Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Wild West

Fransa and I

Friday October 5, 2012
Good day everybody!

Same old stuff. I was surprised after lunch today to open a “cool room” designated for our guys and find at least a dozen labourers sleeping in it with the lights on. They were laying head to foot in rows across the floor and on the benches. I watched their eyes open to look at me as rays of light from the open door crossed the room. They relaxed and closed their eyes just as fast and I left them to their siesta.  The word is that they are legislated to have an unpaid one-hour lunch every day and if they want to sleep, who are we stop them?  That was a first for me… The other that I’m not quite getting used to yet is the prayer meetings before they start work in the morning. I was walking by the other day and there were fifty of them all in a circle participating in a prayer.  As I walked by, one of them handed me a piece of paper with their daily prayer on it, on a company letterhead. 

Saturday October 6, 2012
I managed to pry the keys for the company pick-up out of Bob's hands last night, effectively giving myself a set of wheels to explore with.  I put my last $65 reals worth of diesel ($32 Can) in the tank and set off to explore the land to the west.  The city of Tucuma is about 12 km west of Ourilandia Do Norte and though it is similar in size and layout, it was nice to see some new scenery.  I returned again this morning and walked all of its streets, looking for a bank that would let me withdraw some cash (no luck) and bought myself a new shirt as well as a comb, and a chain and lock for my bike.  After I shopped, I drove about 50 miles west towards Vila Carapana but I had to get back in case someone needed the truck.  If I could, I would invent a camera that not only captures colours, but scents and sounds too. I wish!  Here are the best of my pics! Insert your own vivid scents and sounds!

Open air market in Tucuma

Whole, cracked or ground... how do you like your corn?  :)

Sugar Cane
Brazil Nuts - I'm eating a bag a day!

Fransa helped me find the perfect shirt I have been looking for. Thankyou!

My "Souvenir" camisa (shirt) at last! :)

Tucuma looking East
Drained Coconuts

Come Mister Tallyman, tally my bananans! - Bananas on the stem!

Heading west from Tucuma, Para, Northern Brazil

Yours Truly!

You don't know squat about potholes until you have driven here!

Two Years later...
I awaken from a deep sleep, a recurrent dream having just run through my head for the thousanth time... I am driving down a pot-holed highway deep in the amazon when I come onto cow patties covering the highway.  At first I am confused... why would the highway be covered in cow shit?  And then the scene unfolds in front of me.. a hundred, no a thousand, maybe two thousand head of cattle being driven down the highway by some gouchos. The cows part in front of me like I'm Moses walking into the Red Sea, except I have to roll up my window because of the flies.  It was at least a half a mile of nothing but cows and the experience is forever etched in my mind!

Maybe you can't roller skate through a buffalo herd, but you can drive topless!
The terminus of my exploratory voyage west... I might be back!
One last stop on my way home... Public Cemetary
Clearly, a zombie has escaped!
5:00 pm update;  Back to my room and uploaded my pics.  Tomorrow is election day here and we have been told to stay away from town because of all the shootings and stabbings.  I am going to ride my bike down there and see if it's true.  More pics to come!