26th and 27th December
24.12.2011 - 14.01.2012 35 °C
The holiday didn’t feel like it had the most promising start: a pigeon chick fell out its nest and splatted in front of us outside OR Tambo Airport. I tried to forget about this and focused instead on our Air Madagascar flight that was delayed by 2 hours, the mouth-watering chicken-or-fish meals, a few lop-sided plane bits and pieces, and 3 hours 25 minutes of toilet stench. We made it though and were greeted by a wall of thick, heavy and hot tropical air, a giant flying cockroach thing and a pretty informal and indifferent immigration system that allowed in almost 80 litres of alcohol between 7 people.
Two of our crew opted for the comfort of Munga Be Bungalows on Nosy Be, while the rest of us decided to be slightly adventurous and head north for a few days- a mission that quickly accumulated 9 hours of transit: 3 spent waiting, 1 getting to the ferry port, 1 chugging along to the mainland on a “speedboat” that needed to transport 3 scooters, a quad bike and 5 South Africans, 1 to get 3 scooters, 1 quad bike and 5 South Africans off the boat and the last 3 spent riding up the RN6 through tropical, northern Madagascar.
Besides 120km, a sore ass, metal fingers, hunger and a few veers off the road on the quad bike, the highlight of my day was ending my term as designated quad bike driver and hopping onto the back of Mike’s bike instead. (This also significantly sped up our journey.)