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Holiday in Madagascar

Tom Jackson • Mar 23, 2010 at 6:27 PM

Travel in a Third World country can be very different from going on a guided tour in the U.S. or Europe.

My brother-law-law, Kevin Kerns of Kent, Ohio, a biologist and truck driver, is currently in Madagascar, a large island off the coast of Africa, looking at the unusual plants and animals.

Aside from the fact that the island is going through violent political turmoil, there are difficulties in the local transportation network.

Kevin sent us an e-mail a few days ago, describing what it’s like.

My favorite part was his description of going across a collapsed bridge, in the dark:

“The remaining bridges were made of local timber and many were collapsed. After dark the taxis would illuminate bridges with only a few single planks left so we could balance our way across in the dark. Then the taxi-brousse operators would take pieces of what was left of these collapsed bridges and rebuild by hand in the dark the first portion of the bridge.

“They'd then drive the vehicles onto the bridge. You could hear the wood breaking and snapping and occasionally the headlights would move as a wheel dropped through. Then they'd disassemble the bridge from behind the taxi, carry it in front, and create new(?) bridge to continue. They did this three times. It was simply amazing - and sheer lunacy!”

More here.

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