For man and beast, the river is life

Getting the sweats up in Miandrivazo

After a disturbed night lying in a bed of sweat trying to get some shuteye in Miandrivazo, Madagascar’s hottest location, deep in the interior, but not high enough to mitigate the oppressive heat  that sends the locals scurrying into the shade for a good part of the day, it is dawn at last. All the folks are proceeding in line to the banks of the Tsiribihana, for their communal washing activities.

For man and beast, the river is life

For man and beast, the river is life

The day’s action begins here when it’s still dark, as the baking midday sun forgives nobody and has to be avoided. Last time I tried to sleep in such oppressive heat was on the wire wove beds of the Hotel Nile out in the open at Wadi Haifa, northern Sudan. Just like then, by the end of the day your face is so hot, your whole body threatens to shut down.

One benefit is that you can drink four quart bottles of the local Three Horses beer and not need to go to the toilet once. Dehydration is just what happens en masse in this part of the world.

Back to the central highlands tomorrow and it could be a while before we venture to the lower parts again, as we won’t forget this sweltering sorte for a while.

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