Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Evolution Part 2: Jungle Fever

Originally, this trip was not intended to be spent entirely in the saddle. I was planning on arriving in Florianopolis looking for work, but with the intent on buying a moto to ride around locally. Then I started to research all the interesting places to visit throughout South America and started thinking about how I had traveled through Nicaragua and Costa Rica 4 years ago, by bus. Taking the bus is cheap, and interesting but doesnt allow you the freedom of your own vehicle.

wo years ago I was making plans with my pal Eddie to ride to Tierra Del Fuego from Cali or Alaska as many people do. I had read the book "Two Wheels Through Terror" written by Glen Heggstad, in which he keeps a journal of his trip through South America, including being kidnapped by Columbia's rebel ELN army. At first, I was mostly interested in the logistical information regarding border crossings, papers, equipment, lodging, road conditions, weather etc., but it turned into a very compelling story. After being released many months later, Glen gathered the strength to continue his journey to the southern most inhabited town in the world, Ushauia (on the island of Tierra Del Fuego). It's a truely massive feat to continue riding all the way to the tip of South America, turn around and ride all the way up the Brazilian coast and back to California, AFTER almost being killed by the ELN army. What a badass!

As I started to explore the idea of getting a bike in Brazil I discovered the overwhelming amount of taxes put on imported motorcycles. I then found a section of Horizons Unlimited where other adventure travelers were selling there bikes after they had finished their trips. Now I am trying to buy a bike that has already traveled from Alaska to Brazil. If all goes to plan I will taking the bike for a second lap of South America, and maybe even back to Alaska next summer (when the old man and I are due for the trip) .

My first plan was to tour through Argentina and back to Floripa before heading up the Brazilian coast.
Part 1

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Part 2

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But then I'd be missing Chile, Bolivia and Peru! So why not connect to two sections? This is where the Amazon comes in. I noticed that there IS a road going straight through the Amazon, but after some research I found that the conditions are crap, and I'll be stretched to find fuel.

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Not to mention, I will most likely be traveling alone and SOL if I have mechanical issues.

Therefore, if I want to connect Peru with northern Brazil I can either ride this route AROUND the Amazon

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take river boats up the actual Amazon!!! So damn cool!

The yellow line in the image below indicates the rivers and route taken to get from Porto Velho, Brazil to Belem, Brazil.
Once I get on a boat in Porto Velho it should take around 10 days to 2 weeks to get to the Carribean coast. I've read that its hot, stinky, uncomfortable and rather boring after a few days. But I cant imagine I will be doing it very often, and I seems like it will be a good rest before riding the 4000 miles back down the Brazilian coast.

Wish me luck!

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