Uneasy Farewell to Brazil Boa Vista, Brazil


Route Presidente Figueiredo, Brazil – Boa Vista, Brazil (BR174)
Distance 656Km
Travel Time 10 hours
Road Conditions Good tarmac
Weather Warm, humid
Terrain Flat, Jungle receding to savannah
Food and Petrol Frequent (note Waimari Reserve 125Km no services)
Accommodation Hotel Ideal, Boa Vista


Presidente Figueiredo has been an amazing experience and we will miss it! Now the Argentinians (Facebook: enmotoxamerica) and us ride together towards the Brazil-Venezuela border. This means a roughly 650km ride to Boa Vista as our first step. It’s a long hard ride but it’s a good highway and we cross some beautiful landscapes and large rivers.


More excitingly, the route crosses 125 kilometres right through an indigenous reserve, the home of the Waimari Atroari people. This tribe has a history of warring against the modern Brazilian infringement of their territory – a brutal history, where during the 1980s Brazilian armed forces were literally sent into the jungle to shoot these people like animals for disrupting the building of this road. This territory has now been protected for these people in the form of a reserve and upon entry, large signs warn the transitor that stopping, as well as photography and video filming is prohibited within.


We have heard a few stories of people intentionally stopping, or running out of fuel within the limits of the reserve, and being caught by the natives, stripped of all their clothes and belongings, and being left on their own to make their way out. We fill up at the last gas station shortly before the reserve and make our way though.

The reserve is truly astonishing! Pristine jungle lines the asphalt road – trees, vines, sparkling lagoons. Upon the high crowns are perched colourful parakeets, blue, red, black and yellow, cawking out to each other and flying gracefully from tree-top to tree-top. A very special place. Well done to the Waimari for fighting out these strangers with no obvious respect for this natural sanctuary.

Also on the way cross the Equator line, this time again from the Southern hemisphere into the North. I guess that makes it winter again! – wow, this Equator line keeps reappearing in the strangest of places…


I check my oil level a couple of times during the ride and it’s getting lower fast so I have to refill a few times. The last couple of hundred Km we drive pretty fast and within that time I’ve burnt nearly 300ml – this is very concerning! Max points out that when riding behind me he saw plenty of white smoke emitting from the exhaust during deceleration. Damn! White smoke – oil – that adds up. He reckons it could be shot valve seals. Dammit!


As our travel plans changed from going down the Brazilian coast to going up through Venezuela, so also has Ebru’s “First Turkish Woman to Cross the Amazon by Motorbike” challenge – which started all the way back in Puerto Maldonado – been revised. Originally we thought it had ended as we arrived at Manaus – from there we were going to be on a ferry downstream on the Amazon. However now, with our arrival at Boa Vista and move into Venezuela, she has crossed the whole Amazon basin from South to North, with the great Amazon river in the middle of it. We take some time to shoot some photos and video clips to commemorate the achievement.

Late afternoon at sundown we finally arrive in Boa Vista. There are a few cheap hostels near the rodoviaria, but rather shabby, and the Lonely Planet hostel Ebru picked out doesn’t seem to exist. We find a simple accommo at Hotel Ideal (55BRL/dbl incl breakfast, parking). The owner and staff have a somewhat distrusting attitude, but for a night it will do.


We only spend a night in this large town but we get the impression there’s no reason to stay here. It looks uninteresting.

We meet an Australian chap and his Venezuelan wife, also travelling on a moto, a Honda Transalp they flew over from Oz. We don’t get to speak at night but the next morning they give us some tips on riding Venezuela. It sounds as risky as I thought… police road blocks, motorbike thuggery and nasty potholes and speed bumps. They tell us about how they had his wife’s family members help them map out a “safe” route through the country to get here. Their onward route is to head into the Goyanas!

“Oh yes,” he helpfully adds, “it’s practically impossible to find any Honda spares, as Honda closed shop in Venezuela a few years ago, so if you need anything done, better get it done in Brazil. Wonderful!