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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

Brazil - 4 February, 2002

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Campsite, 8 km west of Ponta Grossa S2510.522' W05056.353' 718 m
Finish Tucano's Camping, Peruibe S2420.108' W04700.207' 10 m 550 km

Leg 2 Total:

11,305 km

Leg 1 Total:

9,010 km

Galapagos:

771 km

Grand Total:

21,086 km

 

Weather: Mostly clear, sunny and hot.  Cool in the evening/night.

 

 

Today is supposed to be an uneventful day where we drive to some caves for a look and to camp nearby.  But things often do not turn out as they are supposed to when you are over-landing.  As we mentioned yesterday, we were not sure how we were going to get out of this campsite with the slippery dirt track that led up the hill out of here.  

 

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We let the Encounter truck go first.  It has a more powerful engine and if our truck should get into troubles, it can help to pull us out.  Well, the Encounter truck gets a good start of it, but then part way up, the tires start to spin.  So Jeff (the driver), rolls back a bit to give it another try.  But as he rolls back, the track under the back right tire gives way and the whole truck starts to tilt back and fall into the hole.  It seems like it will not stop, but after a short time it comes to a rest at a sharp angle with the right front tire hanging in the air.

 

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Jeff quickly jumps out of the drivers side and rushes around to get the passengers out.  Then we survey the situation.  It looks awful and the truck appears to be well and truly stuck.  Jeff gets stuck right into it and we pull all the equipment off of both of the trucks - shovels, axes, picks, etc.  We clear away all the shrub and trees around the back of the truck so that we can get a clear view of the situation.

 

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In the end, it is not as bad as it appears - but it is still a mess.  Jeff digs out the underside and builds a platform of dirt and stones onto which the truck can be dragged.  A huge ditch is dug next to the back left tire, so that when the truck is dragged out, the tire will fall into it and keep the truck from rolling back into the hole.  Sam runs off to get a tractor, which shows up about an hour later. But the time is well used to prepare for the truck to be pulled out.

 

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In the end, the tractor is not enough.  It does not have enough weight to pull the truck out of the ditch.  The locals then say that they will go and get a "crane" - we are not sure what they mean.  But in the end, it turns out to be a tow truck.  This does the trick.  We attach the wire to the back of the truck and then the tow truck uses it pulley to winch sideways the back of the truck out of the hole.  It works - the truck is now level, but not yet out of danger.  The ground is too unstable.

 

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So now the tow truck moves to the front of the truck to pull it up the road a bit further to stable ground.  In the meantime, we had been able to get our truck out another way.  This a bit of hit and miss.  We almost got stuck going out the other way on the hilly, bumpy grass.  But Priscilla made it.  The front of the tow truck was attached to our truck to stabilise it.  When all was in position, the winch on the tow truck got to work.  With the Encounter truck driving and the power of the winch, it could be pulled out.  But you could see the strain - the tow truck as virtually being lifted off the ground, suspended by the tow cables connecting it to the two trucks.  The best part, though, was that we got her out with barely a scratch.

 

By now it was lunch time, so we stayed there and had our lunch before we left.  But we had lost so much time, that we decided to skip the caves and drive straight for the ocean and try to arrive at Paraty a day head of schedule.  We drive all afternoon and into the evening and night.  We stop at a restaurant along the way for dinner to save time.

 

We get to our campsite at Peruibe on the coast just after 11 PM at night.  After this long day we are ready to just set up out tent and go to bed.

 

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