Back to the high plateau in the centre of the country yesterday, then today a car 570km to the west coast.  From a wet place facing Asia, to a dry place facing Africa, but still bountiful, with small forests of mango trees, tamarind trees and jujube trees lining the roads.

Village trees, road to Mahajanga

This is the #2 highway in Madagascar, but still painfully potholed, and some of the bridges are best crossed in a state of grace and with one’s financial affairs in order.

Road to Mahajanga- long, rusty bridge

One bridge was out, and had been out all day.  It wasn’t washed away, just falling to bits.  We joined a long queue of goat carrying vehicles and partying Malagasies, to wait for a temporary repair.  (The big truck is carrying bridge parts.  I hadn’t previously known there were such things as ‘bridge parts’).

Road to Mahajanga- bridge out

Eventually tracks were laid down and the vehicles passed over.  However, the tracks had to be re-adjusted after every vehicle, and poor driving by any one of the drivers would have seen his vehicle falling between the tracks and the side of the bridge, with likely fatal damage to both parties.

Road to Mahajanga - bridge repair

If I ran my life like that I would be cackling on street corners with no teeth, two bent wooden legs, and a rusty claw.  If I had ever had a monkey, he would have long deserted me.

In any event as evening came we continued, along with the rest of the inter-city commerce.

Road to Mahajanga - intercity commerce