Heading into Manaus
02.07.2008 - 03.07.2008 32 °C
We were now down to the last two days on the truck after 5 months of it being our home, so Ollie and I wanted to celebrate. We decided to hold Cindy (the truck) a party and stocked up on goodies in Santa Elena especially for the occasion. Ollie was in charge of the drinks and with contributions from the whole truck we bought enough vanilla rum to sink a small ship (3L plastic containers of rum for around 3 quid, headaches were expected). I was in charge of food and decorations, I bought bright orange balloons to cheer up the interior, silly string to annoy the cleaning group and cakes and all things bad for you to snack on until we felt sick. I also spent 3 hours wrapping up sweets and forfeits for a gigantic pass-the-parcel the night prior to get the party flowing.
The day of leaving Santa Elena was sad as we knew our overlanding was coming to a close but by lunch time we were blowing up balloons and hanging streamers with everyone else getting into the party spirit. Ollie and I mixed up some caprioska (it was entertaining trying to cut up lime with a penknife on a moving truck) and by the time everyone had had a couple of the 50% vodka cocktails down their neck, the cheesy music was flowing, faces were smiling, foots were tapping and everybody was wearing their party hats. When the pass-the-parcel came out, the cocktails were working to great effect and so the forfeits went down a storm, these included eating a sweet out of someone's bellybutton, putting ice down your pants, moon walking the length of the truck and doing an Irish jig, all in-between eating the prize sweets scattered among the wrapping. Dancing in the aisle was called for next, this was made difficult by the unexpected pot holes and so we had ultimate forfeits for anyone who spilt their drink. The ultimate forfeits inlcuded someone being a butler to everyone for an hour, another guy was tied to someone else for an hour, including when he had to do a toilet stop. One guy ended up getting blind folded for half an hour, which is when we got the silly string out and just covered him in it. The toilet stops became quite amusing as the more tipsy people got, the stops were more often, and usually just at the roadside as service stations were few and far between here. Locals often slowed down and even took photos of the gringos nipping out to do a number one still wearing their party hats and streamers.
Everyone on the truck got awarded a certificate of their not so outstanding achievements while being on the trip; all were taken in humour although some went down better than others!! By the time we stopped for dinner at a truck café in the middle of nowhere we had decided to set up camp in their car park and continue the party.
Everyone had a great time and it was so much fun celebrating the end of our overland trip actually inside the truck, in home, with everyone else. The very last day was a quiet one on the truck, for some reason most people felt unwell – must be a virus going round!! To this day I cannot even smell vanilla rum due to the bilious vomit it produces in my stomach.