Mapless in Madagascar

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Tiffany, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. sandalscout

    sandalscout blah blah blah

    Joined:
    May 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,324
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    Nashville, TN
    Woohoo! Glad it helped!
  2. Tiffany

    Tiffany Airhead Adventuress

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,125
    Location:
    Lands End, England (sometimes)
    and mainly just to upload this picture

    [​IMG]

    because I have been having a very muddy time in Madagascar.
    However the rest of the RR has to catch up with it first, but I thought you guys would appreciate a sneak preview:D
  3. kalahari-k

    kalahari-k Kalahari-K

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    201
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    That picture made me think of wrestling...........with the bike I mean!
  4. GiorgioXT

    GiorgioXT Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,437
    :deal

    Relax, and think that people actually pay for mud baths ....:D from colour seems a very fine and nasty pottery clay, Keep going the outstanding report!
  5. Tiffany

    Tiffany Airhead Adventuress

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    It's the sort of clay/mud they use to construct houses in Madagascar - time for a quick wash.
    Meanwhile, back to the narrative now that I can upload pictures again - you all owe sandal bloke a beer...
  6. Tiffany

    Tiffany Airhead Adventuress

    Joined:
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    It was time to leave the island which was when things went wrong, I lost the keys, OK, misplaced- first time in 16 years of travel. And then I also have to admit there was a bit of a language barrier and we missed the proper ferry back to the mainland – it left at the unearthly hour of 4.30 and yet I’d been told it always goes at 6.30am.
    This was our alternative boat
    [​IMG]
    The one in the foreground, at least it's got life jackets.
    And this was the one that Suzi would go in
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    – an open sea crossing and they crammed a LOT of bikes into what they were treating as a vehicle ferry
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    [​IMG]

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    We think we look great in our life jackets!
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    We overtook the vehicle ferry as it [​IMG]ged its way across the ocean.
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    We still feel it was an added bonus was that we made it safely ashore to the mainland of Madagascar, we could easily still be floating around the Indian Ocean.
    and our luggage also made it (handy porter service)
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    As did Suzi and the mopeds
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    [​IMG]
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    And we were soon on our way
    [​IMG]
  7. Tiffany

    Tiffany Airhead Adventuress

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    I can't seem to edit the previous post - I need to sort out the words that go with the pictures but it's not showing anything when I try to edit. I'll re-pots the last bit.
    Also the words are in the wrong colour where I copied and pasted them in from Word- don' know why they're the wrong colour.
    Sorry
  8. Tiffany

    Tiffany Airhead Adventuress

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    What I had neglected to tell my erstwhile pillion passenger was that this alternative ferry would dump us on a desolate bit of coast with 30kms of sand tracks to get to any decent road surface
    [​IMG]<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    She took it in good spirit and when Suzi wasn’t able to carry the pair of us through the deeper sandy bits, the Librarian got off and walked!

    [​IMG]
    Or ran!
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p>For those of you who have been paying attention, I got her to run on this part as a re-enactment of an earlier pic from this section of sand.</o:p>
    I said "I'm Sorry" to her a lot. And if she could ride sand I would have swapped places with her<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    We ran into a problem with some fishing ropes- these stretch for hundreds of yards from the water across the beach and beyond.
    [​IMG]
    Luckily the librarian was behind me AND she has a loud voice as she was able to alert me before it became a problem.
    A much needed lunch break at this spot<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    Typical Madagascan fare, lost of fried things
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    Something very dodgy looking being sold in the pink bowl wrapped in bits of old paper, we weren’t brave enough to try them
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    though we had a go at most of the food items<o:p></o:p>
    A river crossing or three on this route, all educational for my sister.
    What’s known as a Double Pirogue in the business, fairly standard for bikes bigger than a moped, or so I was assured. The pirogues are tied together and the passengers get in one boat while the bike is in the other.
    [​IMG]
    I usually sit by the bike so that I can hold it steady if anything goes wrong
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    <o:p></o:p>
    Back on solid ground...<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    …or so I thought!
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    I hadn’t approached this bank with enough revs and I paid the price.
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    The best petrol station in town

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    And then back on the road alongside the Indian Ocean with the opportunity to grab a quick swim on the beach
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    <o:p></o:p>

    Through a palm tree plantation, I’m not sure what kind they are.<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
  9. Tiffany

    Tiffany Airhead Adventuress

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Lands End, England (sometimes)
    whoops - this was the plantation we rode through

    [​IMG]
  10. Tiffany

    Tiffany Airhead Adventuress

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    1,125
    Location:
    Lands End, England (sometimes)
    Madagascar - Land of the bright green geckos
    [​IMG]<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>

    [​IMG]

    We're heading back to civilisation
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    A large boulder of rock being cut into pieces and sold at the roadside.
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    Back in Tana, we unloaded the bike.
    The Librarian had a go at riding Suzi,
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    and did well
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    Last street food- some of this sweet stuff, which looks dodgy but tastes nice
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    We posed for our final pictures together– photos taken by an eight year old, hence the unusual angle.
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    Then dodging the watchful gaze of the Gendarmerie at the airport car park (their uniform is identical to the one worn in France)
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    Librarian does a last bit of re-packing (in the airport)
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    And she’s gone.
    BACK TO SOLO TRAVEL<o:p> </o:p>
    To say thanks to our host for the great hospitality, I clean his KTM bike
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p>The finished product - even Thelma never looked this clean</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    And then relax with a cold beer and an email session on the computer,<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
  11. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
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    3,354
    Location:
    round the world
    front page :clap:clap

  12. TemeculaRider

    TemeculaRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    565
    Location:
    La Paz, Baja California Sur
    Enjoyed the latest update. :D What a fascinating place.
  13. Tiffany

    Tiffany Airhead Adventuress

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,125
    Location:
    Lands End, England (sometimes)
    just had another no Internet gap

    Suzi was having a facelift before I left Tana
    [​IMG]

    But far more importantly, it's Secret Santa time here on ADVRider- I'm signed up (I love it), I hope some of you have signed up as well - spread a bit of cheer this winter and send a stranger a Christmas gift then enjoy the pics on ADV as they open it. If you don't know what I'm talking about, go to the Inmates section and take a look. Back to the RR soon - I've got a shopping list to do...:D
  14. Tiffany

    Tiffany Airhead Adventuress

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,125
    Location:
    Lands End, England (sometimes)
    So where was I? Ah, yes Lonely Coates they call me now. I'll be setting off east and Suzi is getting this fitted
    [​IMG]


    a reappearance by Arsene the chef who also turns out to be a mechanic as he fits the larger fuel tank to Suzi and changes the colour scheme a bit.
    [​IMG]
    So Suzi and I apparently now have about 300kms range, which will be useful.

    Heading out of Tana I pass the giant granite boulder which is still being chipped away

    [​IMG]

    I can already see the difference from when I passed this way last time.
    [​IMG]

    and the green paddy fields stretching away- apparently Madagascar is the only part of Africa where rice is grown, I must admit I haven't seen fields of rice like this apart from Asia and err, Iran:huh You'd have to check my RR from a couple of years ago to see the proof.[​IMG]

    Buildings change from scruffy concrete to mud

    [​IMG]

    and there's still tarmac on the road

    In Andasibe, I got roped into doing a jungle walk

    [​IMG]

    this was a guy attempting to get a giraffe necked weevil down out of the tree to show us what it looked like

    [​IMG]

    I won't bother doing all the far away shots, here is one of them closer...but what is it...

    [​IMG]

    They've got faces like a koala, no tail and yet they're a type of lemur

    [​IMG]


    called an Indri


    [​IMG]
  15. Tiffany

    Tiffany Airhead Adventuress

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,125
    Location:
    Lands End, England (sometimes)
    mmm

    [​IMG]

    Bet you didn't know that Madagascar has crocodiles- so there I was thinking what a bonus it is to be able to camp in an African country and not have to worry about lions, when someone took me to see the crocs!
    Must remember not to camp near rivers

    and apparently these are just the small ones, look at this croc skin

    [​IMG]

    someone else can do the maths, but I'm 5'6" tall

    and look who arrived in town?
    [​IMG]

    It's Kim, the Korean guy on the Honda whom I last saw on the west coast a couple of weeks ago. Once more we're going in opposite directions but we had a couple of beers over dinner. And then in the morning he headed off into the jungle to look for Indri before heading into Tana where he returns his hire bike and gets his next flight onward to... well I can't think of a more extreme opposite to Madagascar at the moment, he's off to Iceland:huh:huh
    [​IMG]

    Good luck Kim. And no, don't worry folks he hasn't been travelling like that 0 it's just his day kit.
    Another familiar face ( remember the flat tyre from a while ago?) I was passing through the same village and stopped to have a cup of tea with the family who helped. Antonio wasn't around but his Mum was, and she's carrying around a pic of Antonio sat on Suzi with my sister next to him
    [​IMG]

    I think she has got an eye on my sister being her new daughter-in-law! I tried pointing out that I'm the single one:D


    Mango season has started and my favourite fruit is everywhere and very cheap

    [​IMG]

    and then down the road, just as it started raining I saw these guys and pulled over to see if I could help

    [​IMG]
  16. Tiffany

    Tiffany Airhead Adventuress

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Lands End, England (sometimes)
    Those blokes were simply out of fuel, and how pleased were they that I had stopped?!

    They pulled out an old drinks bottle and had my fuel pipe off in seconds!

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    back to their moped- amazed that I wouldn't take any money for the fuel they had taken
    They headed off, with a cheery wave and...

    [​IMG]
    squeezing on with the hatted one's sister and her basket of shopping which was somehow crammed in between his knees.

    [​IMG]

    The rain was heavy and made the rest of the day a bit grim for riding, I eventually stopped at a town which promised beach bungalows by the name of Tropicana (oh those days of Wham), but it didn't look very tropical, even when the deluge had stopped pouring
    [​IMG]

    Down on the beach they were bringing in the day's catch

    [​IMG]
  17. Tiffany

    Tiffany Airhead Adventuress

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,125
    Location:
    Lands End, England (sometimes)
    The day started peacefully enough, with watching this guy in the water, up to his neck in the lily pads

    [​IMG]

    I'm not sure exactly what he was doing
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    Pulling up handfuls of roots and draping them over his makeshift raft.

    The first river crossing of the day, with a mechanised barc

    [​IMG]


    Watching what appeared to be the whole village in the water perilously close to the massive breakers
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    getting the fish in
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    [​IMG]

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    Some dirt tracks (no tarmac for a while- or at least some days...no one ever seems sure) these were fun to ride

    Then the first of the river crossings where the barc (barge) didn't appear to be operating

    [​IMG]

    refreshments were on hand for those waiting

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    I was most disappointed to find that they had fish in them and so was she to find that I didn't eat fish as there were no other customers


    However, there was an alternative to the barc

    [​IMG]

    Yep, the good old double pirogue

    although on closer inspection, this one didn't appear very seaworthy
    [​IMG]

    I held my breath as they heaved Suzi onto it
    [​IMG]

    Though actually, once we got going it didn't seem too bad

    [​IMG]
  18. Tiffany

    Tiffany Airhead Adventuress

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    Just to prove there are some bridges in Madagascar

    [​IMG]

    It was a day of dirt and sand, the hours went by and the heat built up- I got tired and the inevitable happened

    Suzi had a lie down

    [​IMG]

    I had a few attempts at heaving her back up

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    In the end I had to take the bags off.

    I liked the look of this burnt tree

    [​IMG]

    The ultimate shadow puppet

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    The sand turned to dirt and I out on a bit of speed, I was hoping to reach a town for the night so that I could have a beer,

    [​IMG]

    Note to self - I've got to stop pulling the Daisy Duck face when I'm riding

    and then there it was, one more river to cross (I crossed four in total today, but I thought you wouldn't appreciate too many river crossings!)

    [​IMG]

    these guys just really didn't seem to know what they were doing. So I showed them pictures on my camera from other pirogue crossings and so they started to rope these two together
    [​IMG]

    They went a bit more fancy than Suzi and I are used to, with large poles holding the two pirogues together
  19. Tiffany

    Tiffany Airhead Adventuress

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    The previous day's idyllic looking final pirogue ride was not the best as the guys succeeded in dislodging the fuel pipe that leads out of the fuel tank on the left side. This mean that fro the whole of the pirogue journey one of them sat there with his thumb over it to prevent petrol pouring out.
    The scene on the opposite bank was comical as they attempted to unload whilst one person still had his thumb on it and then they pushed Thelma along the track to a mechanic's house

    [​IMG]

    Don't ask me why it takes four of them when I can easily push the bike on my own. They were all a bit subdued and concerned about what my reaction would be about the damage to Suzi.
    The mechanic wasn't far away - he looks to be about 19 years old and operates out of his mother's front yard- a bit al fresco and casual but then this is Africa.
    [​IMG]
    He got to work and seemed quite proficient so I left him to it- I had spotted a hotel not far away, and I was sweating like a pig all I could think was- room, cold shower - freshen up.

    [​IMG]

    I returned to find the mechanic just finishing off, with the usual posse of friends all hanging around, what you can't see in this photo are the five or six younger lads also clustered and watching.

    [​IMG]

    All sorted and no longer leaking. He charged me 5,000 Ariary (£1.66).

    Parking the bike at the hotel I went off in search of cold beer - maybe I'll push the boat out and have two!!:beer
    There is always a slightly shocked response when I walk into a Bar over here - a woman on her own AND she's a foreigner. Especially in the out of the way places where they have very few foreigners, which this town was. But I never have any problems, and the beer is good over here.
  20. Tiffany

    Tiffany Airhead Adventuress

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Lands End, England (sometimes)
    Excuse the typos but the edit function doesn't seem to be working properly - I get a blank screen when I try to edit. That will teach me to proof read properly before I hit the submit button!
    Though in my defence, the Internet connection is not foolproof and has cut out a couple of times- as did the power in this half of the town I'm in. Which means I just think, get it done and send, then double check once it has uploaded safely.

    Talking of which, is sandalscout still around? My computer will no longer switch off or re-start. It sort of stutters and then just ignores the command, it's been like that for a week.
    And I can't access the Task Manager either, Ctrl Alt Del doesn't do anything.