After my fun in the deep jungle it was an easy ride down to Macapa and another equatorial crossing (though seeing the Coriolis effect up close still gave me a kick). After that I just had to cross a river and then I was really on easy street.
Just a river? Nah, this ain’t that rivulet Huck Finn called a river, this is The Amazon. No matter how you work the numbers it is by far the most incredible river in the world and simply crossing its estuary takes 24-30 hours. Luckily, there’s no lack of boats making the crossing and it was quick work finding one to take me- it was even the right height in the water to let me ride onto it without going through any of the contortions I’ve had to in the past. What it wasn’t, was a cruise liner. The open deck was packed with cargo and then strung with hammocks, leaving narrow isles on each side to maneuver yourself from one end of the boat to another.
So, while the result was certainly colourful, it wasn’t exactly White Star Line.
Mind you, if there had been a luxury crossing available I don’t think I would have taken it. I wanted to cross the Amazon and know I had; not get deja vue from a channel crossing.
So, after the inevitable delays, we were off. But not before we had loaded one very important, and welcome, piece of cargo…
No, I’m not a secret fan of crappy old SEATs, but I am a fan of having a car on board. A car can’t be manhandled off a boat- it has to be driven or craned, meaning my bike could be ridden or craned, meaning when I finally got to the other side I wouldn’t be voiding my bladder in fear as a bunch of guys tried to lift my bike off the boat across some improbably large gap to the dock.
So, settled in and with a good 24 hours of nothing much ahead, I did what any self respecting rider in the Amazonian heat would do… SKåL!