New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut

After crossing West Virginia and Pennsylvania, I finally met my parents in New Jersey. I was pleased to see them again, since I’ve been on the road for such a long time.

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1226 parents

During the weekend we went to Philadelphia, mainly to see the the Seaport Museum, featuring USS Olympia (claimed to be the world’s oldest floating steel warship, launched in 1892) and the submarine Becuna, dating since WW2, as well as other exhibits inside the building.

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Sunday there was a racing event counting for the American Le Mans challenge, this time at Lime Rock, in Connecticut.

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After a short stay in Paris, Laura is finally in Bucharest, and she sent me this good bye picture to be posted on the blog.

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The shipwrecks

In the middle of the Paramaribo river there is a German shipwreck dating from World War II (first picture). Trying to get closer I found two other grounded vessels. I went aboard to check them out and I met Raed, a former seaman who now lived aboard one of the ships, together with four other people. While drinking a beer he told me the story behind the ships, in a mix of English with Portuguese and Dutch 🙂

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Few more pictures from the French Guyana

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Creeks and swamps are very common in that area.

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Somewhere in the Brazilina jungle we lost the license plate. I had to stop at a shop to build a replacement.

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Many wreckages like this can be seen everywhere in French Guyana, mostly in remote areas. Hundreds, if not even more! Some of them with broken glass and burned. We were wondering why. I found the answer while in the shop waiting for the replacement license plate to be cut.

There was another client who had some strange tears on his pants. We began talking and he mentioned one day he was driving his Citroen Xsara from Cayenne to St. Georges. At some point, the road was blocked with tree branches. Feeling the danger, he placed the car in reverse and attempted to escape. That moment, two men armed with shotguns showed up from the jungle and opened fire. Some rounds broke the tires while others penetrated the door and hit his leg. Even though he was being fired upon several times, he did not stop. With flat tires he couldn’t go very far, but from his cell phone he alerted the Gendarmerie who came and rescued him and his vehicle.

After telling this story, he lifted the pant sleeve to reveal the wounds!

guy 5

To get from French Guyana to Suriname I had to cross this river. I was happy to see a ferry waiting, but soon I learned it was out of order. So o canoe was the solution once again.

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Crossing the Oiapoque

Like every time before when we had to cross a body of water (except for that time when we crossed the Magellan Strait in Chile), crossing the Oiapoque was not without hassle: the prices (for a 15 minute trip by canoe or ferry) varied from 20EUR to 200EUR but you never know who can be trusted and who can’t. Even the ferry had no schedule at all! After two days of bargaining we managed to find some guys willing to take us across for 30EUR.

In the end we paid 35EUR because they claimed the bike was heavier. For us, it felt so strange: we were in South America but also in European Union at the same time.1159 oiapoque1160 oiapoque1161 oiapoque


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Sailing on the Amazon

Our ship was an older, wooden vessel with a carrying capacity of 100 passengers. But only about 30 passengers were aboard, so the lower deck was filled with cargo and our motorcycle. Tickets were R$60 per person (food included) and R$150 for Palomina. The trip lasted for about 35 hours. During this time, we stopped in two ports. In addition to this, sometimes smaller vessels were approaching our ship to load and unload passengers and such freight as onions, fish, lemons, ice cream cones etc without having to stop. Two passengers were traveling in cabins while the rest (including us) were accommodated on the upper deck. Everyone had a hammock to sleep but not us, so we rented a pair for R$10.

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