After our world first crossing of the island of Madagascar last year, we are back in this amazing country! This expedition is set to achieve yet another extremely ambitious adventure by crossing the central massif of the island of Madagascar by foot and raft. The challenge is to travel eastwards, starting near the Mozambique Channel in the North, climbing the island highest peak and navigate the Bemarivo rapids to end up in the Indian Ocean. Follow the teams progress here!
Day 1. The team made steady progress east after being dropped off today. Only a couple of hours walking but getting used to the stunning landscape, climate and people in this part of Northern Madagascar. looking forward with excitement an trepidation!
Day 2. The first full day and the team started climbing steadily towards their first objective, Mount Maromokotro, Madagascar’s highest peak, which they hope to summit in 3-4 days time.
Day 3. Very tough day today. A long climb up to the camp spot and the heat on the climb really took its toll. Camping in an amazing location on a mountain side with stunning views. The local team of porters and guides are awesome and the guys cant speak highly enough about them!
Day 4. Another tough day heading east up the Maromokotro Massif, morale is high. Ryan says hello to Eniko back in London and Ryan Talbot says the same to Janel!
Day 5. The guys are camped next to a tiny forest at 1250m next to a stream, described as an awesome high mountain camp. They have a clear night sky and are appreciating the stunning views and crystal clear stars!
Day 6. The team made their way over the foothills and open grasslands before plunging into thick jungle on the final approach ridge to Maromokotro. They are camping at the start of the ridgeline and hope to make basecamp tomorrow!
Day 7. The team had an epic climbing day yesterday through dense forrest. The reward was an amazing camp watching sunset then a great feast around a fire. Looking forward to summit tomorrow!
Day 8. The team have made the summit of Maromokotro!! It is a stunning sunny day and the guys are elated to have reached their first objective. Next stop, the jungle!
Day 9. At camp 9 around camp fire at an amazing river junction. Had a long lunch/swim today – awesome!! If you look at the Google Map you will see the huge stretch of jungle the team should hit tomorrow. Everyone says hi to family, wives and girlfriends. Morale is high after yesterdays summit time. Everyone is really looking forward to rafting phase!
Day 10. Great day today! They have seen lots of wild lemurs – one was only 5m away, so everyone is really happy. We hunted eel last night after dinner with machetes and head torches in the river. 1 caught! You will not believe this - they found a lost Chinese Government Geologist deep in the jungle today! Crazy!!
Day 11. Another great day today. Trekked 15.5k of jungle and have just set camp. The team are setting up the fire now to cook a earned meal. Last long push to the rafts tomorrow. Everyone cant wait! Still no fish caught.
Day 12. What an amazing day. We smashed 16k this morning and got to the treks finish (a small village) for lunch. Me (Greg) and Tim played in the village football game with about 300-500 spectators. Tim scored and was on the winning team. I hit the post and the cross bar fell and cut my nose (I didn’t score either)! We are currently surrounded by hundreds of children on the football pitch- our home for tonight. Spirits are high and everyone is looking forward to rafting tomorrow.
Day 13. The camp is located next to a great beach next to the river. We had a good days rafting- went down some grade 2 – 3 rapids plus a 1.5m waterfall. Everyone is loving it- including surprised villagers. Over 200 villagers waved us bon voyage. Early start tomorrow so it’s going to be a long day. Awesome times!
Day 14. Epic white water day! Some pumping grade 4 rapids. Insane day of rapid after rapid. 3 swimmers, 2 snapped paddles, 2 crocs seen at close range and we caught a fish!!! Same again tomorrow. Beers on a beach with a fire now.
Day 15. Camp 15 established in a small village next to the river. We just made it here before dark. Currently set up in school grounds with entire village watching us. The river was hard today. Some huge rapids and a section where we had to carry everything due to epic waterfalls. Big day and early start planned for tomorrow. Hi again to all family!
Day 16. Camp established early on a secluded beach due to the river being very hard today. One of the boats flipped on some pumping grade 4 rapids. Everyone on it was treated to a nice swim and some “ground and pound” through a couple of waterfalls! Everyone is fine other than damp kit. Both fishing rods lost and some flip flops! A great day though. Should finish the rapids tomorrow and then have a day and a half on the flat.
Camp 17. Some big rapids this morning to start our day. Had some calmer water in the afternoon but also had a nasty head wind which created it’s own challenges. We bought a big pig earlier for the camp and had a huge feast on the beach! Everyone is in good spirits and morale is high as we are looking forward to our first shower tomorrow!
Finish! The guys had a relaxed final day on the water and are now happily established in “civilisation” with a shower. Awesome effort team!!