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.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

A Friend in Brazil.

I want to thank everyone that has put comments on my Facebook  time- line page. I have up until now not known they were there! There’s just so many ways people can comment about my trip. I’m notified when I get a comment on my blog and a message on Facebook but until today when Jane put a derogatory comment about my manhood on my timeline I hadn’t looked at that section of fb.

I’ll try to keep an eye out in the future.

You can probably tell from my more regular posts that I am well out of frontier land and back in the modern world of Brazil. Wi-Fi and petrol stations abound. There’s no problem now getting ice-cream. Although today I had trouble swallowing it. I pulled into what I thought was a regular gas station come truck stop only to discover that there wasn’t a shirtless Truckee anywhere to be seen. I should have at that stage been suspicious but as a thirsty foreigner lusting yet another vanilla spider I took little notice. On entering the premises two things did however register. Well actually three things. Firstly there was a sign of a hairy shirtless trucker on the door with a red band through it indicating that my road friends weren’t welcome without their clothes on. (I immediately zipped up my cycle top).

Secondly there were shelves of corn products and cowboy type boots everywhere. Numerous jars of corns, dried corn, corn chips and pictures of corn. Looking outside I did then notice that this was perhaps a corn growing area. By the way how was our corn at home Adi? I never got to eat any of it before I left.

Thirdly, I noticed no ice-cream fridge which was most disturbing to me, until I did spot a coke fridge and a snow freeze machine behind the counter. I grabbed my coke and in true Niel fashion could not make myself understood regarding  getting a big snow freeze. I mean if I’m pointing at the snow freeze machine and shouting” gelato por favour” at the top of my voice surely even a teenager with five years at secondary school can understand that!

Eventually I got my snow freeze but I don’t know if it was a joke on the part of the snow freeze girl or just some plan by management that has gone horribly wrong, but my snow freeze was corn flavoured. I don’t know how many of you out there have had a corn flavoured ice-cream but I assure you it tastes nothing like banana. In fact it’s bloody horrible. And when you make a coke spider out of it it’s no better. This is really surprising because, by and large, coke works with everything. But not corn ice-cream.

As an aside I have found that coke goes very nicely with cornflakes for breakfast though. You have to improvise when you can’t get milk. The cornflakes are already full of sugar and the coke fizzes up a treat.
A Friend in Brazil. Marcio.

After the corn fiasco I was busy riding along, keeping my head down minding my own business when a road racy named Marcio rode along beside me and started talking to me in English. I haven’t had an extended chat in English with anyone for about 5 weeks. So it was great to explain to him what I was up to and find out a few things from a local. Marcio was a nice guy and offered to be there for me if I needed anyone in an emergency while in Brazil. I really appreciated that and he was impressed that I had virtually cycled across the continent in 6weeks. After explaining my route he then pointed out that I had gone through some pretty doggy and dangerous places. And I don’t think he was referring to the wild animals. It’s always good to hear that you have survived bad places after you have been there.  He did however tell me to avoid a couple of places between here and Rio but for the life of me I now forget we they were. O well just have to keep my head down and bum up.

The one disappointing thing that Marcio explained to me was that the whistles I had been hearing all along the way from Bolivia, and had jokingly told you all were local kids trying to get my attention (but secretly holding out hope that they were Latino women complimenting my physic) were in fact small monkeys that live in the trees and make fun of cycle tourists passing by.

So thank you Marcio for the chat, support, and for destroying an old man’s dream.

It wasn’t until we swapped contact details that I now realised that Brazilians will be reading my blog before I leave the country. Is it too late to say I didn’t mean what I said about Brazilian drivers?

No in full honesty South America has been good to me and thrown out some real physical challenges. Role on Rio.
Marcio this is the link to the World Cycle Race


  1. Here are the little guys that may be whistling at you:

    M. Morais

  2. Hi there Niel, really enjoying your blog updates..such an epic mission.....keep up the good work from n a getting colder nelson, cheers gilby

  3. Thanks guys for the monkey pictures and comments.

    There's still a slight possibility that they could have been whistles of delight from the local girls.

    And soon it will be cooler for me too as I head for a European spring. I'll miss the Sth American sun I think.