Creature comforts

We have been travelling by bike since early October and to be honest the novelty of packing up the bikes, hand washing clothes every day and not knowing where we will sleep has kind of worn off.

I long for some creature comforts; running water a flushing toilet and machine clean clothes. I also long to be still again if only for a short while.

As I may have already mentioned once or twice I have wanted to visit Madagascar since I was a child.

When David Bellamy launched the Madagascar appeal in the mid 80s it opened up a magical land filled with creatures I’d never even heard of. I have to go…

Political coups, regular cyclones and minimal economic growth due to lack of investment (national and international) have left Madagascar with a very patchy transport infrastructure, a questionable education system and an absence of basic health care. Most roads here have never seen tarmac and if there is any road maintenance it falls to hungry street kids who spend their time filling in potholes in the hope that you will thank them with a gift of food as you pass through.

As we ride out from Antananarivo I have a very strong word with myself. I still have my health, my bike and enough money not to go hungry tonight. That makes us richer than most of the Malagasy people we have met so far.

The chance to be still will come; whispering to comparative strangers in forests while we watch lemurs forage for breakfast, pausing on night walks to find sleeping birds and startled chameleons. Patience is definitely a virtue.

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