by Reto Guler
I wanted adventure and thrill. I realized this the second day in Madagascar when my taxi driver told me at three in the morning to push the car as his battery was broken. After 4 hours of pushing I finally decided to walk to the beach which took me another hour. So it all started and I fell in love with this country. I soon realize that traveling alone with no reservation and 40 kilograms of kite equipment became a great adventure. Madagascar is a very big country with less than 25 % of the roads paved and those paved ones are in a very bad shape. You can travel with 14 seater-minivans which is a lot of fun since you feel like a trapped sardine with 30 other locals. Otherwise you can also fly within the country. I started my trip all in the North close to Diego Suarez. The wind in the Baie de Sakalava blows every day with an average of 30 knots. It is fantastic for big huge jumps and there are also some waves out there. You can also take a one hour fishermen's boat trip to Mer d’Emauralde. It is a small island with beautiful smooth waves and strong wind.
After narrowly escaping the crazy girls in the nightclubs of Diego Suarez, I decided to visit the quiet national parks with their bizarre landscapes and sweet lemurs.
After two boat trips and a six hour packed hardcore minivan trip I finally arrived to Nosy Komba (close to Nosy Be). Nice flat water and light wind was fun for freestyle. The whole village was watching me kiting.
Tired of hardcore traveling I decided to fly to the south. Kiting in Fort Dauphin next to and old shipwreck was really exciting. On the beach I was approached by a Malgache guide who promised to take me to the beautiful Lokaro beach the next day. After 3 hours of rowing and about one hour of walking with 40 kilos of kite equipment we finally arrived at the beach. Alternatively you can go with 4x4 which will cost you more.
I slept in Evatra, a little fishermen's village with no running water, no electricity and chickens running all over the place. Make sure to give the guide the money after the trip. My guide was completely drunk during the night and he woke me up several times during the night to ask for more money. The next day we only left very late since my guide was babalas and again we had to carry our equipment. This time it was raining like crazy and all my travel clothes was soaked. So I decided to fly to Tulear to dry my clothes and to kite in the beautiful island of Nosy Ve which you can reach with a fishermen's boat from Anakao. The famous Flameballs reef break is also out there if you love surfing. Madagascar is a great country to explore. Don’t forget to learn some French before you leave and take your Lonely Planet guide with you.
Madagascar I will never forget you.
In love, Reto.