The United People of Adventure riders woke early this morning, around 6am, to the sounds of soccer. Ocean Momo is located next to the town’s football pitch and with mid-day temperatures soaring into the high-30s, with high humidity, the local teams like to play their weekend league games in the early-morning cool.
The soccer matches were significant, for the UPoA riders were ‘booked’ to appear at the football ground just as soon as the matches were over, in something of a meet and greet with the people of Antalaha. The town’s mayor would attend as well to lend the occasion a slightly formal air.
So after a beachfront breakfast the UPoA riders saddled up and rode the 200 metres to the soccer field. At first there was something of a standoff as the Malagasy were again typically shy. However, once the mayor had made his introductions – and had motioned to the growing crowds to come closer – the meeting became a whole lot more personal. The Malagasy, by now starting to number in their hundreds, while enthusiastic, were nonetheless very respectful and exceptionally polite.