64km in 9H15’
Sun up around 5H30. It’s time for breakfast. At 6H30 the whole team is on the road and our routine begins. Tahina opens the door of the Sprinter and that means it is the time for the first refueling. The sun is already hot. A small coffee for Serge with “madeleines” (sponge finger cakes) and then it will be 4 to 5 km before we will stop again, if we can.
Twice we have to drop René with his ice box (there is still one small piece of ice left from the big block we bought yesterday) and we park further on or in front of him for security reasons. The main road « twists » and « turns » and there is no shoulder. It’s the end of the Easter weekend and cars are going back to Tana. There are few trucks but lots of traffic. Some villages are very festive and we see a small disco with about a hundred kids who are dancing to a frenetic rhythm. It would appear that a lot of rum has been drunk here. How do they do it in this heat?
Serge wets the bandana around his neck and his hat every 4 km and in the time it takes to say it, everything is dry. We are literally baking on the road where there is little shade today. There is no place to bivouac but luckily we have seen a grassy platform at the entrance to the village of Beanandrambo: at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Thomas. We are welcomed like kings. Mr. Thomas is a retired teacher who is most impressed by Serge’s endeavor. He offers us the main room of his house so Serge can sleep in a bed and this exceptional hospitality reminds us of the hospitality we experienced in Iran.
At 19H30 we have finished our meal. Bob takes up his guitar and sings to us with Momo about the joy of living and being together. Sharing can we written with a capital “S” today, April 6th. All we have to do is have sweet dreams before tomorrow, when we will climb to 900 meters with lots of hills and dales which are hard on Serge’s legs.
PS: this evening Middleton arrived in Majunga with Danz, Rivo and Patrick. Unpacking by a Vasaha named Daniel will take place tomorrow.
64km in 9H15’