Bekopaka, Madagascar | 20 May, 2007 | $63.47 (hotel, guides, transport, & food on river trip)
Our first day back on the road was a long one, bringing us to the ferry crossing at Bekopaka at dusk. Cars were loaded onto the barge in the water and we jumped onboard, dandling our feet over the edge, inches from the water. Across the river was a campsite where we slept two nights—the first, after a day’s drive and the second after exploring Tsingy National Park, to the North.
Our second night we saw another group of travelers keeping a local man in their tent. His one room shack had burnt down (keeping fuel next to an open flame is always a bad idea) and he had been badly burnt. Still, his brother was worse off, and had been taken to a hospital the previous day. I gave him antibiotics to take while another tourist, a nurse, scraped the dead skin off of his body in an effort to save his limbs. It’s times like these that remind me how dangerous it can be to live a day’s drive in a private vehicle away from a doctor.