An explosion. The car is slowing down as our driver tries to steer and clear the road. One of our tyres has exploded and leaves us helpless among the orange lands of Madagascar. Hopefully, we brought tools in case this type of events occurs but the heat makes the reparations difficult. We heard of raiders wandering on these roads, we must hurry. We make easy targets under the dazzling sun. Later, after telling our misadventure, we were told that tourists were robbed a few hours after our accident, on the same road.

Madagascar is a special country for us, French people. We hardly go unnoticed. The strangers often attract curiosity among the locals. Yet, I cannot recall how many smiles I have encountered there. Kindness must be part of the local culture. I am thinking about all these sweet people we encountered while driving through the country, as we are crossing another checkpoint. A military stops our car. My best friend comes from here, and with a few bills, the matter is settled quickly. Nothing to declare. Not even the 9mm pistol in the glove box.