Saturday: Bike building day!
My bike, which missed the connection at O’Hare, finally caught up to me! Great news!
Bad news was another 120,000 Ariary to take a taxi round trip to the airport. That’s twice the price for a private hotel room and full dinner!
Otherwise a totally uneventful day…. in regards to biking stuff; otherwise it was an emotional rollercoaster for me being away from my amazing wife. Missing her more than I expected 🙁
Sunday: 🚴♂️On the road again
Finally on the bike! I slept in later than I intended so that meant I had heavier traffic to deal with on the way out of Antananarivo. To the point that I could have just walked my bike and still kept up with the flow of traffic (that was stuck behind an ox cart, in most cases). The trafic is chaotic and pure mayhem with people EVERYWHERE, but if you already have experience navigating this kind of urban death-gauntlet then you’ll be just fine. Compared to biking in Santiago de Cuba or Havana I’d say this was much worse, and if I were to do it again I’d hire a car to take me out of town.
10 to 15 miles later on the N 7 and at last I was cruising through the country side; fresh air, fields, fewer trucks, friendly people who assume that I’m French and would call out bonjour.
Lunch in Ambalavao at a roadside restaurant called Le Wagon; steak and frites with fresh juice for what amounts to $2.50 😁 It was a good pick because the menu had prices listed so they couldn’t try to scam me.
Made it into Ambatolampy just before a shower passed and found a nice hotel with restaurant, La Pineta, just off the main road. Big sign, can’t miss it. A big private room, full menu, inviting grounds and outdoor space, definitely worth it. Plus they have an espresso machine!!!