So I made the last part of the trip solo and had a good time of it. I could have made the drive from Sao Luis to Belem in two days and one night but I found myself trying to stretch out every last bit of the drive. I didn’t want the time with Coco to end. So I found a random dirt road on the map…one I was sure would slow me down, and headed for it knowing that it would delay me enough so that I would have to spend one more night with Coco before arriving in the city.
It was almost dark and I had been on this dirt road for an hour and had seen no safe place to pull off and park for the night. I was beginning to get a little perturbed when I caught myself and decided to think positive, I took a deep breath and visualized myself finding a spot that would be suitable for parking. And I swear, not 30 seconds later I saw a smaller dirt road that split off the larger one I was on…a promising lead. So I turn down the road which is flanked on either side by rows and rows of palm trees that evidently used to be a palm plantation but that had been neglected, allowing the jungle to begin retaking what was rightfully hers….
And at the end of the road…I find the PERFECT spot to sleep for the night! The most random thing ever to find a big well kept soccer field in the middle of nowhere! Literally the nearest house must have been a kilometer away and the nearest town another 5 kilometers! So that is how I found Coco’s final camping ground…
So I spent a pleasant night alone. Made myself a caipahrina, lit some candles, put on some music and cooked a nice dinner. I thought about all the things I would miss about life on the road in Brazil, the sunsets, the roadside fruit, waking up to see a new landscape everyday and just the thrill, the feeling of being a foreigner behind the wheel in a strange land, its almost as if you are doing something forbidden, something incredible. I also thought of all the things I would not miss, the speed bumps, the mango fibers in my teeth, the sweat, the mosquitoes. And so it was…my last night in Coco.
I made a little video documenting the occasion…not so riveting so feel free to skip it but for those who want to watch it here it is….
From day one I made a rule that everyone who rode in Coco, even if it were just for one kilometer, had to commemorate the occasion by adorning themselves with tiger ears and a clown nose. I mentioned in a previous post that I often stopped to pick up random locals on the side of the road who flagged us down thinking that Coco was a transport vehicle. The locals we picked up were given a choice if they wanted to participate in our “photography project” or not…all but one or two agreed and everyone sported the gear with big smiles, probably wondering how their day had taken such a strange turn to find themselves wearing a clown nose in the back of a Volkswagen bus full of gringos. These people along with friends, couchsurfers, and other travelers who I randomly met on the road were those lucky enough to float (and bounce) down the highway on Coco’s steel haunches. Without Coco I probably would never have met or come into contact with most of these people. And so, a farewell to Coco from all of her friends….
And so, I cruised into a Belem on March 2nd, my final port of call, where a new “adventure” of registering Coco at the Department of Motor Vehicles and passing her off to her new owners would soon begin.