Friday, 3 April
Middleton out of the water: Done
Middleton in the truck: Done
Trip to Tamatave: Done
Collateral damages: A wound and bruise on Serge’s right hand, a cut on Rive’s foot (Rive is the truck’s driver)
Serge and I did not see Middleton put in her box and I think it is just as well because Serge gets into a state of uncontrollable stress when it is a question of handling Middleton. In any case, we have total confidence in our shock team: René, Danz and Bob, who ran things superbly.
Yesterday evening at 19H00 the truck finally arrived in Tamatave. Serge did not want to hear about it or see it….. I took a look and hope Middleton won’t move. I am assured that she cannot shift around and I must be confident. As Jules Cesar said “alea jacta est” “the die is cast”. Now we are going to concentrate on the foot race, without having part of our mind taken up with thoughts of Middleton. We have to move on to something different. Being totally focused on the towing since Tuesday, it has taken on unreasonable proportions, which is unhealthy.
Saturday, 4 April
60.4 km in 8H15’
5H00: the truck leaves for Tana with Danz, whom we will meet later in the capital.
6H30: Serge leaves with part of the team to cross Tamatave. At this early hour the city is already wide awake.
The terrain is hilly outside Tamatave and a series of curves makes running dangerous because trucks, 4 wheel drives and bush taxis speed along at the beginning of this long weekend. This evening Serge has had his fill of trucks…. But he is going to have to put up with them because the RN #2 that we will take to Tana is the main and most heavily travelled road in the country between the capital and the most important commercial port of the island.
We set up our first bivouac at the roadside (so we won’t forget there are trucks!). But the place is a kind of big garden, full of flowers and trees with 4 bungalows sitting there. We had trouble finding the place on this rough and tortuous road. Momo started to cook because rice here is not pre-cooked and therefore prepared in 3 or even 10 minutes. It is fresh from the harvest and has to cook for a long time. He adds vegetables to it and I have a feeling this rice will be very tasty.