Madagascar, Land fo freedom, Kingdom of offroad adventure

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Franck B, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. D.T.

    D.T. Difficult but useful

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    Wow, what a trip!

    Thanks for sharing! :freaky
    #81
  2. grind

    grind Been here awhile

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    Awesome! Great narrative and images. Sounds like it was an epic ride! Thanks for taking the time to post it.
    #82
  3. Franck B

    Franck B Been here awhile

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    Antsakabary is the town of a vast region living from crops and raising livestocks. It is surrounded by high mountains on one side (the high plateau we came from) and hills on the other side.
    [​IMG]

    It has a utilitarian looks, one single main trail through it and a few concrete building dating from many decades ago.
    We found a room at a pension. Actually many towns and villages offer basic rooms for local travellers, because of the short distance one may cover per day in these areas.
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    We were again quite an attraction for the local kids. Quite shy at first, they then became very participative when Marc showed them pictures and videos of them (the school and high school in the background)
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    ..once the ice broken in this manner, we could then exchange technical tips with the off-road fraction among them:
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    In the evening, we then had a nice dinner at a local, who welcomed and cooked for us in his familial room
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    #83
  4. Franck B

    Franck B Been here awhile

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    Despite a busy eve, we did not need any alarm clock to wake up at 5. First we got somehow used to wake up early, second, the first shades of red light were sufficient to animate our chicken and pigs next-door-neighbours :ear

    The good news of the morning was that the anti-inflammatory drugs worked fine, so Antonio´s knee did not stiffen over the night, he could walk and ride.

    So, breakfast in our eve´s dinner room and up on the track following the river
    [​IMG]
    #84
  5. sandalscout

    sandalscout blah blah blah

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    This picture speaks volumes! Awesome, awesome ride!
    #85
  6. Franck B

    Franck B Been here awhile

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    I loved the peace inspiring scenery of that morning, following the river, the shades of orange mixing with the green and shiny tones of the mountain surrounded river
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    [​IMG]
    #86
  7. linksIT

    linksIT nOObie

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    WOW fantastically epic trip thank you for sharing your awesome report and pictures of such a remote place
    :clap:clap:freaky:clap:clap:freaky:clap:clap:clap:freaky:clap:clap:clap:clap:freaky
    #87
  8. Franck B

    Franck B Been here awhile

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    relaxing landscape that morning
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    different construction style in the villages
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    and broken bridges only used during the rain season
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    mighty mountains, still..
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    and approaching more crowded areas...
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    #88
  9. Franck B

    Franck B Been here awhile

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    We then crossed and quit the Sofia river to try once the asphalt to Antsohihy
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    We had a quick lunch there, also high time to treat the low tide of our IMS tanks. Then back on track, where the landscaped flattened and got quite arid in this season... what a contract with the rain forest, one day before...
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    on these arid tracks, only few villages and interrogations raised in local minds..
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    a family stopped 15km away from the closest village, under hit sun and dry air... Thierry managed to fix the Chinese bike, locked tank ventilation hole, so simple.
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    almost there: Mozambique channel in view !
    [​IMG]
    #89
  10. Franck B

    Franck B Been here awhile

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    After this hot and dusty afternoon, a bath in the ocean was welcome.
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    Ananalava was the former main town of the region, but when Madagascar got independent, the road from Tana to Diego was brought more east through Antsohihy, and Ananalava got isolated at the end of a peninsula without valid bridge to cross the straight closing the river´s delta.
    Still some reasonable town activity there; a concert of local star Tiana and pick-up trucks with megaphones making advertising for candidates of the upcoming presidential elections.

    We spend the night at Bruno, a former adventurer and bush plane pilot, who settled there in his very nice hotel.

    Entering the town, there was a natural jump on a broken bridge. Since kids were applauding on the sides, a few of us did the show by jumping it. When the police came for a routine check at the hotel, Thierry made us the joke it was because of reckless riding into town... but well we did not pick it, and the policeman was much toö much friendly.

    Time for dinner
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    we walked a bit around the small town after that, but soon our body reminded us of the long stage that day...
    #90
  11. Tiffany

    Tiffany Airhead Adventuress

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    Wow - more great pictures, and I know Antonio's pain. It always seems to be at the end of the day when I'm getting tired that I have a fall.
    #91
  12. macera

    macera n00b

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    This looks amazing! Thanks for sharing!
    #92
  13. Franck B

    Franck B Been here awhile

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    Day 11 started with the warm bright sun shining morning we currently miss so much in north Europe.

    We took a generous breakfast at the nice hotel of Bruno, the former pilot and adventurer, always very nice and cool :thumb His mother, who went retiring at his place, chatted a bit with us.

    We then jumped on our saddles. Last full day of our trip, so watch out not to :p3rry:kurt

    After a few km of sandy track along the sea, first thing we needed to do was to pass the La Loza river delta straight. One option was:

    [​IMG]

    (with pic of president candidate number xxx)
    But on that day the wind was so strong and the water stream, the entire bay emptying through this stay, so powerful, that the real solution to avoid pirogues and bikes to be swallowed by the ocean, was a motorised boat, organised by Jean-Pierre:
    [​IMG]
    #93
  14. Franck B

    Franck B Been here awhile

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    on the other side of the straight there used to be a road. Now more than 50 years later, only dust, not even a trail.
    Only a tiny pedestrian path vanishing into vague crossings.
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    N/NW heading, we were often stopping at the top of a hill to understand how to catch the trail running 20km away.

    [​IMG]
    #94
  15. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

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    Awesome! Thank you for sharing your adventures!! :clap
    #95
  16. Franck B

    Franck B Been here awhile

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    mango trees, hanging well over the path, were almost the only shadow... energy food ration inclusive... and at times trouble maker for our Go-Pro carrying stunt man. For all of us bongo our our helmets passing through.
    Time for a break.
    [​IMG]
    #96
  17. Franck B

    Franck B Been here awhile

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    After some times we approached areas with more vegetation... and the first village. Back on track. And what a trail ! 40km of fluid trails going through forest, sand, rocks, dust, up, down, jumping gaps, full amusement program :clap.
    No navigation required so I couldn´t help let the fire out of my tires... I´ll having plenty of time to have conservative sofa sessions during the cold European winter.

    It was the last full day of our adventure. On that evening we would be back to known land, where we started from on the main Island the second day. Loop complete.

    Heading for the road, I made a break to wait for my fellows to catch up. At that place a tornado passed, lifting all kinds of branches. As if the elements we rode our way through were telling us goodbye
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    #97
  18. Franck B

    Franck B Been here awhile

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    On the last stretch of road, I noticed how familiar the landscape, people, villages and towns, and life seemed already familiar to me. I could recall my first feelings on our first stretch on the main Island, this feeling I travel through the intimacy of a different, unfamiliar, world. I realised how much I had adapted to my traveller condition, my soul and body were ready to go on and on absorbing every bits of track and daily show. But it was the last day, it made me wish for more.
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    #98
  19. Franck B

    Franck B Been here awhile

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    In the afternoon we arrived in the town of Ambanja. Thierry checked at a Telma shop for getting a new SIM card cause he dropped his phone from his pocket two days before... no way... he would have had to go first to a police station, make a declaration there, etc.. welcome back to civilisation.

    On our way to Ankify then, we went across the cyclists that deliver fish to Ambanja.. they go full speed the 18km from Ankify harbour to city center to be the first to sell their fish to restaurants and to evening market fishmongers
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    #99
  20. Franck B

    Franck B Been here awhile

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    On the road to Ankify, we crossed the cocoa plantations and reached our destination around 4pm

    Hotel on the main square of Ankify, right on the beach; time for a few team shots
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    Remember Leo, with the Chinese bike, who hunted the wild duck on the second day ? It is his brother´s hotel.

    We then shared a few beers with Thierry and Leo´s brother, waiting for Souadry, the school teacher we met at the school on second day, Frederic and Veronique, from the Madilo association supporting the school, to arrive from Diego by car
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