Monday, July 6, 2015

Our Amazon Jungle Basin Trip and Its Adventures - Days 1 & 2

Antonio Duarte, Stephen Minion (our future son-in-love who is here doing his missionary internship) and I (Lawanda), took a 13 day trip up to the Amazon Jungle Basin to see the area and to encourage the national missionaries and pastors there. We went from Cuiabá, Mato Grosso to Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre a total off 2,596 kilometres (1,613 miles) one way; and then further by boat. Since Brazil is a big country I thought this might help you understand where we went. This is the state of Mato Grosso (Dense Woods) where we live:
This is the state of Acre where we went. (Passing through the state of Rondonia)
Here is a road map of that area.
We left Cuiabá, the capital of Mato Grosso (MT) on Sunday, June 21, 2015 at 10:40 p.m. by bus. The bus-line we took was very comfortable. The seats had more space than airplane seats and reclined well with foot boards to rest ones legs. The busses were air conditioned and had a cooler with cold mineral water and a toilet on board.  After a day or so it was sometimes "nicer" to pay a small fee (30-60 cents) and use the restrooms at the bus stops...but not always!

That bus trip lasted 35 hours and 15 minutes! We went through many towns and cities needing the Gospel! The bus made one of its stops at the break of dawn on Monday morning in a town called Pontes e Lacerda, MT.  I vividly recall seeing "Dad Duarte's" silhouette against the deep orchid and pink flamingo rays of the rising sun with his head bowed in prayer and with tears streaming down his cheeks as he begged God to send someone to that city to preach the true Gospel of Jesus Christ!
We went through Caceres, Pontes e Lacerda and Comodoro MT. Then in to the state of Rondonia (RO) around 10:30 a.m., where we passed through Vilhena, Pimenta Bueno, Cacoal, Presidente Medici, Ji-Parana, Ouro Preto do Oeste, Jaru, Ariquemes and reached Porto Velho, the capital of Rondonia after midnight. The bus stopped for 10-30 minutes in each of these cities. We crossed the wide Madeira River on a barge at 3:45 a.m. which was kind of scary as the life vests were stored out of reach! That is the division between the states of Rondonia and Acre.

We arrived in Rio Branco, the capital of Acre (AC) at 9:15 a.m. our time, Tuesday, June 23rd. (There is a 1 hour time change so it was 8:15 a.m. local time).  I know that so far this post may sound as boring to you as this part of the trip was tiresome to us....but stay tuned! It gets better!

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