The quick trip to Iranduba went very well and very quickly. I left at 11:00 on Sunday, managed with a bit of jiggery pokery to get the Shamrock’s engine started, and made my way to the floating petrol station with the mantra “beer, ice, water, nibbles” playing over and over in my head – I’m getting old now, so it’s the only way I can remember things. Incredibly enough, I also remembered to put 2.5 litres of fuel in the tank for the back-up motor, too.
Smooth progress onto the Rio Negro and along to the port of Manaus, but then it started getting rough. In deference to my arse, I decided to head across the river to the Furo Grande (a narrow channel leading to Lago Janauari) in the hopes it might be open, and instantly found glass-smooth waters. Unfortunately the Furo (which means shortcut in English), was not quite open, and some hacking around with the trusty machete was required to get through it. But it turned out okay in the end, and ten minutes of physical activity was a worthwhile exchange for half an hour of bouncing.
I arrived at the flutuante in Iranduba 2.5 hours later and, since everyone was asleep, slung the hammock and had a kip. Next thing I knew a thunderstorm had sneaked up and was making me wet. Up again, a few beers with Charlie, Paulo and Robson, and soon it was dark. Food, beer, gossip, hammock. Next morning we left fairly – but not indecently – early, and found the rivers as calm as you like.
For once, I was the lead boat. I knew Charlie was in a hurry, and I also knew I had 40 litres of shite fuel in my tank which I wanted to burn off, so throwing caution and economy to the winds I set a cracking pace back to Manaus. It got a bit choppy at the Manaus end, but pride dictated that I would not slow down. It was bumpy but brief, and in the end we made the entire 55km trip back in an hour and ten minutes. A record I have no particular desire to break. Faith in the engine is restored.
Herewith, a few photos – not the best, ’cause the camera got wet in the thunderstorm. I also have a (very) short video, but I’ve never uploaded a video before. Do you think it’s worth it? If enough of you do, I’ll see what I can manage.
That’s it for now. All is sweetness and light.