Thursday, July 12, 2007

We reached Belem!

We have reached Belem, a city of 2 million at he mouth of the Amazon River. We are staying with the amazing Alex who has a bike shop and is the friendliest and nicest guy in town. We have met a bunch of his biker friends who have treated us to dinner, shown us around town, held a wine tasting and disco DVD watching party, and helped us to do maintenance on the bikes.

Changed the oil again. We are getting ready to find a boat to take us 5 to 7 days up the Amazon River to the City of Manaus where we will head north through the Amazon jungle.

It is hot, sticky and the poverty and disorganization of the north is very different from the south. We really enjoyed the Beach at Sau Louis, and the music of Salvador. We raced at 80 mph without stopping through a notorious 200 miles stretch of road through scrub desert that is known for highway robberies. One brazilian guy we met got shot in the foot for not giving his motorcycle up to a gang of thieves. An American we met got held up by revolver in Sao Louis (you shouldn't be walking the streets at night a 4:30!) but we have not had any problems of the kind, but there are some incredibly decrepit areas of these cities, where you see preganant women begging on the streets, young children without shoes asking for food, etc.

We are looking forward to the boat trip, stocking up on books and pringles, we'll see how it goes!