After our night in Macapa we headed to the boat for our journey up the Amazon. On the way we crossed the Equator so that took us from Autumn to Spring in a flash however we thought it was really summer as it was about 35C.
A Long Hot Day to Start Brazil.
Our first day in Brazil was a 590k-day with 120k of dirt start 40 k down the road.
James and I elected to have an early start to escape some of the heat and dust as the locals got on the road. The road varied from freshly graded and very good to as bad is it gets with us climbing out of one pothole into the next.
The early start paid off with us only seeing one local car and a truck for all the dirt. We did however catch up with Reg and Jaime in the 2CV because they started even earlier. Reg was going very slowly up the hill with a serve lack of power which a lot of people would put down to it being a 2CV. When he stopped we discovered he was driving a 1CV as one plug lead had fallen off. Reg had to put it back on a couple of times before he used Duct tape to hold it on for good.
We had only driven of the end of the dirt about 200 metres before the rest of the rally started to overtake us. James and I reckoned we timed that well so as not to have eaten dust for 2 hours.
Lunch was at the fishing port of Amapa. While James rested I went for a drive to the river to check out the boats. The tides here varies about 4 metres and all the boats where sitting up on the mud having come back in on the high tide.
Many shops around the port were cleaning and filleting Catfish, which was the main catch for the boats. One boat had had a very good trip with a couple tonne of fish on the deck in the process of getting cleaned.
The run into Macapa after the lunch stop was 300 k of very good tarmac with the sun beating down so a lot of water was consumed in our car for the afternoon.
Early in the trip I pointed to the forest of tree along side the road and James was pleased to see Australian Eucalypts growing. He is always surprised at the places in the world Eucalypts are grown either for firewood and building poles all over Africa too wood chip in a lot of South America. This was being harvest for wood chip and carted to the port as we drove into town.
Loading the boat and the trip up the Amazon will be covered in the next blog.