Countryside continues flat in Brazil until we near P.A. then more green, green, green hills, much wetter...in flats there are wide areas of rice growing. Porto Alegre is a huge port city and definately a transport hub. From bus terminal (arr 8am) it's an easy train ride to the airport incl a free bus shuttle from train stop. We're in airport by 9:30 am...the whole day to wait til plane leaves at 7:20pm. Reading, echoes in the halls remind me we are in kid-screaming land again. We first encounter the phonom here in Brazil, little boy children seem to be tolerated when they don't get their way and commence screaming - very annoying!
Easy flights P.A. to Sao Paulo where we kill some more hours fefore flight S.P. to Manaus and Boa Vista arr 4 am, tho really 6 am our time, we lose 2 hours. Nowhere were we able to find internet or WiFi, tho if we had wanted to pay $2 US/ 5 minutes we could have in Porto Alegre airport. In Brazil we were w/o $$ other than the few pesos Bon exchgd into reales. In Boa Vista the cash machines would not accept our cards so we paid the taxi $20 US to take us across town to the bus terminal where we spent 2 hours waiting for the office to open where we could get tickets onward. We thot we wanted to go to Santa Elena just across the border into Venezuela, but for some reason they said they don't go there. The best we could do would be tickets to Puerto La Cruz, 20 hour ride leaving in an hour! Well, at least we would only need reales for these tickets and their cash machine did work so.... Now we've been travellling constantly by bus/plane since the 2nd at 3:45pm another day can't be THAT BAD! Three overnites travelling, 2/3rds the length of the continent and crossing back over into N. hemisphere in 60 hours! A bit dazed we hop on the 7:30am bus heading N.
At first it's flat but then as we approach Venezuela and mtns we get into foothills, cattle are now Brahmam Cattle type
. Landscape becomes rainforest. Climbing into savannah Savannahs
a huge, largely unpopulated rolling plain, we see in the distance the tepuis Venezuela Flattop Mtns
,shrouded in clouds, a very enticing scene but when we pass thru Santa Elena where we'd have to get out to visit them, we realize from the looks of the town, it would be a real struggle. The town is spread out and looks very run down, as if tourism has disappeared. Reminded me of some of the places we passed thru in W. Africa!
It's been mostly cloudy which has been a relief riding in the bus, then about 3 pm we dropped down from the savannah and the Canaima Natl Park into dense rain forest. By this time we have been stopped at police check points 5 times (will end up being more than 10, ha!) where they check our passports, usually on the bus but several times had us get off.
Bon by her own admission, has sleeping sickness it seems. Every once in a while her head will pop up and she'll look out and comment like "Pretty tall suckers (referring to rain forest trees) and before I even agree and look back her head is down, eyes shut, asleep again! Clouds now beginning to break up, we haven't seen any rain, actually it has been very pleasant. During the whole time so far we have passed maybe 5 vehicles going in either direction. The downhill is soo steep lasting more than 45 minutes that we smell burning brakes.
Pull into P. de Cruz about 4:30 am...bus station is busy, has waiting room where we plop down and sleep/doze/ wait til dawn.
We catch the ongoing bus from Montevideo to P.A. which passes thru Chuy at midnight...arr at P.A. 7am...our plane leaves this eve to Boa Vista at 7pm...