Macapa, Brazil South America By Bus Backpacking Eight Months On the Road
By David Rice
Macapa,Brazil Page Thirteen
Anxiety at Latitude 0
Next day I would get a look at how the American (US) adherence to laws sometimes is a mystery to people from other countries.
I grabbed a collectivo and headed to St Georges del L’Oyapok on the Approuatue River. Dutifully I went to the French police station but they were perplexed as to how to proceed. They had not see any Americans and it seemed that border patrol was not high on their priority list; they were even hard pressed to find the passport stamp.
After a few awkward moments, they rummaged through some draws and produced a stamp which the man applied to my passport. With a gathered group of officials watching me with curiosity I then boarded a small dugout canoe for the trip across the Amazon to Brazil.
I reached Diapoque in Brazil and headed to the immigration office to show the yellow fever inoculation papers. I then went to the bus station and caught a bus to Macapa, Brazil, Latitude 0 on the Equator. I had finally arrived in Brazil and set out to enjoy it. I spent the whole day sampling food and touring the small town while I waited for another boat.
At this little border crossing, I again changed money. Any border in the world has a money changer so I always like to change to the currency as I enter the next country. I also like to collect a few coins and have in my collection coins from every country that I have visited. I have hundreds of dollars worth of coins from many countries stashed in a huge canvas bag at the farm in Missouri and I have no idea what I will do with them.
I had been on an all-night bus from border of French Guiana to Macapa. I arrived before dawn far from the city. I caught a local bus going into town and it took me to the square where I hoped to get a ticket across the Amazon delta. I went to the docks and started to shop for a boat.
I found a boat and bought the ticket. I had some time to kill so I put my backpack aboard the boat and went into town to spend the day.
The boiling temperature and oppressive humidity forced me out on a point along the river where I found a breeze near an old fort. I poked around the fort and as afternoon wore on I headed for the bus; my boat would leave at dusk.
Upon arriving at the dock, however, I was stunned to see the berth empty; my boat had already left. I stood dismayed until a guy shouted to me from the deck of another boat and told me that my boat had only gone for gas and would be back in an hour.
That was a relief but it sure gave me a few moments of anxiety. That boat would take five days to make a round trip and that would be a long time waiting at Latitude 0 for my pack.
Within the hour the boat did return and although she was a sorry looking scow, she couldn't have looked sweeter to me.
She was my bridge across the Amazon.
Latitude 0, Macapa, Brazil
South America By Bus
Backpacking Eight Months On the Road
By David Rice