Julien Macdonald has embarked on a new challenge: a 450km, five-day cycle ride around Madagascar to raise funds for charity ENABLE Scotland. Here, he shares his picture diary, exclusively with ELLE.
Julien’s JustGiving page can be found at justgiving.com/julienmacdonaldobe. You can also sponsor him by texting ESMC60 £2/£5/£10 to 10070.More
Day 1 - Annanarivo to Lac Mantasoa – 87km
Day 1 of my five day cycle and I’m already in love with the landscape of Madagascar. After a 5am wake up call we left the city and weaved our way through lush green paddy fields before heading up to the highlands where the scenery changed and eucalyptus trees lined the roads contrasting with the copper red earth. Both my legs are aching and it’s been a roasting 33C all day. Tomorrow we take on an epic 104 km cycle. Here I am with fellow team members, Terry Hart and Simon Garner.
Day 2 - Lac Mantosa to Andaside – 104km
Another 5am wake-up call and a quick bite to eat before we set off for a 104km cycle to Andaside. We retraced our off-road route 13km, through Ambatoloana and ascended to a height 1498m (the training paid off), the heat was baking down on us but we welcomed a downhill stretch that snaked 20km through noisy, lush forests, sheer drops and hairpin turns - it was exhilarating! At the foot of the mountain we came across some Malagsay ladies heading to market and stopped for a chat, here is Team Enable celebrating with the locals.