September 2002 - big trip - diary - brasil - september 2002


French style roadsigns

Passenger speedboat to Oiapoque

Ferry eventually arrives for the landy

Tuesday 17 - Thursday 19 September

At the riverside B took a 'pirogue' for the 15 minute trip upstream to Oiapoque on the Brasil side, to find the ferry boat which would cost us a whopping 150 Euros, not that there was much competition when it comes to ferry services here. Getting in the boat for the trip back, a couple of Brasilan dorises spotted him and followed in another boat. They soon hunted us down and we had our first taste (as it were) of portuguese and then spent the rest of the afternoon trying to get away from them while we waited for the ferry to come.

First encounter with Brasilian dorises...

...they like to pose...

...and shake their bum-bums

The ferry took ages to arrive and even longer to get to Oiapoque, chugging along at a snails pace. We arrived in darkness and stopped to fill with diesel. We'd filled up the tank and two jerry cans in Guyane which was a bad move as the fuel there is E0.87 a litre which is about 4 times more than most other countries and we hadn't needed it. While we filled up one of the dorises from before appeared and helped us find a hotel, we needed to wait to get our entry stamps the next day. A night on the town was on the cards and we sunk a few beers and enjoyed the legendary brasilian hospitality.

New and old bridges

Not allowed to enter the indigenous villages

Puncture number 6

Archaeologists and their landies

We left Oiapoque after getting our passports stamped, not saying anything about the car as we still had the entry papers from the Venezuelan border, and took the potholed dirt road for the 570kms ride south to Macapa where lies the Amazon and the equator. We passed numerous indigenous villages which had government signs saying it was prohibited to enter, it obviously doesn't include politicians as there were plenty of their election posters around. As darkness fell we found a place in a bit of jungle that had been forgotten to be destroyed and made camp.

Just 15kms outside Macapa we had our 6th puncture since fitting the BFG tyres in Caracas. Again there were no nails or anything in it, strange. We found a HSBC bank which took our cards, and then two guys approached who turned out to be landy driving archaeologists who were shipping their cars to Belem the following day. We drove out of town to the shipping company but the office was closed for the night so we returned to the same hotel. They had a room set up with two pcs and an internet connection to help with the work they'd been doing for the last two months digging at the nearby fort, so we made the most of that before going out to eat and see what the Macapa nightlife was like.

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