This Picture Was Very Hard to Take!


I spent three more days on the road from Placas to reach Itaituba on the Tapajos river. The road did not improve of course and everyday seems to add a new element to my riding misery. It starts with heat, then dust, then hills, then washboard surface and potholes, then traffic, then immense road construction and angry road greedy drivers all mixed together into the beatiful mess that is the TransAm!

I have a ten second delay option on my camera that I used to take the above shot (actually about 5 attempts before something turned out). I give alot of credit to Survivor Man, it is not easy to do your own shooting. I had to frame the shot, push the button, run back to the bike, get the monster rolling and hope I am in the right spot after 10 seconds has passed. The next challenge will be the riding away shot! I have yet to be successful uploading any of the video I have taken to Youtube. The internet connections down here are as bad as the roads.


After Placas I reach the town of Ruropolis. I decide to wait at the junction of the road to Santarem, about 245km north, to see if I could hitch a ride for a side trip to this town on the Amazon. I saw a poster showing a nice beach and figure I have been making good time so far, maybe it´s worth checking out. I waited 4 hours with two other commuters before I give up and grab a hotel room which looks more like a cell with no windows and painted olive drab green. It smells like a zoo cage and my cycling clothes add to the musk!

After two X-Tudos and some ice cream (I´m still losing weight) I see my hitchhiking companions on a bench by the bus station. I guess they couldn´t get a ride that night.

Right in the middle of town there is a huge tree left over from the original jungle that was long ago burned down. Everyone once in awhile you´ll see some of the old growth still standing. You can see from my bike placed in front of it and the cyclist just to the left how big these guys are. Just beyond this tree I watched two kids start a brush fire in a field next to their huts while 4 horses ran around it jumping and kicking eachother in the face. I think they were after the one female horse in the group. The foursome ended up rampaging down one of the town streets bumping into fences and light posts. I was in the middle of a SAT phone call and didn´t get any pictures of course.

The next leg will bring me to Itaituba, but only after another night in the bush.


7 Responses to “This Picture Was Very Hard to Take!”
  1. keep it up Dougwar! I am so proud of you and brag about you to everyone who will listen…
    give those legs a rest, they’ve served you well and need to continue to do so.

    by sara
    on 10. Oct, 2009

  2. I love this quote: “Just beyond this tree I watched two kids start a brush fire in a field next to their huts while 4 horses ran around it jumping and kicking each other in the face.”

    That is exactly how I imagined your trip. Keep up the great work Doug.

    by Matt
    on 11. Oct, 2009

  3. The kids you saw putting fire on the field, they were preparing the land for future plantation, you might be right, the horses were fighting over the female horse…… . Another day I was sharing we some people at work about you journey and few hours later Else sent your website link to the whole group. We all at work are very proud of you and rooting for you. Go a head and keep it up with your great work.

    by idario
    on 12. Oct, 2009

  4. Great to see that one tree standing – a reverse of the sequoia with a notch cut in it for cars to go through in Yosemite. Impressed that it is doing so well, as they make a point of keeping you from walking on the tree’s shallow root system in Yosemite.

    by Ken
    on 12. Oct, 2009

  5. That tree is HUGE compared to everything else…

    Also if you are like me… Icecream will probably make you crap so quick you might loose weight from eating it!!!

    by John
    on 16. Oct, 2009

  6. That’s a big tree!

    by Gypsy Traveller
    on 10. May, 2013

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    by Johna734
    on 27. May, 2014

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