Yesterday was billed as the toughest day of the rally with 400 k’s of the worst dirt followed with a 200k tarmac run into Porto Velho including 2 river ferry’s and possible 1.5 hours wait until the next ferry. A well deserved rest day and car service.
When James and I travel we divide the day into ¼’s so we have our little targets, like that’s the first ¼ finished then ½ and then the excitement builds as you are in the last 1/4, which we split up again until we make the end. Yesterday we had divided the day into two; the dirt to the Ferry and then the tarmac slog into Porto Vehlo.
Starting without dust.
We started early before breakfast after sneaking into the restaurant to grab some bread rolls and slices of a Quiche to keep us going for the planned 11hour day. Due to the rain the previous after noon the dust was settled and the road was very good to the first ferry. The driving as been filled with masses of brightly coloured butterflies the whole trip. With the overnight rain the butterfly numbered must have quadrupled with one some damp patch’s of ground attracting them in the droves.
Since being in the Amazon James and I have heard a lot Macaws but not seen one clearly. About an hour in we heard the familiar screech of a Macaw, we both looked up and an absolutely brilliant coloured Blue and Yellow Hyacinth Macaw was flying with us about 6 metres above our right shoulder. It was so special we both forgot to grab the camera before he flew into the trees, sorry to say no photographic proof.
As we closed in on the end of the dirt we both saw a snake crossing the road ahead, we slowed and started to stop beside it but penny isn’t really a stealth machine so a silent approach was not going to happen. We did get a good look at this brilliant coloured 2-metre snake as it left our company as fast as its scales would carry it. Again no photographic proof just the memories of a special moment. We later worked out from the WWW that it was a juvenile Green Anaconda. Still a cracker 2 meters long!
The end of the dirt and the ferry just in time.
As we counted down the last k’s to the ferry we speculated on how long a wait we would have for the next ferry? We knew the ferry was on our side of the river due to the number of cars we had been meeting in the last 20 odd kilometres. At last we see the gap in the trees that was the river ahead and the normal collection of building that accompany a river cross so we knew the end was near. We topped the riverbank to see the local that had passed us about 5 k’s back just getting on the ferry. So we raced down the hill to the shouts of “HURRY” from our fellow rally friends, to race on the ferry just as it was embarking. We found out that it had already started to leave and had come back to get the local and stayed for us as well as we came over the hill in time. This saved us a 1.5 hour wait for the next trip. Some of our friends had not been as lucky as us and experienced the long wait later in the day.
The clean fresh hotel.
After 4 days of dusty red dirt and basic hotel accommodation it was nice to check-in to the Holiday Inn Porto Velho. The accommodation for the previous nights was a hoot but some times it nice to have a little bit extra like a hot and a cold tap in the shower.
The day finished with a fantastic dinner out at one of the nicest restaurants in town all thanks to the great generosity of Martin Egli. It was Martins’ birthday yesterday so we all helped him celebrate it.
Today has been fix-it or wash-it day.
As the tourist industry in Porto Velho is a bit non-existent today stop was just planned as a rest and fix day.
Penny need a bit of love and attention with me finding the drive shaft bolts coming loose once again so this recurring problem will need sorting properly back at home. Other then that all was good.
The 2CV got a complete service and some more welding to the suspension ready for the challenges ahead.
The Willy’s and the Chevy only need minor love and attention with quite a few cars getting complete inside and out detailing for about $25.00.
Jack Amies has arrive to be Martins offsider and keep the Lagonda running for the rest of the rally, and seems to be busy today getting things sorted under the car ready for tomorrow.