Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. --- Mark Twain

Monday, November 18, 2013

Transamazonica, Day 1 and 2

Route: Maraba - Novo Repartimento (191 km).

The story began in the previous post - Legendary Roads 

Ahead was waiting nearly 2,000 kilometers of road, the current condition of which was mostly unknown. 
The Google search results confirmed that the road was generally passable during dry seasons.

But Googling photos and Youtube search about Transamazonica and the road BR-230 gave such results that one should immediately turn the car around and better not try to drive along this way by this white bus.

In fact, the situation was much better because although it was very hot outside, more important was that the road was dry. And mostly dusty. Very dusty indeed. So dusty that one could create a special word to describe it. I mean – a decent word.


In several places active road repair works are going on.

Dust. Logically, it should disappear after some time.

But before the air can clear, the next big truck comes, and again everything is full of red dust.

And then the next car, followed by a thick tail of dust

The area by the side of the road is inhabited, or at least it was inhabited, because again an abandoned gas station catches the eye.




All the horizontal surfaces inside the car are covered with reddish dust.

The sun is setting.

Novo Repartimentos is a small town of 65 thousand inhabitants, and just next to the road there are several large gas stations, where you can peacefully spend the night.

Here you can also have a proper Brazilian "por kilo" that means that you can load your plate full of tasty food and you pay by the weight of your dish. There are, of course, in this kind of gas stations, decent washing conditions as well. Generally, for free.

Before meal I can get rid of the thick layer of dust. After dinner it takes about ten minutes to get most of the dust off from the bus. Although the majority of things are in tightly sealed plastic boxes, the floor is covered with a thick layer of dust and the walls are dusty as well. By midnight everything is quiet.

The GPS track of the first day. Can be zoomed and clicked.

26.10.2013, the second day of Transamazonica
Route: Novo Repartimento – Medicilandia  (402 km)

A mandatory morning photo – an overnight place at the gas station.

In the morning I have a quick coffee and then move on

The overall situation is better for a moment, meanwhile, there are surfaced parts of the road, but the new bridges are not ready yet.


But the decent road will not continue for long.







And so tens of kilometers, meanwhile, there is only one line for driving, and the oncoming cars will have to wait until the road is empty again and they are allowed to start moving. That's good that there are no limit speed signs here.


That's also good that the bridges are strong here, and no need to double-check before driving over, and it is enough to follow the trails of the vehicle ahead.

Before Altamira there is a river crossing ahead and there is just enough space to fit the bus on the ferry.

On the other side - a much longer queue of cars is waiting.

This time - a piece of a better road.

But the bridges are still old, and then again road repairs- kilometers and kilometers.

Also here there is one line left for driving


And that one line is very dusty, as the traffic is going on there.

Finally, the part of the repaired road comes to an end.

In front there is a part that has not being repaired yet The surroundings are greener. Nearby there is another small town, Medicilandia, here are several major gas station here and if necessary it could be possible to overnight here, but as it is not even four, I decide to drive on. Somehow too early to stay for overnight.

Sometimes one can get pretty far in two hours, but this time it turns out differently. The road is narrower, the ups and downs are steeper. But the weather gets more and more cloudy and then it starts raining. Just not pouring but enough to turn the thin layer of dust into mud and the road gets slippery. And the mud will stick around the tires.

Here this slippery road means first that travel speeds drop, and that uphill and downhill must be driven one vehicle at a time, and only then when the previous driver has completed his maneuvering. The vehicle, coming down the hill, passes and then the truck with the blue tarpaulin moves slowly up. And the next small gray car starts upwards only then when the truck has reached up. The small one makes it up to the top as well.

I'm going to move, and slippery as it is I also am getting up at the end. There is a next vehicle waiting to drive down and I must also drive downhill. There are no pictures of the descent, no more time to think about photo shooting. Since no one is ahead I can get down the next the hill too, but the road conditions are not good any more, you can ride in the middle of the road, in the center the ground is higher, but if someone would come, then it could be a mess.

It is already four, the distance to the next town is unknown, and it is also unknown how many slippery slopes and rises are waiting ahead. Since it does not rain any more, it 's the only right idea to wait until tomorrow, until the slippery mud dries out, only that there 's absolutely no space under the hill here, next to the road are ditches. And if anyone should be coming down the hill, and only a little turns aside then ….. Do not want to think about it.

A couple of big trucks are going very, very slowly.. I turn around and drive back upwards the slippery road as there, next to the road, was a farm-like building and more space. The place in front of the farm gate is super-muddy as well, but at least I'm not on the way of others.

The most appropriate place to wait for drying of the road would be, of course, in the village of Medicilandia,five kilometers away, but again this road is currently not accessible because at the top of the hill a truck is also waiting for driving to that direction and on the road half way up to the mountain a second vehicle has sunk into a ditch..

We are waiting and waiting and waiting. Finally the car gets out of the ditch by its own forces and the road is clear. And empty. And of course, disgustingly slippery, but I have got down here once before and up as well, so the familiar road,can be said.

So I reach down the hill in one piece and move on up to the other hill and further on the road is smoother (and drier) and I am at the gas station in the border of the town. That`s all. No more driving today and a decent overnight accommodation is available.

Here are washing facilities and a small eatery as well and if necessary one could also wait here a number of days until the weather gets drier again. If it is turning better because according to the calendar the dry time is almost over and in recent years there has been rainy times even then, when there should not be any rain at all..

A usual gas-station of Transamazonica


A"school bus ", ie a smaller truck, with a yellow sign " Escolar "on the roof arrives to refuel.

And some of the larger trucks. It is not raining any more the heat is not killing, not very many mosquitoes. A beautiful dry evening.

GPS trail 26/10/2013

During the first two days 593 kilometers of Transamazonica were covered, which is not so little, but mostly the weather was dry. Quite another issue when it was raining – it took two hours to cover 5 km and then back the same way. It is about 1400 km to Humaita. .

More pictures can be seen here :

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