Brazil: Altamira, Tucurui, Belem (7th September to 10th September)

Another day spent waiting in a hotel lobby for the truck to be fixed. However this time they have the right diesel mechanic and they are going to fix it, it’s taking a lot longer than expected. Once it is done we’ll put both bikes on the truck (so as to avoid riding at night) and just drive straight though night and day to catch up with the group.

So the day dragged on and on and eventually at about 8pm Mike arrives saying we’re spending another night in the hotel as the truck is going to take a lot longer to fix. The plan is then to leave at about 3 / 4 am with the bikes on the back and try catch up with the group. The next morning however the mechanics (after working until 11pm) still need a couple of hours on the truck.

On a better note my bike seems to be fixed, I spoke to Joern the night before and he said carbon build up on top of the piston (Skip from Moto discovery said the same). So he suggested I open the air filter and run the engine very hot and shake a bottle of carbonated water and let that mist into the air intake valve. wow genius, you should have seen the black smoke that billowed out the exhaust after that.

Plus I cleaned the air filter which was seriously clogged up. Then I changed the sparkplug which had some major carbon build up. The bike is now running great. So the plan is now that Peter and I head off on the 2 bikes and Mike and Henry catch up to us when it gets dark, put the bikes on the trailer and carry on through the night to catch the group.

… Famous last words. My bike was running great until all of a sudden the battery died. The worry is that it is not an  actual battery issue but something causing the battery to discharge.  Peter and I decide we’d still carry on as the longer the bikes are off the trailer on the dirt roads the better for the bikes, and the better speed the truck will make.

SO off we go and wow it was great to be back on my bike riding in the dirt again. I had to keep the bike running all day even when we filled up, as it needed to be jump started if it stopped. Peter and I made some great time. I took it easy as we couldn’t afford to have a flat or an accident or anything. I really enjoyed the day, until the bull dust. OMG I have never encountered this stuff it is like brown talcum powder and nothing like riding river sand at all. If the layer is very thin you can ride it by just getting your weight slightly back and accelerating just a touch. So no problem I’m doing well and enjoying myself until I hit a huge patch of this stuff and my bike just starts snaking all over the road, I’m standing up so almost go over the handlebars and end up on the opposite side of the road thinking ‘’WOW what a ride man. What great riding, damn why isn’t there someone with a go pro filming this’’ I was so proud of myself so patted gadget and headed off again. Not 300m later and the same thing again, this time the bull dust if up to my axel and the next minute I’m on the ground. I have to say it was very slow motion gently fall as no one guns it through bull dust. The worst outcome is that gadget stalls.

Peter arrive a minute mater and we man handle the bike out of the dust and push it to a place about 50m up where the road surface is harder. There we go through the motions of pulling off the side panels and seats and jump starting my bike. All sounded good we put everything back on, I get on the bike and stall it … no friggin way I kid you now uuuggghhh … I hear Peter cursing loudly for the first time ever, this man has the patience, positive attitude and sense of humour of an angel. Fortunately a car pulls up and offers to help so we decide to jump start from his battery which is easier to get to than the one on Peter’s bike.

Eventually we’re ready and off we go. We are heading to Altamire but due to the later 11am start and 35 min crash delay it starts getting dark so we decided to stop the night in a small town about 50kms outside Altamire. I head to a bike shop to see if they have a new battery for me but no joy. So Peter says get some electric cable which we can attach to the battery and take down so we can jump start the bike without having to get to the battery itself.  What a laugh trying to explain this to the guys in the bike shop who don’t speak a word of English, and of course I don’t speak a word of Portuguese but eventually and far too many Brazilian Reals later I get what I want and spend some time making up the little battery attachment gadgets (which we didn’t need in the end anyway)

 the funnies bunch of Brazilian bike shop assistants ever encountered.

Peter found us a great little trucker stop hotel, I can assure you the trucker stop hotels in Brazil are fantastic compared to those in Russia, really nice, cosy and clean. Hater later goes out on the road and flags Mike down (he’d been tracking him on Mikes SPOT so knew when they’d pass by. Mike decides to spend the night with us and we all get up at 3am, put the bikes on the truck and head off for Belem, and so the great truck journey starts but more on the later…

2 comments on “Brazil: Altamira, Tucurui, Belem (7th September to 10th September)

  1. hell yes this is what I paid for … not 😉 it gets even better as we cannot get through Venezuela due to the political issues so need to ship the bikes form Georgetown to Cartagena on the 25th Sep and they will arrive on the 16th, so I have 3 weeks of nothing to do. I may go to Tobago but still have time to decide exactly what to do 🙂

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