actually supposed to drive on the right in Madagascar



This was one of those situations where it's every man (or woman) for him/herself, and I was quick to take advantage with the off-road capabilities of the bike.

And so to Tana and the house of Thom and his family who had heard about my travels and kindly offered to host me (and my dirty washing!). What lovely, fantastic people. Clothes in the washing machine and I sat down
to a sumptuous meal



Thai food with a great wine and great company



I felt completely spoilt.
As a total contrast, my next 24 hours were spent in very normal pastimes, such as going for a bike ride with the kids and Thom



Even this close to the city centre, there are paddy fields




Playing landrover games
an old play structure which is rotting and dangerous, it needs demolishing



Enter the Landrover and girls who know how to use all the attachments






It might not have been pretty but it didn't take long and it was very satisfying.





Playing board games is also one of my favourites, though I well and truly lost at Fibber



And so goodbye to this life of comfort and back to the road this time with my sister in tow as pillion rider.
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Old 10-14-2013, 05:01 AM   #65
Tiffany OP
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Laugh The Sister Joins the Journey

She arrived with a smile and sense of adventure, more importantly, she arrived with very little luggage



Day one on the road and she's got the hang of the picnic lunches



Accommodation-wise we started off gently, just take a look at this place or should I say palace?!



It cost us about £10 between us for the night. We're up on the second floor so I'm hoping that the flying cockroaches won't reach us!!

We're using the local rickshaws to get around, no bike, just a bloke on foot running through the streets in his barefeet.



she's got a good sense of humour and enjoyed it all.

A chameleon was spotted in the road



He tried to leg it, but we were onto him with our cameras






She (sister NOT chameleon) likes bird watching, and spotted a Madagascar Hawk




Meanwhile I'm riding around enjoying a bit of off-roading



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Old 10-14-2013, 05:58 AM   #66
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Tiffany--
Great report!! Hello to your sister too. I've been following your stuff for a long time, just don't usually check in, but it the best and most interesting of them all.
Take care and let us know how things are going.
Bob
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Old 10-15-2013, 02:32 PM   #67
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Looks like you two are enjoying yourselves. I don't think I'd be able to last 10 minutes with my sister traveling :)
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Old 10-15-2013, 04:56 PM   #68
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Enjoying, once again, your epic adventures.Travel safe...
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Old 10-19-2013, 11:19 AM   #69
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Black death in Madagascar?

I just came across this: http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...car-rats-jails

And immediately thought about this ride report.

Seems to be confined to the jails so far, but watch out for fleas!

And needless to say, stay out of jail!

How's the trip coming?
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:51 AM   #70
Tiffany OP
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Laugh Did Someone Mention Plague??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lacedaemon View Post
I just came across this: http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...car-rats-jails

And immediately thought about this ride report.

Seems to be confined to the jails so far, but watch out for fleas!

And needless to say, stay out of jail!

How's the trip coming?
Thanks for that, I enjoyed reading the report as I scratched at the numerous bites on my back - bitten through my shirt and vest last night- now wondering if it's Bubonic Plague and will be checking out the symptoms shortly.
Funnily enough as soon as my pics are online, one of the first to be posted in the next few days is from my recent encounter with the Madgascan Giant Jumping Rat - yes, it's for real and YES It's BIG
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Old 10-21-2013, 03:39 PM   #71
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Just curious , would these be alright for vegetarians
(sister is cute)
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:29 AM   #72
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Hi Tiffany and the cool Librarian, enjoying the journey and pics of beaches, palm trees, sarongs, and good food as we march toward frost on the pumpkins time back here. I'm curious about the range of local produce available and the methods of cooking, it all looks tasty.

Have lots more fun, Stephen
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:00 PM   #73
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Hey Tiffany that picture of you and your young friend playing Fibber is price less,it makes me smile every time I look at it,good times.Hope you get to feeling better!
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Old 10-22-2013, 02:16 PM   #74
Franck B
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Hello Tiffany,

I just came back from an off-road trip in Mada. I´m posting it there :
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=928633
Do not hesitate to contact me should you need information on any of the stretches I did.

Good ride
Franck
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Old 10-24-2013, 10:58 PM   #75
Tiffany OP
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Eek Edible??

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheReaper! View Post
Just curious , would these be alright for vegetarians
(sister is cute)
TheReaper!


You know my motto as far as eating goes Reaper - Nothing With a Face
and this little creepy crawly definitely has a face
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