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Road to Sambava

Hello from Sambava!

Finally got here after the worst drive of my life. And I mean worst drive of my life. I’ve sat in my fair share of cramped buses half-filled with livestock, but this was something else. I’ve been in the Uzbek desert with the heating on to save the engine from overheating, hell, I’ve even tried commuting with Southern Rail and I’m stating outright - this was the worst. journey. ever.

Ultimately compounding all the regular miseries was the road, a pitted nightmare with potholes 8ft wide and at least a foot deep which wrenched the bus around like a typhoon in the days of Magellan. This had the effect of slamming the left side of my body into the side of the bus at least once every ten seconds. For 50 hours. While in a seat which already had my knees pressed against a wooden bench like a galley slave. Needless to say sleep was not forthcoming, and when it did come it lasted as long as it took for the bus to rear-up like a bucking bronco and slam my head into the chair in front of me, which was handily equipped with a rock-hard coat hook.

Now add thick plumes of red dust, and a heat so unbearable it demands the window be open or you’ll suffocate. Now add a justifiably upset baby. And a sack of chickens. And just when I thought my will would be broken, through the sleep deprivation and coughing – Nickelback came on, ear-poundingly loud, horrifically saccharine Nickelback . Sanity fled, and my hysterical, teary laughter rang through the caustic air, waking the random woman and child who had been inexplicably using me as a pillow.But then the dawn. Oh sweet mercy. It could have been sunshine or maybe the pearly gates welcoming me home, but it wouldn’t matter because my journey would be over. As it turns out, we were in Sambava.Sambava is a gorgeous town; the streets are sand banks, every fifth room reeks of vanilla and my room has three lizards! Tomorrow, I’ll head on to Andapa, and hopefully never ever ever need to go on the taxi-brousse again. Y’know, until I go back home in a few months.

Until then,Yours bruisedly, Bridgep.s for reasons that should be obvious, these daytime shots of the road were not taken by me, nor was the shot inside the taxi, they are simply there to prove that I'm not exaggerating!