34.8km in 4H15.
What if the world tour were to end at Majunga’s baobab….
Once again we will drop our bags a bit longer than usual in this gorgeous spot, which is new to us. Delphine Andriantsitohaina, back in Tana, organized the warm and enthusiastic welcome that greeted us. Delphine is the organizer of a nautical event, “Majunga has its world tour” and she asked her friend, Guillaumette, who has been living in Majunga for 25 year, to coordinate Serge’s arrival in her city.
At kilometer 27, young athletes and football players of Majunga gathered around Serge to run with him across the city. Serge was in the lead and kept a fast pace, almost overwhelmed by the crowd around him. Serge is a solitary runner. Accustomed to the peaceful bush, he now found himself on the outskirts of a chaotic city of bush-taxis, carts drawn by Zebus, motorcycle taxis, rickshaws and all of a sudden some 30 runners around him. Return to civilization was made in 7 kilometers and at the end we saw the ocean. The estuary of Betsiboka is majestic, if not to say grandiose.
Guillaumette called the press, the director of the tourist office, and the president responsible for sports in the city. There were musicians and dancers under the patronage of « Majunga has its world tour ». On the traffic circle with the baobab there is a beautiful world globe for the regatta of dugouts. The analogy could not have been more fitting!
In a festive atmosphere, Serge and the runners circled the baobab 7 times, a lucky number. It was my opportunity to make a wish, which I did, as the runners went round and round in rhythm, smiling and singing. Serge forgot to switch off his beacon due to the cheerful atmosphere. Tired as he was, he remained available when the press and the kids had questions.
We left the center of the city at 10H30 to go to La Petite Plage, where we will stay until Serge leaves. Delphine offered us the use of her vacation house, a small paradise which overlooks the ocean, looking west toward Mozambique….We look often at that far horizon which we will soon reach, Serge rowing and René and I by plane.
In the meantime, we are not going to be bored. Monday will be a city day to take care of administrative matters concerning Serge and his boat, shopping for all the things he will need to take with him, recharging the 3G key, which will enable me to update the website and on Tuesday work on the travel site. Tuesday, René and Serge will prepare Middleton to go into the water. The departure is scheduled for Wednesday, providing there is at least a 5 day window of good weather. Danz and Hassina will stay with us until we leave, to watch over us as they have with such care since we left Tana.
Serge had hoped to see the Barcelona-PS match but he just told me that it won’t be a reasonable thing to do if he is to leave Wednesday morning. The future will tell us if desire or reason wins!
Sincere thanks to Delphine, our « phantom » hostess, whom we have not had the pleasure of meeting, her friend, Guillaumette, and the whole team for « Majunga has its world tour.” You can learn about them on the following link. It’s a fine initiative which saw the light of day several years ago. Thanks for this welcome, as spontaneous and warm hearted as it will be unforgettable!
Majunga and its baobab -
34.8km in 4H15.