We are currently on a ferry on our way from Belem Brazil to Macapa Brazil. The voyage takes 24 hours and goes along several of the many fingers of the Amazon River. As the river approaches the Atlantic Ocean it has formed many large and small islands and the ferry has to navigate around them to cross. Most of the passengers are sleeping on hammocks that are strung on two main decks. We opted for a two person cabin with an air conditioner. The room is tiny with one bunk and a small head. The cabin got very cool at night because the air conditioner is either on or off with not temperature control. But, it was better than being on the deck. The views of the river have been interesting although it has rained most of the time and we couldnít look outside because the crew puts tarps down over the sides of the boat to keep the sleeping areas dry. To look out one has to go outside where it is raining. We have until the 22nd of April to exit Brazil as our bikes had only a 90 day permit and they have been here almost that long. We didnít plan to stay so long but there have been delays in our journey due to family emergencies of mine, but we are on our way again now. We both spent from mid February until April 10th back in the USA. While it would have been kind of easy to stay in the comforts of home, we both wanted to finish the journey that we have started.
Our plans are to be in French Guyana on the 22nd of April and then continue across to Suriname, then Guyana, back into Brazil which will connect us with Venezuela and finally ride to Bogota, Colombia where we can fly the bikes and us to Panama City, Panama where we will be able to then ride back to our homes in Texas. As we see it from the maps and other ride reports, to make it across to where we enter Brazil again, we will have three or four other river crossings by small boats. We have about 100 miles of unpaved road, out of 350 or so miles, between Macapa and the French Guiana border. Much of the road on to Brazil is paved but there will still be a few hundred miles that are unpaved. This being a rain forest climate, Iím wondering just what we will find as far as roads for two wheels.
After being on the road so long we will probably not spend a lot of sight seeing time. We do plan to see the French Space Port and the Panama Canal locks. Other than those two definite sights, we will pick things up as we go.
I still have several photos to post and text to add about our journey and I will work on that more in the next several days. What I can still say is that the people that we have met along the way have all be as friendly and helpful as one could ever hope to find. We spent so much time getting up and across Brazil that there wasnít a lot of new information to add about borders and ride type information that would give heads up information to other riders. Once in the country it is pretty much deciding upon where one wants to go and going there. Our biggest problem is not being able to speak Portuguese because our limited Spanish is not much good and we have a very hard time talking to anyone. Not many people speak English and travelers need to take that into consideration for such simple things as asking directions, ordering food or finding accommodations.
We made it to the port in Santana a little past noon. There is not a lot in Santana so we rode to the Hotel Macapa and checked in for the night. Being tired of cookies and cereal, we went across the street to an open air restaurant on the Amazon River where they had an all you can eat buffet for only 10 Reals, or $5.00 US. We ate a very good meal of various meats, cooked right there, rice and beans and a few other extras. We came back to the room and will be getting ready to leave early in the morning and plan on two days to get to the border. We will ride all the paved road tomorrow and save the unpaved for the following day. While we have internet here, it is not too good and Iím not going to try and upload photos.
"Right is still right if nobody is right, and wrong is still wrong if everybody is wrong," ~Archbishop Fulton J Sheen