This is an excerpt from my blog. www.ninaplumbe.co.uk.... The bikes are for sale now. Not what you would expect but read first and then look. The bikes have been brilliant and are good to travel round the whole of South America and not just Brazil. They are not Gs's....mine is at home. The palaver of shipping your own to South America is a paper nightmare and expensive...we have done it.
6th Nov Sunday
The day on the road began, 1, super early as Clive woke us at 5am thinking it was 6am, and 2, with a lovely Toucan flying like a slow arrow aross the road, his great big beak out in front like the arrow head. During the rest of the day I saw quite a few road kill armadillos, one brazilian porcupine and a number of other strange animals and deer. All a little sad as I imagine some are endangered. They were all on the roadside with all the tyre bits that lorries leave behind.
Brazilians have all been friendly so far. As we head up this way we are becoming a little unique. They see the Sao Paulo number plate on the bikes and that alone is far away. The fact that we are English on them rather bowls them away! Clive is doing very well with his smattering of Portugese and I am getting the gist sometimes. To me , brazilian does not sound so " schmaltzy" as Portugese. Its a bit clearer and many words are close to Italian or Spanish.
The lorries. Well laden, with lots of wheels and sometimes long trailors. NONE are container carrying lorries. ALL seem to have heavy loads under their tarpaulins. What are they carrying? Why not in containers? Is it rice, soya or another loose crop? Some are very obviously carrying hard objects. Not seen any unload or load.
Enjoyed watching 2 girls last night trying to get off with 4 guys. They completely upset the boys chat. All dynamics changed. Girls failed I think. They really did not look good enough to succeed....
We ended up in Jaru. Pushed on as weather good and now we will make Porto Velho tomorrow. Covered over 400 kms today. My headlight bulb has failed...again!
8th Nov Tuesday
Yesterday saw us set off early again and we had a smooth trip to Porto Velho. We are now poised for this highway to Manaus. But rains are against us.Its a dirt road for 428kms. All in all it is about 700 kms to Manaus . We can go to Humiata which is slightly off to the side for the first night.There we can possibly take a ferry if the reports of the road are too bad. They might make a fuss about getting the bikes on board. Or we can set off and if we fail catch a ride on a lorry or pickup perhaps. We believe there are problem muddy spots. How long the muddy spots are for or how muddy is the big question.
Like the trailor. Or this one
In the meantime....got new head light bulb ...again ! Oiled and adjusted chains. Got my tooth fixed. I broke a piece off a tooth a few days back. Finally plucked up courage to try a brazilian dental clinic. Much translating on mobile phones and everyone very sweet. Nice young girl seems to have made a good job. It wasn't giving me" grief" as translate called it, but it was a bit spikey etc. We failed with Clive's glasses which have lost one of those little nose bits. Porto Velho a busy place and people continue to be helpful and friendly. Pray it stays dry enough...
10th Nov Friday
I write this in a room, a box, with 4 wooden walls and no ceiling. We are looking straight up to a tin roof. We have been woken a bit before 6am to the sound of others getting up, a radio or a television on, sounds of motors etc. Actually the cock had crowed a great deal earlier , (I think he is living under our floor boards) and the dogs had barked. The bed has a plastic layer under the nylon sheet which did not stay in place at all. We had one pillow between us so Clive had it as he cannot sleep without. I made a pile of clothes for a pillow. We were able to make a cup of tea with a glass of milk from the "restaurant " as there was an electric plug for our little electric kettle. In the morning the glass of milk from which we had just used to make tea had a cockroach in it. We only found it when we tipped the remaining milk out.We had arrived here in the dark after a long day. It was better than nothing.
On Wednesday we left Porto Velho and rode to Humatia with no problems on tarmac. Good hotel. Had a look at the port on the river and watched this boat being loaded with a couple of cars.
This is what we could have travelled on to Manaus. Instead we are determined to ride the notorious BR319.
We set off early as we could..6.50am after breakfast at the hotel to set us up. We had some bits of food for us, water and an extra 5 litres of fuel for the bikes. We were ready for the worst. We hoped to find a humble place to stay for the night but if we couldn't there was one thing for sure...Clive did not want to spend a night in the jungle. We have no camping stuff with us.
Tarmac ran out and the dirt began. We know from another blogger that there was 428kms of dirt. In the event it was dirt interspersed with bits of broken tarmac. The road had been asphalted at some point!
First excitement was a stuck lorry. Bit of a surprise for we were blessing our luck at how dry the road was. Been stuck for some hours. He had found a sticky patch.
We then noticed a black rain cloud and eventually saw the storm coming up the road towards us. Stop and don the waterproofs. We had not seen any houses , let alone abandoned huts, for ages so we stood under the trees/creepers and waited for the worst to pass. I was impatient , but setting off so soon meant a bit of slip and slid on the wet clay. It dried out very quickly and soon we were getting along okay once more. I had been noticing that my headlight assembly was rattling. Then we discovered it was missing a screw to hold it better. Oh well....
Now we are beginning to wonder about where to spend the night. It is obvious we will not reach the end of the dirt. Progress was about 35kms an hour, including stops. We hoped there was something at a crossroads with a little local airport road, but there was nothing. We could only continue. It started to get dark. On we went until a bit of a disaster struck in the form of my headlight assembly falling off. Since it was now dark I needed the light....which was still working. So it was strap it up with some bungees and on we went.
It is hot. It was very dirty in the dust behind Clive. I can see his dust hanging in my headlight. It is working and I can see but it is pretty wobbly. My googles keep dusting up and my contact lenses and eyes are dirty. Vision is a bit of a problem and there are all sorts of potholes etc. Worst bit was the odd bit of tarmac which was a dark colour and you knew it would have deep potholes in it. Then my light drooped a bit and I had to go even slower.
On we went. I thought the bonus of being in the dark was that we would see some animal life. Nothing....very disappointed. Eventually we saw some lights and some rough little settlement, the first for hours. We came to a full stop. The result was this little room and the fact that we could not have gone further. Here was a ferry crossing and the ferry had stopped for the night. We had covered 435 kms. Of the 428kms of dirt we think we have about 30/40 to go.
We took the little ferry. It was a quite ancient cable ferry whose cable and motor had given up and so it was pushed across by another boat. They charged us double the going rate we are sure .