Pedalling 2000 km
- C'est ridicule! The statement was clear and beyond all doubt. The man who uttered the words generously gave us some oranges at the top of our very first hill.
His steady voice and wondering eyes echoed in my mind. I was more than willing to agree with him, then. But I soon stopped questioning what we were doing, and why. We were simply at the very beginning of a ten-week, 2000 km biking trip around Madagascar, pedalling our way past wooden huts and rice paddies. On the road, at last.
Madagascar is different, no matter what you compare it to. Most, although in all not many people are drawn to the mysterious silhouette on the map,
|situated in the Indian Ocean some 400 km east of Africa, by the unique flora and fauna. This is where evolution took a different route. Most of the animals and plants in Madagascar are found nowhere else in the world.|
A forgotten country
It is a decadent place. Once a French colony, so Gauloises, baguettes, Renaults, Peugeots and sometimes a certain etiquette still linger. Friendly people of mixed Asian and African origin fill the atmosphere with happy music, genuine warmth and a hospitality not easily matched.
It sounds like a visitor´s heaven - and if you´re prepared to rough it a little, it is. But Madagascar is also a land forgotten by time and, it seems, most of the outside world.