Day 288 Manaus to Vista Alegre, Brazil

Day 288 Manaus to Vista Alegre, Brazil       06/05/11       Mileage: 398

John, Ian and I planned on getting an early start, but you know how that goes. Either way it was nice to be back on the bikes and rolling north with 2 new friends. The first half of the day was uneventful with mile upon mile of dense jungle lining the roadside.

Leaving Manaus…..Caracas, Venezuela….2,250 kilometers to go…

Ian and his Yamaha XTZ660…

Ian with me in his rear view mirror…

Brazil doesn’t make a big deal about the equator…and this graffiti filled monument is all that marks its location. I flew right by and didn’t even see it. Either way…I was back in the northern hemisphere for the first time in 6 months…

We ran into some rain, but nothing too bad….but we did notice that all the rivers were high though, so there has definitely been a lot of rain here lately.

A quick rest stop and map check…

Shortly after we came upon a roadblock where the police said the road was closed due to flooding 10 miles ahead and that we could not proceed. He didn’t know when it would be open…could be days or even weeks! We talked our way past by saying we wanted to go take pictures and have a look for ourselves.

When we got there the road was indeed flooded for at least half a mile….but the locals said it was only knee-deep the whole way across. Score! We can ride that no problem, so we started across.

All was fine until my bike stalled shortly after getting through a deep spot. John was kind enough to walk back and help me push the bike the rest of the way across.

Once on dry land the bike fired up and we were on our way. A few miles down the road we came upon another section, though thankfully not as long or as deep…but again my bike stalled. WTF!

Fortunately, as soon as the bike was back on dry land it fired up….still pretty aggravating though. Back on the road we were pushing hard to make it to Caracarai where we knew there was some food and shelter.

But, right at dusk we were stopped cold in our tracks by a very flooded Rio Branco.

The bikes stopped dead in their tracks by the flooding Rio Branco

Undeterred at first, John and I got off the bikes and started walking across to see how deep and how far the water was. Several hundred yards into thigh deep water…at night, we came to two revelations….one, we still couldn’t see dry land on the other side and two, wouldn’t this be a perfect spot for a big angry caiman to attack two big tasty (if not smelly) bikers? Errrr, should have thought that one through a little more before plunging right into water. Ummmm, first one back to shore get’s to live to see tomorrow!

John and I returning from our little river walk…

Safely back on dry land we discussed our options, which ended up being pitching our tents in one of the locals yards nearby. After getting out of our wet riding gear we went in search of some dinner and found a little tienda that was open. The selection was meager, but a tin of canned meat surprise and some crackers will do just fine. The woman working the tienda was also kind enough to heat up the canned meat on here stove in back. Oh, and she had cold beer…so all is right with the world.

Tin of canned meat and crackers, $4. Six rounds of beer, $22. Dinner in the Amazon jungle with your riding buddies after a great day on the bikes….priceless.

Tomorrow….we have to figure out how to get across that flooded river.

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3 Responses to Day 288 Manaus to Vista Alegre, Brazil

  1. Arlene says:

    WERE YOU AFRAID OF WHAT COULD BE IN THE RIVER AND NOT BEING ABLE TO SEE ANYTHING AT NIGHT???? WHERE DID YOU WIND UP PITCHING YOUR TENTS????
    WHAT AN ADVENTURE AND GLAD YOU WERE WITH FRIENDS AND YOU ALL HAVE LIFE EXPERIENCES TO SHARE TO HELP EACH OTHER AT DIFFICULT TIMES. LOVE, MOM

  2. Deborah says:

    hmmmmm…yum…. big bowl o’ cat food! lol!!!

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