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Ascending South America

Day 56 31st October

Completing 5500 km on river. It was too hot to stop for some real celebrations, but still a all the boats got together for a hand shakes and hugs. Another milestone reached and a reminder that nearly thousand km more to go.


Goldmning dredgers are quite simple structures put together with wood, ropes and have either tin or thatch roof. Larger ones have upper bunk, which act as sleeping quarters. But they are far and few.


After passing hundreds of dredgers, we decided to stop at one of them to see how gold was extracted from the river. Miners were as much curious about us, as they were of them.


Entering a small channel fall of woods and tree trunk. Steen had to jumping the water to get rid of a stump.
Stefano and Werner had to change fuel bag while entering a channel. Narrow passage, full of floating and submerged logs with strong currents was not the best place to let boat go…but they was fast and efficient.


While river is wide, big enough for medium size ships to sail. It has several narrow passages, which some times lead to hidden lakes and villages.
We are not always successful in navigating all of them, but at times we can sneak in. And always there is a surprise waits for us.
Not sure if Rafael was in contemaptive mood or was just avoiding to be photographed, I would assume former.
Gold mining on River Madeira is back break and provides just sustenance money. Needless to say some of the poorest work here.


Several people work on dredgers for gold mining, which goes on non stop 24 hours. Rodrigo operates the wheel which manoeuvres the hose sucking slitats are generators which are fitted with a long shaft propeller and handle which acts as throttle. With no roads in these area, these flat bottom boats are life line.


Banana grows in plenty here, and send far and wide. And boats are the only means of transport.
A hidden lake shines in setting sun.
Normally sand beaches are not the first choice to camp, as they are full sand flies and they bite badly. In the thick foliage here it very difficult to find open space to camp. This was our camping spot for the night. A visibly drained Pablo waits as Andy waits for other boats.

End of the day, Andy looking at Steen’s engine which got a good hit.


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