From the Andasibe turning, the often steep road winds down to the coastal plain at Antsampanana, where it splits south to follow the Canal des Pangalanes and beyond, and north to BRICKAVILLE. During the political crisis of 2002, the major bridge across the Rianila River here was cut by Ratsiraka’s supporters when they fled to Tamatave, and in May 2003 Cyclone Manou damaged many of Brickaville’s buildings. It remains a busy centre, however, surrounded by orange groves and sugar fields.

Down at sea level, a very pretty stretch of road runs north towards Tamatave, alongside a tributary of the Rianila, the Rongaronga, with lofty groves of bamboo overhanging the road. Closer to Tamatave, you pass major oil palm plantations.

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