Yesterday a nice taxi driver called Eduardo took me to the docks and helped immensely in sorting my passage to Manaus.
The boat leaves tomorrow at 6pm (allegedly) but, of course, tomorrowīs a public holiday (when isnīt it?) so I had to deliver the bike to the docks this afternoon for loading.
Loading consisted of being threatened with having to ride up a narrow wobbly seesaw gangplank on to the cargo deck. I indicated with a world-class gurn that I wasnīt even going to attempt it, as Iīd no intention of a) dumping the bike into the Amazon before I really needed to or b) finding my self shooting across the very narrow deck and off the other side and doing a).
So the chaps relented and for a consideration they heaved the bike on for me and parked it to my satisfaction. Itīs a bit like the situation with the Trans-Siberian railway, i.e. no visible paperwork, except that at least Iīm on the same boat and can keep an eye on things. I have a piece of paper saying (I think) Iīve paid for the bikeīs carriage but no receipt or anything. Hey, this is Brazil.
Itīs allegedly five days to Manaus but I havenīt been given any arrival details (que sera sera); so donīt expect any more communication from me for a while.
Iīll do my best with rain forest pix and stuff, but the zoom button on the little digital has died which is a little limiting. Iīve also had to buy a new short lens for the big Nikon as the original 28-80 was irreparably damaged in my Tierra del Fuego incident; the only replacement I could find was a slightly second-hand 35-70 at a very helpful place in Rio, which is a bit of a bummer, but Iīll live with it.
Posted by Cynthia Milton at April 20, 2006 07:43 PM GMT