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

Friday, November 22, 2013

Transamazonica, Day 5 and 6

29.10.2013, The Fifth Day on the Road of Transamazonica.
Day's journey - 410 km,
110,281 km since the beginning of the journey.

The temperature at night was normal, everywhere was complete silence, and in the morning all around was in gray fog.


Next to the overnight place there are remnants of a kind of a building of light construction. Very likely a former house a shelter of the road workers.

There are recent traces of human activity around – some empty beer bottles, plastic bottles and, and someone has changed brake pads, the worn out and rusty ones are left in the middle of the spot.

After making and having my morning coffee I am on the road again. The weather is still dry.

Here there is a dense forest on both sides of the road, which climbs at times even on the road.

Again, one of the wider places, suitable for an overnight stay.

Still further, the Amazonia National Park is left and the tall trees next to the road have disappeared and here too - in front of me is a familiar sight - either one or both of the sides of the road are bare.


Next to the newer bridges there are the remnants of the old ones.


Plastic bottles are everywhere, not just a lot, but every time I make a stop at least one empty bottle or can of beer is lying around.

The most typical picture. A red road through the greenery.

After a long time the next major populated place is Jacareacanga, about 7 kilometres from Transamazonika in the direction of the river.

Here are gas stations, so you can take a full tank again, as more than 400 kilometers are still ahead. Talking to the local drivers I learn that the road in the direction of Humaita is easier and less hilly, and it 's good to hear.

This meaning – more hilly and less hilly is of course relative term.

However, compared to the previous part of the road it is in fact easier to drive here. The road is wider, and dusty, but most important - the road is dry. The side of the road has also been burnt treeless.

The new traces of fire.

The dry weather will not continue for long.

Then again it begins to rain, a few drops at the beginning, and later more and more heavily.


And the sides of the bus are getting muddier and muddier, and not just the sides. Everything is covered with the red mud.

It is 135 kilometers to Apui, the next major town. It's not much. The initial idea was to get there in the evening, but the rain took speed off.

Next - straight up and down, another bridge, again up the hill, down the hill, a bridge, etc. etc. Hours and hours.

But the road is in better condition than the part that was covered yesterday, at least so far has not come over of extremely slippery mud.

The main change is that as the evening approaches, the sun will shine again.

Meanwhile, some oncoming vehicles pass,several ones at a time, and then again there is nobody to be seen. There is only one truck - moving in the same direction.

Ahead is another river and another ferry-ride. The tow is turned on.

The barge begins to move and a minute later one more car arrives but since the barge is already off the shore, it will not turn back.The river is not just wide.

The price list on the wall. Mazda is in to the category of Caminhao 3/4, which means the price of 35 Reais (a little over 10 EUR).

I will drive on until the sun starts to set down and the sky turns reddish.

Everything is ok, ie, the road is not slippery, and it is not raining, the sky is beautiful, red, but no decent overnight place next to the road.

The next town is more than 30 kilometers away, and it makes no sense to drive in the dark.

The search of a decent overnight place turns out the usual way - at first you choose a lot and the darker it turns the less you choose, and when darkness arrives, you simply take the next wider place next to the road.

The fifth day's journey - GPS Track (410 km)

30.10.2013.The Sixth Day on The Road of Transamazonica
Day's journey - 422 km.
110,703 km since the beginning of the journey.

This time the morning is sunny, the sky is clear, the road is dry.



Traces of flowing water on the road. Generally, the decision was right not to drive in the dark.



In the meantime, there are some trucks with logs.

One more ferry-ride.



On the other side of the river there isthe same almost forest-free landscape.




Then - a closed gate. The road goes through the natives (Terra Indigena Tenharim Marmelos) land, and the gate opening fee is 30 Reais. Here, just next to the road the forest has survived.

Finally, the road ends, Rio Madeira is ahead and on the other side of the river is already Humaita.

Have finally arrived. This means that almost have arrived.

In a every decent ferry port there are domestic animals moving around, mostly chickens, of course. The barge is not here but somewhere on the other side of the river, and there is no sense to give the signal here.

Here is already civilization, and a barge works according to the timetable.

On the other side of the river the sky is dark again.

The barge arrives, the cars drive off and the return trip will be made in half an hour. But the sky is turning darker and darker.

Finally, one can drive on the ferry. In the middle of the river it starts raining heavily again. On the other side of the river there is the last steep and slippery ascent, the water is flowing from the sky, and the water running down the dirty hill, but in the end all of the vehicles have reached up.

Two more kilometers through the town I reach the familiar Petrobras gas station, I park the bus between large trucks and stop the engine at last.

That is all. Have reached the place of destination. Somehow even unbelievable. Outside there is heavy tropical rain but it does not change anything.

This rain is not at all important, because The Road is now left behind. Transamazonica - " The Road of the Century " - which was built 40 years ago, and that changed that large region.

From Maraba up here to Humaita was 2,008 kilometres.

Some statistics : Total : Maraba - Humaita from 25/10/2013 to 10/30/2013 - 2008 km

Day 1, 191 km, Maraba - Novo Repartimento
Day 2, 402 km, Novo Repartimento – Pacaja - Anapu - Altamira - Medicilandia
Day 3, 316 km, Medicilandia – Uruara – Placas – Ruropolis – Divinopolis
Day 4, 267 km, Divinopolis - Itaituba and another hundred km
Day 5, 410 km, ... - Jacareacanga and further
Day 6, 422 km. ... - Apui - Humaita

More pictures can be seen here :
The building history and consequences of Transamazonica will be discussed later


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