October 2002

ihana.com - big trip - diary - brasil - october 2002

 

Wanna swap vehicles?

Dunes in the town of Barreirinhas

Mule park

Thursday 3 - Saturday 5 October

The road east has recently been completed up to Barreirinhas and we passed smoothly through small villages slowing down only to check out the gorgeous girls which, for now, were in abundance. A wrong turn in Morros had us stopping briefly to get something to drink. While B went to the shop over the road, T had a wander around the landy and found a cardboard box resting on the spare wheel. It was tied shut with a rope and inside was a kitten...very strange. A young doris in the adjacent shop became the happy new owner - it was still a bit of a mystery as to how it had got there.

As we neared Barreirinhas in darkness there were lots of children by the side of the road presumably waiting for buses. When we arrived the town was full of people bussed in for a political rally/fiesta. On closer inspection we realised the children we'd seen on the road were actually midget people, a disturbing number of which were deformed and the rest plain minging. Oh dear, stuck in Lilliput land. A hunchbacked midget came over and offered to guide us to the dunes the following day, we left him looking after the landy while we headed to a riverside bar for a couple of beers and chose a table beside an armless midget and his inbred mates. Despite the alcohol the girls were still minging but it was more comfortable sitting down instead of walking around like a couple of giants. As luck would have it we bumped into an almost normal couple who invited us to spend the night at their house.

Arriving at the dunes

Buying cashew nuts

Cool colours

Hot desert...

...with clear lakes to cool off

Which way back?

Early in the morning we set off for the dunes in the landy accompanied by a 14 year old boy who was suitably small enough to sit on the cubby box. We crossed the river on a little wooden platform pontoon and headed into the sand. We soon came to a halt in a deep section but letting the tyres down made all the difference. Mud tyres are the worst possible for sand but we made it through easy enough in low box so long as we didn't change gear at the wrong time. The dunes are well worth the effort to get there, a brief shower had just fallen so the dark sky contrasting with the white dunes made for wicked pictures. We walked barefoot into the desert to find Laguna Bonita which was crystal clear and a great way to cool off. Another half hour of driving found us at two more dune lakes and three Toyotas which had brought in some tourists via a shorter route.

Landy gets its tyres wet with this ferry

Kids getting washed

Zooming along on a 250km long short cut

Mysterious bent toothbrush incident

After some more swimming we headed back to town, using the ferry again, got the seventh puncture fixed while having lunch before setting off for Parnaiba. There is a direct way for 4x4s across narrow sand tracks which weave around for 250kms. The landy was seriously kangarooing along the uneven surfaces, worse than before, so we thought to set the tyre pressures lower. When doing this we noticed the real cause of the problem, one of the rear shocks had totally snapped in two. Luckily we still had one serviceable rear shock kept from when we got a new set in Panama.

After a quick repair we made it to Parnaiba by evening and grabbed a bite to eat on the seafront. Some locals told us which were the good discos but even though we were given free entry tickets, we were too tired to check out the nightlife so crashed out in a petrol station carpark instead. In the morning we got the exhaust mounting which had recently broken itself welded up, then got the wheels balanced again. All the puncture repairs had left the wheels unbalanced and the landy vibrating at top speed. A guy in the wheel balancing place was well impressed with the trip and told us everyone was talking about us after having seen the landy parked on the seafront the evening before, apparently they all think we're either from Argentina or Rio de Janeiro, despite all the flags on the landy.

Here B's toothbrush was also struck by an odd phenomena, somehow it bent itself 90 degrees whilst in the washbag which was inside a holdall - very strange!! Slightly confused by this ethereal sign we set off for the wicked beach resort of Jericoacoara, maybe it means we wont be getting any more punctures and new shocks which will last more than 5 minutes on South American roads.

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