Fort Dauphin

Clean up day, first task to dry my wet stuff out, I draped it over the outside stairs and landing; luckily there were no other guests on this floor so I didn’t inconvenience anyone.

Fort Dauphin, the most southerly of Madagascar’s towns and a bit cut off as the road that leads to it from Tana and which is mostly tarmac is controlled by bandits and zebu rustlers – oh yes, there’s an easier route to take than the one I was on, but it goes down through the middle of the island and I’m trying to ride around it. At times as you may have guessed from the pictures, there were a few occasions when I felt that taking the coastal road was not one of my better choices in life.
A chance to explore town, by far the biggest town I’d seen since leaving Tana a couple of weeks ago, it's a port and resort (by Madagascan standards)

The local council is apparently making a stand against corruption, their main action having been to install this box a couple of years earlier, it didn’t look very well used,

I wondered what it would be like to have something like this at the village hall where I live.

Fort Dauphin is known for its surfing and so I eagerly headed down to what is supposed to be one of the main surf spots in Madagascar- to find that there were some good breaks but… no surfers, only goats

No-one to hire or borrow a board from, so I contented myself with some bodysurfing keen to achieve the feat of having surfed in three Oceans and a Sea in four months (Atlantic, Pacific, Mediterranean and now the Indian)
The goats didn’t think much of my performance and started to head off

a lack of sunshine meant I didn’t stay in long.

As you may guess, I had a strong sense of achievement at having completed the long East Coast section with all its mud, sheer rock faces and extreme conditions, but the satisfaction soon gave way to some foreboding as I knew that I would be swapping the mud and rivers for the sandy tracks that cross the remote desert regions in the far south of Madagascar, this is what lies ahead