Day 323 – River Boat Ride

Day 322 – 5th June 2011

Jacaré, Paraiba, Brazil

My water taxi

At noon, we went ashore to meet Herbert who was joining us for a trip to Ribeira.  We waited for our water taxi to arrive and eventually Cobra arrived.  We were the only passengers.  As we rounded Ihla Do Stuart, we ran aground and our pilot powered up the motor and we scraped through the mud, under the mangroves.  There were big red crabs under the mangroves and they fled on hearing or perhaps feeling our presence.  We landed on the muddy bank at Ribeira and went for a look around the village.  There were houses and as in Jacare, every second one was a shop of some sort.  There were no customers about and being Sunday, the only action was at the bar.  I saw a starfruit tree, an avocado tree, lots of banana and coconut trees, a lime bush and one which bore pomegranates.  Chickens ruled the roost here, they were everywhere.

We stopped at the bar for a beer and Herbert needed to eat something as he is diabetic.  They had only one dish left – a plate of beans.  I happily suggested that Herbert could have it all to himself.  A few girls and a guy stopped in a car. Te girls made their way around the back to use the outdoor loo (no door).  Shortly after, I needed to go too and made my way there.  As I was about to use it, the lady who seemed to own the place came running out the back and gestured to me that I should go around to the front, she said “…….Casa.” Casa was the only word I picked up and it means house!  I went around the front and she beckoned me inside.  I kicked off my flip flops and followed her through her pristine house and was led to her private bathroom.  I felt extremely privileged and thanked her.  Of course, the toilet didn’t flush, but there was a huge bucket of water and a scoop which I used to pour down the bowl.

A man on a motorbike pulled up, he had a chicken with its legs tied together with a plastic bag in one hand and an enormous bunch of bananas in the other.  The chicken was laid on the ground, still clucking and wriggling next to the bananas.  Well it sure as hell wasn’t the chicken’s day, because the next thing you know, a big rooster came along and raped the chicken, right there in front of us.  They all laughed.  I think it might have been kinder to chop the chicken’s head off, but then maybe it wasn’t meant for dinner.  The rape victim and the bananas were scooped up by the motorcycle rider never to be seen again.

At the river’s edge, we got aboard the taxi called 100% Jesus. Last week, a horse was forced onto the boat according to one of the French sailors, though I didn’t actually see it myself.  But they bring bikes and motorbikes all the time from one river to the next.  The way back was wet as we motored against the strong current and Herbert gave me his coat to keep warm and dry against the spray.

another river taxi

I went to the internet café for a quick catch up but still I did not have wifi access.

As I was boycotting the marina, I did not stay for a Caipirinha and went to the boat early.  I was tired and starving as there was nothing to eat all day, so a quick omelette did the trick.

Menu today

Breakfast – Tea and granola, banana

Lunch – a donut and a beer

Dinner – An omelette with tomato, cheese, onion and green pepper and a bread roll

Snacks – A beer and an orange

Meraid Griffin

Freelance writer, adventurer and public speaker. Descibed in the Sunday Times as a ‘modest explorer’. Nothing modest about me.

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