Either you’re adventurous or you’re not.And for those who are, there is a kind of satisfaction to suffer, what I will call the sadomasochism of the traveller. Riding on the roads means earning your trip, paying your dues to nature. “Wait, you don’t want it to be easy either?!!!”. If you are that kind of person, if you don’t like the routine, the schedules followed to the minute, Madagascar will please you!
Some of the french old cars – with which grandparents used to go to the village ball and the postmen to their daily tour – were thrown away in Madagascar.
If for us they have a vintage charm, a cute obsolete, for the Malagasy they are synonymous with daily galley and system D.
Because old cars + high roads have never been a good mix…
You tell me, it’s better to drive a 4x4 on these roads. Sure, but if you don’t want to blow up your budget, you’re going to have to make some concessions, and renting an off-road vehicle is going to cost you a arm and a leg, whereas all the visiting sites don’t have to have one.
First day of road trip, first breakdown.
A tire dies. Minor repair until the next stage where our driver will change the wheel during our site visit.
Later, on the road from Antsohihy to Ankarana, we have to pass a dented steel bridge.
The muffler breaks and comes off. Our driver finds a way to tie it up with a leather belt, and we head back to the nearest village.
A little saleswoman keeps calling me “vazaha!”, but she doesn’t speak French, it’s hard to go further…
It goes on and on (the pot must be welded), enough for us to see several waves of passengers get out of their bus to make a stop.
It takes a bit of driving to reach the entrance of the park. Rivo, our driver, is going too fast, the ground is very dusty, he does not see the stone that will break the crankcase.
Our 4x4 driver comes to pick us up, after siphoning a little gas oil at our little Peugeot… Already 1 hour lost, the guide warns us that we will have to eliminate a cave from our circuit.Well....
The 4x4 arrives and drops us at the park. We begin our visit with the cave of the potamochères, a fresh rest under this burning sun.The driver calls back our guide; barely 15 minutes on the spot and we already have to leave! His «official» client has already decided to leave. We fulminate our anger by joining the vehicle.
And yet the struggle is just beginning…
On the way back, the driver does not pass quickly enough on a precarious small wooden bridge, a wheel gets stuck. We’re too far from the village to walk there. I curse him. This guy is really a champion...
The men tried in vain to clear the 4x4. One of the men went by bike to the village to warn Rivo, our driver.
Some time later we see him return, like a savior, with several men in a tractor.
After several unsuccessful attempts, the 4x4 was cleared.
Two hours wasted.
However we still have time to admire the sunset on the plain.
We were looking for adventure, we found it!
Our old car has had better days...
Madagascar, October 2017
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