The past days since being back from Mananara – oh gosh, that’s almost two weeks! – I spent in Toamasina, staying at Heinz’s place. His friend had now arrived and there was no boredom.
Anyway, I wanted to see more of this island than just parts of the east coast. The baobabs and tsingy are what I came here for originally.
So today I set out again to discover more of this intriguing country. I cycled to the south from Toamasina, on RN2, a paved road. Half of today’s distance I had seen almost three weeks ago already when I did that ‘test ride’ to Ampasimadinika and back.
The ride was ok, the countryside is beautiful. Though, despite this being a ‘rainforest region’, there is not much real, primary forest left here. Most has been chopped down over the years, for firewood, slash-and-burn agriculture, (sometimes illegal) logging, you name it. What’s left is shrub, secondary/tertiary forest, or loose trees. Only the nature reserves offer some kind of protection, but even there illegal logging of precious woods is taking place, simply because there is still some significant amount of trees standing there.