Just before arriving in Paramaribo, I noticed a regular bump when I was pedalling, and an inspection let me know the problem – the sidewall on my rear tyre was giving up. When I’d gone to the Thorn shop on my return home in April they’d tried to replace it saying it was showing wear in the tread. I vetoed it and I’m glad I did, because that was 11,000km earlier. I don’t remember when the last puncture was, but in the 4,500km since getting back after my mum’s 3rd 20th birthday (so since Bogotá) I’ve not even had a single puncture. Slightly annoying as I picked up 3 new tubes, and have carried 5 spare tubes since then. They don’t weigh much, but 5 tubes take up a gallon ziploc bag. Anyway, I swapped that tyre to the front, put my replacement tyre Schwable Marathon Mondial on the back and took my front tyre off to see if I can get a bit more out of that tyre. A bump on every wheel revolution is less annoying on the front wheel, and so my handlebars, than on my rear wheel where I feel it on my saddle. My hope is that it can get me to Macapá/Belem and the Amazon. I don’t remember where I put it on, but maybe the Mexico border 24,542km ago (it’d be nice to round that up to 25,000)
During my 5 days in Paramaribo, I stayed with Daniel. I had a very relaxing time, going for a couple of nights out including a visit to a casino. I played roulette but thankfully only in my head, as I’d have lost the $100 pretty quickly. I was there for Independence Day, but like Colombia it’s not that big a holiday. One cool thing about Suriname is that each year the region where the main parade happens changes. That’s great, but this year it wasn’t in the capital but about 40km south. I’d thought of heading down, but the night before I’d hurt myself sleeping in my hammock – clearly getting old – as I’d slept wrong and hyper-extended my left knee. I wandered round the city, looking at the pretty buildings, including the perfect sign of the unity in the country where there’s a mosque next door to a synagogue.