Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Difficult access

One of the most difficult problems we face in the Amazon is that of transportation. Access is difficult everywhere, especially this time of the year. Paved city streets are full of potholes and most of the non-paved streets are impassable. The municipality government gives high priority to fixing up streets, but the repairs are fairly much limited to filling up holes with asphalt, which doesn't last long. Even the federal highway, BR-163 is full of craters (attached image), which can dismantle a vehicle if hit at any speed at all. The solution is to zigzag from one side of the road to the other. When oncoming traffic presents itself, better slow down to almost a stop to get through the holes without tearing up a tire and the hub. People who use the highway on a daily basis know all the tricks of driving without destroying their vehicles. City folks going out to the barbecue restaurant on the weekend often find themselves stranded on the highway with two flat tires and damaged hubs from hitting an unsuspected crater in the road. Get off the highway, then things are really difficult. Take, for example, getting to Bosque Santa Lucia, our small forest reserve. Next post.

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