It's still dark as we leave with the 4WD. The first 20 to 30 kilometers,
which takes us a couple of hours, consists of an unprecedented
bad road. There's no way we can catch some hours of sleep, like
we hoped for. We drive straight through the Mananara-Nord reserve,
right alongside the ocean. We can see Nosy Antafana just off shore.
The difference with the road from Maroantsetra to Mananara though,
is that the partially collapsed, wooden bridges have been recently
replaced with concrete ones. But still we have to make no less
than 8 ferry crossings.
With the final ferry we arrive in Soanierana-Ivongo from where
we will take the boat to Ile Sainte Marie tomorrow. From here
it's still another 100 kilometers to Mahambo, to our hotel for
the night, La Pirogue.
We're now back in the land of the living; the road is paved, there's
electricity and telephone is available. Around 4 we reach La Pirogue,
a beautiful resort at the sea. It's full of antique art from Madagascar,
exotic (endangered) turtle shields, crocodiles and what not more.
Again, no recommendation for the eco-aware traveler!