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El Dorado

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Posts posted by El Dorado

  1. That sure is a nice looking nugget. Bummer about the pictures. Guess I will have to post some more. While were out and about at a recently cleared area. A guy came out of the bush carrying some nice straight poles he had just cut from the jungle, he said he was making a chair. Anyway, a couple of days later we saw his chairs and Don bought one. We were told to return in a few days to pick it up. To our amazement, on the day we returned for the pick up, there was a grand feast going on. It was in prep for a whole town religious holiday. Here are a few pictures. The kids were pretty cool. We were probable the first American Gringos they had ever encountered. I ended up gettind a chair too and it made it all the way back here.




  2. Let me put it this way.... there was nothing safe at all about that mine! 220 volt wiring with no grounding, no back up lighting, no ventilation. I could go on and on, but I am certainly no expert on underground safety.

    Oh yeah, all pictures taken with a old broken Canon Sureshot........most by me

    Next chapter in a day or two

  3. One of the great "tours" that came our way was totally unexpected. Last trip we met a guy from Faina, Reginaldo (pronounced Heginaldo). This year he guided to a spot on top of the mountains near Faina. At the end of a day hunting with no gold found, he took us to a small lode mine that he used to work in. All of the miners were super friendly and were very proud of their operation and definatly wanted to share the whole thing with us. The hanging wall was for the most part good solid smooth rock. I do wish I had a hard hat... but what the hey... you only live once. I can't say for sure, but I would guess it was at least 120 degrees down in the mine. Rumor has it, they produce 200 grams a day and they run 24/7 with two long shifts. I cannot remember exactly, but the mine is either 190 meters deep or they have followed the veins for 190 meters.

    Originally the mine was first worked by the Banderantes... The Portuguese slave owners. The slaves hand dug a pit about 15 meters square and 8-10 meters deep. This mine operation restarted working this lode 2 years ago. The foreman was a great guy, that actually followed us to town later and joined us at our table. He has worked underground for 20 years, mostly mining emeralds. He told us of one situation where the mine he was in flooded rapidly and he was stuck in a pocket for 7 1/2 hours and down to his last breath. He promised God that if he survived, he would never drink again........ he would not have a beer with us!

    The ore cart is a flat pallet with an inverted tire on top, it travels on very small metal wheels and the tracks are wood! You must remember a lot of the wood in Brasil is rock hard and heavy as steel. Don may remember how often they have to change them.

    The vein has visible, free milling gold. We actually got to pick out a few souvenir chunks to take home (OK, so I lied... we did get a bit of gold form this mine). They double crush the ore and run it through a very low energy sluice, doing a cleanup once a day.

    All in all it was a great part of the adventure.

    The Mine


    Winch Shack




  4. The trip turned out to be another grand adventure. There were many brand new areas that we explored. Saw many many birds, a few wild animals and even a very poisonous caterpillar. But, the whole trip would not have been at all possible were it not for the great host and guide I had on this trip. So to start off my picture essay, here are a few pictures of our very own Garimpo



    Don Guideing


    Don at the local bar in Faina


    And on the river crossing


  5. Finally home and feeling like I still belong to the living vs. being a Zombie. The trip back was very exhausting to say the least. Just about 36 hours of airplanes and airports with zero sleep. I will start posting pictures as soon as I get some uploaded into photobucket. Please do not ask for pictures of gold as I am not going to post any due to a certain person posting about the possibilities of ending up in jail............. so no gold nugget pictures, because there wasn't any.

    This was the price of fuel.... equals about $3.80 a gallon for diesel and over $5.00 for gas. At least all the stations (Postos) were full service, just like the old times.


  6. We have been in the ¨bush¨ since my arrival. Just returned to Don´s town this afternoon. Trip has been great and a few nuggets are in the can. I am at what they call a LAN House renting computer time. The big guy will have his computer set up sometime soon...

    All is well and contrary to John B. we are safe and sound (and will stay that way)..........

    Food, beer, scenery (tera firma and female) has been great as well as the magic of all the animals and birds. A few nugget in the poke, but nothing to brag about YET

  7. Well, I am just about packed and ready for my return trip down to Uruacu. Leaving Thursday morning at 0715 and will not see Don until Friday at 1730. Going to take a round about way and a long layover to save $800 on airfare! 35 hours of travel is going to be a grind, but I am staying a whole 6 weeks this year. Just could not teach Don all the fine points of beer quaffing in a 4 week trip last year.

    Don has some great spots zeroed in for detecting and if all works out right we might even get his 5" dredge wet! Much effort is going to be put in to best Ken's 32 oz'er

    Let the adventure begin............YAHOOOOOO

  8. Remember, he only recommended a NOI, he did not say it was required. Dredging in a creek does not create a substantial surface disturbance as long as you do not dredge into the banks and or kill any plantlife. A dredge is not considered as heavy equipment like a backhoe or dozer. If you are planning on a bit of dryland dredging, that would probably change the disturbance classifiacation.

    Once you start a paperwork trail with the Forest Service, it can turn into a nightmare.... all depends on your District Ranger's agenda

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  9. Joined the Army Nov 1966 after receiving my Draft notice because I did not want to end up as an 11B. Did Basic at Ft. Polk, LA. Then on to my advanced training at Ft Holibird, MD. at what was commonly know as the Army Spy school and became an Intel Analyst 96B20. A bit more training in Virginia then off to Vietnam. After 6 months in country, Special Forces approached and asked if I would like to Volunteer to serve with 5th Special Forces, of course Inot only said yes but hellyes. Earned my jump status in Vietnam, Q course was OJT at the famous Recondo School. Ended up doing 799 days in country and looked death in the face on many occasions.... Left the service as an E-5 with an honorable discharge, a couple of medals and a broken body. Was extremely proud of my service and still am today!


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