Follow the bikers of Going South on their adventures though the Americas.
Everything is going well here in the southern route. We left the Amazon about 10 days ago, after climbing from 200 m to 4725 m of the Pirihuayani Pass, from a very nice jungle to the glaciers of the Nevado Ausangate. It has been very rainy, so the route was very muddy, there were several landslides and consequently also many road blockings. We were delayed quite a bit, stuck in the middle of nowhere, but it was a very interesting and authentic nowhere.
We are right now in Puerto Maldonado, Peru, in the Southwestern border of the Amazon Basin. Soon we will get out of here through a road reaching as high as 4900 m over the sea level, and we will again pass by the gold mines of the Amazon Basin. They are everywhere. We filmed the miners digging holes to get to the gold veins. Sometimes others are directing high pressure water pipes towards the soil to eliminate the trees and create a yellowish mud to be mixed with mercury. In the main rivers entire fleets of dredging boats are removing and pumping the muddy bottom of the water, contaminating everything with mercury. In a couple of days we will film how they had turned aside a river destroying hundreds of hectares of jungle, which are currently just a yellowish desert.
In spite of the violence and the sordid happenings in La Bulla, the work is well organized in teams where everyone has a specific task. The “law of the mine” is one of brotherhood and trust between comrades of the same team; the lives of each miner highly depend on the efficiency and collaboration of the teammates at work.
The second Venezuelan project was the Bulla Hoja de Lata. A bulla in Spanish is an agglomeration of people making a lot of noise and scandal, and it is the popular term in Venezuela to describe what happens when someone finds considerable amounts of gold: people from all Venezuela and the neighbor countries come in mass in an uncontrolled and feverish gold rush.
Before leaving Venezuela we decided to film 2 “projects”. We actually call them like that due to our very limited English. They could be considered realities we film, where we interview some people, just because the place impacts us. Obviously the goal is not to film in a professional way (since we are far from being professionals), and we don´t spend several days informing ourselves about the situation and planning the takes. We just enter, film as best as we can, we offer our impressions in front of the camera and we interview some local people that give light on the topic.
The first such place (project) was a rubbish dump, although during the footage we called it “rubbish place”. I know it sounds ridiculous, but we did not have our dictionary handy, and probably with the hurries we wouldn´t have bothered to check it anyway.
Fortunately very few people in Europe, North America, Oceania, and large parts of Latin America and Asia actually would need to buy bottled water. Sadly many actually do it.
Colombia has been an absolute hit in this trip, I am sure I will keep the same opinion when arriving in Ushuaia. Sadly we planned a short route of barely more than 2 weeks, but the country deserves a long-lenth exclusive cycle trip.
Colombia ha sido uno de los puntos culminantes de este viaje, y estoy seguro de que mantendré la misma opinión al llegar a Ushuaia. Desgraciadamente planeamos una ruta corta de poco mas de 2 semanas, pero Colombia merece un viaje largo en exclusiva.
We are still in Manaus, in the Brazilian Amazon. Before leaving for several days without internet I am trying to grasp the last chance: I shall update the blog or abandon it. Somehow I did not manage to do anything else than pedalling, filming, and doing the everyday tasks of a cycling trip. I have almost completely abandonned photography - I have become a photographer of nights and stars, when there is nothing else to do and one can steal some time to the sleep-, I don´t manage to finish some few tasks remaining from my previous job that were due to be sent 2 months ago, and I have not produced any text with reflections, annotations, or plain information about this trip.
Todavía estamos en Manaos, en la Amazonia Brasileña. Antes de retomar el viaje en zonas sin conexión a internet, he decidido darle una ultima oportunidad al blog: de esta lo retomo definitivamente o lo abandono. Hasta el momento no he sido capaz de hacer otra cosa que pedalear, filmar, y hacer las cosas típcas del dia a dia de un viaje en bici. Casi he abandonado completamente la fotografía- ya sólo me dedico a hacer fotos por la noche cuando hay tiempo que robar al sueño-, no he podido terminar algunas cosas que me faltan por hacer de mi anterior trabajo, y no he producido ningún texto con misreflexiones, anotaciones o simplemente información práctica del viaje.
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