I’ve just finished cleaning my face; the brown water in the sink disappears slowly, turning counterclockwise. I am north of the equator again, in Boa Vista,  the place where I started my big loop through the Guyanas and the Amazon, three weeks ago. Some 5000 km; first the vibes of the Carribean, with the three Guyanas, (There were five at a certain time!) and then the majesty of Amazon.


The 800km long distance from Manaus to Boa Vista must be covered in one go; there is just nothing in between these two cities, just a few trading posts, but no accommodation. So, another long day in perspective. But I was assured that the roads up there are good, and with an early start, there should be no problem.

But once again, firstly: do not believe all the bullshit people tell you, and second: things never go as planned.

At the equator, the sun always rises and sets at 6 o'clock, so I went up at 5 am to find out is raining outside. Seriously raining. The end of the world, or nearby. The streets are flooded, no way to leave under these conditions. It was not until 9 o'clock, when the conditions calmed down to just a “normal” rain, that I finally left with 4 hours delay. Until sunset, I still have 9 hours to cover 800 km, it is doable, but it will not be easy. But the roads are good ....

...for the first 200 km. Then, for the next 400km, it is a series of trail, road construction sites and rough roads. This reminds me my odyssey in Guyana, and I definitely do not like this thought. Fortunately the roads will never be as bad as there, but once again I lose a lot of time, and I absolutely want to arrive before nightfall.

So I rush. When I say I rush, I do rush! I drive full speed whenever I can; my gas consumption rises to more than the double of what is announced by the manufacturer. For the first time since I am on the road, I have to refill twice in one day (I have two fuel tanks for a total of 40 liters) After racing non-stop like that for 9 hours, the last rays of sunshine see me entering Boa Vista.


Not bad ...

Manaus is a funny town. With its 2 million inhabitants, is the eighth largest city in Brazil, but can only be reached by air or sea. The only road linking it to the world, passes Boa Vista, and leads to Venezuela. All other roads end somewhere within a range of one hundred kilometers around the city. Manaus had its heyday in the 19th, during the rubber boom. For a short period the "Paris of the Amazon" was the city of all extravagances. She was the second city in Brazil to have electricity, well before many European cities. Huge fortunes were formed in a short time, and all excesses were allowed. The Teatro Amazonas, certainly the most beautiful building in the city might be the best example for these crazy days. With the exception of the wood, all materials for its construction were imported from Europe.


After Manaus has lost the monopoly on the production of rubber, its decline began rapidly.


Since a few years, the city began to flourish again after the establishment of a free zone.