Keith Irwin

Rurópolis

Apr 19, 2014

Brazil, Hitchhiking, Travel, Latin America 2014


This is part of my story of hitchhiking from New York to Buenos Aires and back, which I did in 2014. I may publish the entire tale in a book someday. Until then, you can read it for free here. To see other parts, check out Latin America 2014. 

April 19

It took a long time to get a ride that morning. I entertained myself by throwing pebbles at a distant chicken. The chicken was too far for me to actually hit it, but whenever a pebble landed near it, it would look up, startled. It looked around for the source of the noise, and saw nothing, so it went back to eating. After a few moments, I would lob another. I found this really funny in my sleep-deprived condition. 

A photo of a paved road
A paved portion of the route

It was a long way to Rurópolis, and not a lot of traffic. There were almost no cars. I passed many mines and cattle farms. The locals mostly got around by motorcycle, but there were trucks too. Sometimes I would wait for a long time for a vehicle to pass, only to find it was a motorcycle, going to their neighbor’s house. But they often gave me a lift. The locals in this area were quite isolated and more surprised than usual to meet a foreigner. I also got some rides with truckers, but nobody was going all the way to Rurópolis. I didn’t make it that day, and was forced to sleep by the highway. 


Santarém Altamira