Monday, 6 February 2012
Here I am back in Bolivar city, in the centre of Venezuela, where I was more than 6 weeks ago. In that time I have cycled 3 494 km to Manaus on the Amazon river in Brasil (and back the same way again!). In the process my odometer clicked over to 90 000 km for this trip.Leana has been with me again since Manaus, so at least things are not exactly the same as they were on the way there. On the way South I’d been camping all the time, but thanks to Leana we have now stayed in rooms quite often on the return trip. Sometimes we did camp in the same places where I’d been before, meeting “old” friends again such as Antonio with Brasilian flag (we camped at his roadside bar). I also made some new friends, like the puppy in picture at the little roadside restaurant where I´d camped before the puppy arrived (the people there gave me free supper before, and now they did it again!). I’ve also seen some things which I missed on the way South, such as the impressive Kama Falls on the Gran Sabana (where we met the only other touring cyclist on this road – Czech ¨George¨ cycling off the beaten track from Alaska to the South). Oh yes, we crossed the Equator again on our way North (the 5th time for me). The weather hasn’t been the same either, and on the return trip we’ve experienced cooler weather, often with cloud cover and light rain during the day. So far we have been fortunate with the breeze in our favour much of the time as well. We also haven’t strangled each other yet, although I did notice Leana’s hands twitching once or twice! Now we’re taking a little break at Bolivar city on the giant Orinoco river, and we’re staying in a little backpacker hotel in the historic part of town next to the Plaza Bolivar and the historic cathedral (I’d rather not mention the gradient of the little hill we had to climb up in order to get here – my poor worn-out old bike Saartjie gave a few alarming spits and gulps on the way up!). I’m looking forward to the road from here onwards, as this is where we will cross the river bridge and head into new territory for a change! Daily distances cycled since my last report from Manaus are:- Da Rey 64 km; PresidenteFiguera 68 km; Da Tia 22 km; PostoAbonari 76 km; Vila Jundia 134 km; Nova Colina 98 km; Rorainopolis 43 km; Nova Paraiso 36 km; Carracarai 127 km; Mucajai 87 km; Bao Vista 63 km; Rosa De Saron 106 km; Vila Indigeno 92 km; Santa Elena (back in Venezuela) 40 km; San Francisco De Yuruani 72 km; Salto Kama 52 km; Las Claritas 120; El Dorado 93 km; Tumeremo 69 km; Guasipati 60 km; Upata 101 km; Puerto Ordaz 107 km; and Cd Bolivar 70 km. The total distance cycled so far in South America alone is 23 699 km, and the total distance for this trip so far is 90 186 km.