While heading east, I used to make road trips, from Tana to Toamasina. I enjoyed them since this route is one of most exciting trips I use to have: short and varied in luxuriant flora landscape.
Another trip to do is railtrip. Tana-Toamasina by train is just amazing since you would go through forest packed with palm trees, bamboo trees, ferns, eucalyptus trees... and appreciate the vision of water falls in Andekaleka, climbing and descending hills covered by deep forests ... I made it once by train. It was a kind of inaugural trip to Mantasoa and this was superb. It was the first time I took the train, and the only time I did it in Madagascar.
Since our national train company had difficulties to be operational these recent years, you would wait for it to be reshuffled and trains to go across cities to experience it! Up to now, it is a "off the beaten track" tip for me. But current government is reshuffling the rail company so as to make it work again .
Up to now, you have to content yourself with having a look at my "Heading East" Tlogues (parts I, II) in my Faritanin'i Toamasina pages
When I was a kid, I spent few weeks in a village named Ambila Lemaitso. This village, like some others in East Coast, is edged with the Indian ocean (at East) on one hand and with Lakandranon' Ampanalana (at West) on another hand...
For bathing, we walked ten minutes to Lakandranon' Ampanalana barks and it was there. A large channel. Our neighbour and "gardien" had a pirogue (little boat) and I went on it, started rowing. I didn't go very far since the pirogue was tied to the bankside (well, I hadn't noticed that :-). But I used to observe nature as well. I saw shrimps and crabs and fishes in their original environment. Just sat in the water and observed, saw pinkish shrimps approaching you, fishes running away... Amazing!
Interesting thing is that I noticed several types of trees as well. A tree with red-and black peas (my favourite since I found the 2-colour peas cute), another one that turned out to be Kalanchoe (well, I didn't know that at 9 but much later). Tea trees and several others that I don't remember the name.. Just miss it!!
Since many villages in East Coast are edged with Indian ocean (at East) on one hand and with Lakandranon' Ampanalana (at West) on another hand, this choice is possible... and highly recommended.
When I was a kid, I spent few weeks in a village named Ambila Lemaitso. This village, like some others in East Coast, is edged with the Indian ocean and with Lakandranon' Ampanalana (at West)... I spent days in a private bungalow (owned by my uncle), bathing in Indian ocean from 10 am to 12 am and washing myself to remove salt in Lakandrano... It took 10 minutes to reach the beach from our bungalow and 10 others to reach soft water of Lakandrano.
The "Off the beaten path" touch : while bathing in Lakandranon' Ampanalana, I saw shrimps in water, fishermen digging the river banks with their hands (!) and take from there little crabs... First time I rowed a pirogue as well... This is by far my favourite stay in "beach category". One day, we bought fish from fishermen. Arriving home, we prepared our meal and... striking surprise while unpacking our buy, a baby croc was among the fish. He was alive, just about 3 inches. One of us pourred milk in a bowl and put the baby croc in the bowl and he was drinking milk (rather say "lapping up"). Strange!! I don't remember what happened to him afterwards but this was an experience.
As for food, fishermen passed by, selling their catch to holidaymakers... This was a kind of "No concern" life..
See on the picture an instant in Lakandranon' Ampanalana "life" since, with its 700 km length, it just goes accross so many villages.