Everywhere you go in the Amazon there are Vultures and they have no fear. As you walk down the street in the towns the Vultures are in the gutters picking through the rubbish. As you drive along they sit watching and waiting for some morsel of road kill or rubbish, when lucky enough to have some, will only just jump off the road long enough to drive past, then back to it before some other birds lays claim to the trophy.
Yesterday we left Itaituba to head deeper into the Amazon on the Trans Amazonica and on towards Peru. The road has been dirt for the last 680k’s and we have 400 more of dirt tomorrow before the tarmac starts that will take us to the Peruvian boarder.
The dirt on a whole has been very good with us being able to average 50kph. In amongst the really good bits are lots of little bumps that played havoc with Penny yesterday meaning we arrive in town with a nasty crack in the right front of our chassis rail. This was aggravated by the fact that the heat had caused our tyre pressure’s to rise a lot above our desired level. Late in the day when I realized this and corrected it, the ride improved and the harshness of the bumps minimised.
Upon getting to town we found a welder across the road from our Hotel and after a couple hours a very nice welding grinding and plating job hard been done and today has been a very trouble free drive. Some things at the workshop would not have meet any safety standard with 2 live wires handing on a post at about chest height that the welder wires were just hooked on to when it was required. Jaime the cameraman nearly touched them while leaning on the post to shoot video.
We were not the only car in this little shop with the 2CV needing some shocky mount welding and the Fangio having an overheating problem.
Back to the drive, we drove through the Amazon national park for about 80k’s then another 80 odd k’s with out a lot of clearing. All the rest of the trip has been through jungle cleared at various stages for grazing cattle. We were lucky enough to see Ring-tailed Coati, some birds and a literally millions of butterflies with some very colourful ones. But the most common mammals of the Amazon are domestic cattle.