Looking for Shelter

I scramble up some rocks to get a better view

And then the rain started pouring down with a vengeance, I huddled against the base of the rock expecting the storm to blow over fairly quickly and desperately trying to keep my camera dry. The ground rapidly became saturated and had a several inches of water running over it, which isn't a good sign. Not wanting to ride in the heavy rain but equally not wanting to get bogged down and stuck in such an exposed location I took to the trail once more.
The muddy tracks were now torrents of water, disguising the gullies and rocks that are liberally dotted along it. I rode very, very carefully, up and down hill for several more miles.
The only sign of "life" was this grave

the sole decoration being a zebu skull

Almost identical to the Giant Loop logo on my t-shirt.

The rain was clearing as I approached yet another river, this one was big enough to warrant a ferry- the first people I'd encountered in several hours.

I was the only passenger and the crew were keen for a photo shoot and a chat!

As soon as a camera appears, the faces change from wide grins to solemn features - Yes, they do want a photo, but it must be a cultural thing about not smiling in pictures.

Coming off the ferry (again the no diesel story and a contribution to fuel costs requested) I wasn't sure exactly where I was, things weren't looking great as it had been another long day of riding, I was soggy and tired and had expected to arrive at the small town of Manantenina some time ago.

I realised I must have missed the town, but having ridden onwards, I wasn't keen to turn around and re-trace my route. The sun was starting to set and so turning off the track I found a spot to put up my tent

I got it up just in time as the slight drizzle became a downpour, it wasn't a comfortable night as my bike gear was drenched and inside the tent with me, but I was just grateful to have finished riding for the day and with all my limbs intact!

I had company in the night. I became aware of movement and looked up to see this orange blob on the side of the tent inner.

Closer inspection revealed...Kermit, catching insects attracted by my torchlight. Hope he's not a poisonous one I thought as I turned over and went to sleep.