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I needed more recovery before getting back in the saddle, and serendipity answered; I decided on a course correction that was three days by dugout canoe downriver towards the coast. This got me closer to Morondava and gave me much needed rest and pease and quiet. Two guys paddling me and doing all the work, one would cook meals on the boat while the other continued paddling. So it was kind of like a dinner cruise too 😀. A severe thunderstorm shortly after launching, with waves that went over the top of the canoe, almost made me regret; but they know how to handle the river and everything was fine.

Random grass huts along the entire river; we would pass numerous dugouts being paddled down or polled up the river. We stopped at what was a sort of fishing camp that had a rundown grass hut for minimal shelter. A young couple with a little baby was gathering firewood and foraging plants; when they left their canoe was so full of stuff I could barely see it. Their skill in the water is impressive! Also, chickens, chickens everywhere, like feral dogs that won’t let go of their dependence on humans and return to the wild. The live chicken we had brought from town (solution to no refrigeration: keep it alive) was getting picked on by the local birds and I felt bad for it, but it was tomorrows dinner and didn’t have much to hope for.

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