In a world increasingly preoccupied with throwaway materialistic things; where people are constantly busy earning money to pay for those things, or so their children can have those things;
This is the story of my dreams of travelling the world by bicycle. Because it's there. And because I dont want to die without experiencing the truly important things in life .

A sense of wonder and a sense of adventure.

Friday, 20 April 2012

The Atlantic Coast Was in View.

In my last blog I was a few hundred kilometres from the coast and I had just met Marcios and he had explained about the little monkeys of Brazil.

Since then I have cycled to the coastal range which separated me from my primary objective of reaching the Atlantic and being able to say that I had cycled from coast to coast.
A Litre of Yogurt Before Hitting the Pay Booth.

Just prior to this I had my last bit of fun on the dual carriage way and the staff of the pedagio’s. The pedagio’s are the toll booths that I have passed through since starting the ride in Lima, Peru. If I had had to pay for the use of the roads I would have been forking out $2-$3NZ a go every time I came across one of these. In Peru and Bolivia they are even on what would seem minor roads and some that they should have been paying me to cycle on. Anyway I soon learnt that cyclists don’t pay. Despite the occasional booth operator calling out to me something that sounded like “Hay come back and pay you skinny legged, burnt nosed foreigner”. In Brazil you can have a bit of fun with them by riding like a mad fart straight towards the most expensive entry (which is the truck entrance and the one most on the right side) and then as the girl comes out of the booth shouting you via off to the coned off area and then along the footpath where your supposed to be shouting “pardon I don’t speak Spanish.”

As I cycled along after these very predictable episodes I wondered why they bothered to come out running as you approached the lane and I think it’s because once you hit the strip the computer will immediately charge you for your visit. And I suspect that they have no way to take the visit off. I never went all the way so to speak because they’d no doubt then want to charge me, for good reason. Fun and games.
Down the Range to the Atlantic.

Yesterday I climbed this range and into the cloud before finally taking the plunge down the other side and out to the Atlantic. What a plunge it was. Mercian and I plunged down very steep roads for about 12kms dropping I would say 1100mtrs. Now I wasn’t going to say this, but I will. This decent was so extreme that I blew the rear tyre despite using both brakes, resting front and back where possible and not overtaking anything. It was a real bugger for two reasons, up until then (6000kms) I hadn’t had a puncture and also because it was a 170km day I didn’t have a lot of time to piss about. So I’m not calling that a puncture because it was self-induced and I got around the time problem by missing out on lunch. As it was I had to do the last 5kms in the dark. This is not recommended on Brazilian roads. But in the interests of getting a bed for the night and dinner I did it. I should say that I have got lights but couldn’t be bothered getting them out. Up until now except on my first night in Lima I haven’t had to use them. I don’t intend to use them either. If I can’t ride the distance in daylight then I’m just riding too far.
I Could See It!

I have found from a fitness point of view though that I have reached the point where I can ride for as long as I like as long as there’s sufficient daylight.

Imagine my delight yesterday at seeing the coast and sea for the first time in 7weeks! As a New Zealander I am used to always being close to the coast. But in this instance I have suffered more than any other tour so to get across was such a delight. Unfortunately with the pressures of limited daylight and lack of time for food I really couldn’t enjoy it until today when I had a mere 99kms to ride to a town called Angra dos Reis.
And then I was There.

So I took the time today to enjoy and take photos. The coast here 157km South of Rio De Janiero is so similar to the West Coast of the Sth Island of New Zealand it almost made me homesick. It’s also similar to the Top of the Sth Island NZ where I am from. Of course at 30C it’s a might warmer than NZ generally is.

As happens in cycle travel you never quite know how the day will pan out, and on arriving in Angra dos Reis  I picked a Hotel which I thought looked affordable. Upon inquiry found out that it was fairly expensive at about $170NZ a night but that the price included lunch (which I had time for), dinner, breakfast and everything in the mini bar. It’s so hard to say O’ no too much I’ll just go back out into the heat and look all over town for something cheaper. I have done tis a couple of times and both times ended up back at the hotel with my tail between my legs. So this time since it was the last hotel before Rio where I have backpackers booked I said, “Hell yes, show me the minibar and then I’m hitting the restaurant for lunch”.

And of course it has Wi-Fi so you are hearing from me.
An Easy Day to Let it Sink in. I'm Here.

O’ and Karen if you are reading this I would gratefully accept your donation of a room somewhere on my travels to this hotel. Not only will you be putting a roof over your brothers head but filling my tummy which at times this trip has been neglected somewhat. In fact I will raise my glass to it now. Thanks again for following my travels and supporting me.

Tomorrow I have about 160kms to pedal on my last days cycling in Sth America Then I will roll into Rio. I’m going to have to get up early I think as I have to get to Rio with enough light to find the backpackers. I’m sure that it won’t be easy, but just another hurdle to be jumped. I can’t leave without my free breakfast though! I’ll try to get away by 7am.
If it Wasn't for the Towns, the Coast is similar to Top of The South NZ.

Then once I arrive I will stop the clock as I will be awaiting my flight to Morocco on Wed 25th April. So I have a few days to see Rio, tune and clean the Mercian and in fact clean everything ready for Leg2 Europe. And of course I will blog again to finalise a continental crossing I will never forget.

Until then. (If you don’t hear from me then it will be because my backpacker’s is so cheap they don’t have Wi-Fi)

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