Day 289 Vista Alegre, Brazil to Santa Elena, Venezuela

Day 289 Vista Alegre, Brazil to Santa Elena, Venezuela      06/06/11      Mileage: 237

It poured overnight which did not bode well for us as we still had to get across the river. John and I walked 1 block down to the water’s edge and indeed the water had risen at least 2-3 feet from where it was last night. The tienda in which we had dinner last night now had 2 feet of water in it. Several motor canoes had come right up the street so I asked one of the owners if he would be willing to take 3 motorcycles across the river. He agreed and after negotiating a price we had a plan!

Me negotiating with the boat owner…

So, after packing the bikes we rode down the street to where our motor canoe was waiting. We discussed a plan and agreed that John and I would go across first with our bikes, then Ian would come across with his bikes and the gear.

John’s TT and my KLR ready to set sail…

I have to admit it was a bit nerve racking crossing the boiling and swollen river in the rickety underpowered boat. If the boat went over you could kiss the bikes goodbye…not to mention having to literally swim for your life.

Luckily, we made it across OK and I was relieved to have the bikes on dry land. The GPS said it was 2.5 miles across the flooded river that normally is only maybe 100 yards across! We knew we were witnessing an unusually high flood when even the locals, police and fire department were all turning up to see the flood and take pictures.

Our bikes back on dry land with the local police department standing by…

Ian showed up with his bike and the gear about an hour later…and after repacking the bikes we hit the road north towards Venezuela.

Wrestling Ian’s XTZ660 out of the canoe…

Two hours later I had a close encounter with a vulture, and sadly the poor guy didn’t make it. I really felt bad and I hope that doesn’t bring me bad karma.

After riding in the rain for a while we finally arrived at the Venezuela border.

It was around 4:30 in the afternoon and we were told that we needed to buy insurance in Santa Elena wound 10 miles into Venezuela, then return to the border to process the paperwork. Well, we arrived at the insurance place at 4:50pm….and of course they close at 5pm and did not have time to process our insurance. Crap, so, we got a room in town and the insurance and border formalities will have to wait until tomorrow. But for now, we’re all hungry and thirsty for some ice cold beers…..some things never change!

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9 Responses to Day 289 Vista Alegre, Brazil to Santa Elena, Venezuela

  1. Arlene says:

    UNBELEIVABLE!!!!! AMAZING THAT THE VOLTURE DIDN’T POKE YOU IN THE EYE. FAMILY JOKE.

    LENNY, IT IS AMAZING THAT THE FLOOD DIDN’T WAKE YOU UP DURING THE NIGHT WITH A FLOODED TENT. GLAD THE GUY WITH THE BOAT MADE A DEAL WITH YOU AND THREE BARGAINING WAS BETTER THAN ONE PERSON DOING IT. YOU GUYS REALLY WERE THERE FOR EACH OTHER.

    TALK TO YOU SOON. LOVE YA, MOM

  2. bumbas says:

    Hi Lenny,
    Lots of interesting stuff, some great photos. Enjoy and stay healthy. All our best
    Love
    Steve and family

  3. Deborah says:

    True adventure… every step of the way! Amazing!

  4. Jenn Durrua says:

    Wow! All I can say is when I take my sea cruise you are my hired crew! It will be a cake walk in comparison to what this adventure has had in store for you! You da bomb!
    Jenn

  5. Wayne says:

    Hi Lenny, hate to see your trip coming to an end. I look forward to coming to work just to read your blog in the morning. I ride a BMW 800 GS and rode up to Alaska last year but can only dream of doing a trip like you have done. Great Trip and a great Blog!!!!!!!!!

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