|Bus station in Caceres.|
Aware of the dangers of driving in Brazilian highways, where semis, buses, and cars fight for the right to pass each other on two-lane highways with zero shoulders, I decided to take the bus, a very comfortable and economical option. The ticket was $35 for a 500 km trip. I was able to assess the terrain that the horseback portion of the expedition will cover.
I was pleasantly surprised by Vilhena, the last portion of the RR expedition, where the River of Doubt starts. It is, interestingly, still called Rio da Duvida on maps and MapQuest. It is only farther North that the name changes to Roosevelt River. The city has a population of about 70,000 and is the result of a major immigration wave in the 1970s. It is now an important center of the entire region and the symmetric arrangement of streets, order, and a certain harmony are clearly the result of the immigrants from the South of the country. It is at an altitude of 600 meters which provides a pleasant climate all year long, something that definitively has helped its development. In Vilhena, I have three primary goals: