I spent my rest day in Corumba searching and downloading some maps of my route to Rio De Janiero. I could have spent it in the pool at the hotel but felt that I needed to do mundane things like wash all my clothes, clean my bike and go out in the heat and find some food. I’m now trying to stuff more food down myself to try to replace lost body mass.
It was then early to bed since today I had a 230km ride to Miranda the next town. The reason there are no towns between Corumba and Miranda became very clear as I cycled off Eastwards the next day at dawn ( 6am).
The Brazilians call it the Pantanal area. It’s basically a swampy jungle inhabited by all manner of nasty’s you can imagine might like swamp. Here I am on my bike knowing that I have 12hours of daylight and then at 6pm sharp the lights go out and I’m in the tent with emergency food wherever that may happen to be. Totally preoccupied with working out what my average speed needed to be to accomplish the mission and actually get to Miranda and a hotel for the night I run over something unusually big on the road? Up until this point I was concerned not to stop as I knew that I would be ravaged by mosquitos. It was much like riding across Australia where I basically rode without stopping all day so as not to be attacked by flies.
So where was I? I ran at that point over something really big! Was that an alligator I just ran over?!!!
|Lucky I Didn't Lose a Pannier Hitting That Alligator.|
It’s not every day you run over an alligator when out on a Ride! I hope that alligator wasn’t a protected species. Luckily for me and my bike someone else had already run over him so he was quite dead. I then stopped thinking about mossies’ and thought how Adi had put freedom camp half way along here! I’m thinking where there are alligators there are probably other thick skinned creatures like snakes. My mind is racing to think of all the reptiles that might inhabit this sort of terrain and it wasn’t pretty.
At this stage I’m thinking maybe that was just a one off alligator. Then upon looking at the roadside pools more carefully I could clearly see gaggles of the scally critters.
|Alligators Everywhere. Nice Camping Spot??|
What I should have been doing was concentrating more carefully on where I was riding.
Was that a Jaguar that I almost ran over!!!! Now that’s got to be an endangered species. Luckily for me, and not so lucky for pussy, was that someone had already run over him too. Now I’m thinking I’m in serious wilderness here. This is no out to Brightwater and around the Tapawera circuit. By the end of the day I had added to my list; condors, some kind of vultures, big birds that looked like pelicans, deer and big chunky warthog types. Not to mention but I will; more scaly thick skinned fellas like armadillos and multiple termite and crane nests.
|No Not a Stuffed One.|
My parents should have taken me to the zoo more often when I was a kid. I might then be able to properly identify the creatures Adi wanted me to freedom camp with. At least I thought there’d be no bears out here.
Anyway pedals spinning, there was no way I was freedom camping out here. By 5.45pm and just on dark I was in Miranda and checking into the first ‘cheap’ hotel I could find.
I was really pleased to have completed the 230km journey in the daylight time allowed. But it was in my mind inevitable that the ride would be successful when at the 140km mark I came across a little park shop selling 1ltr tubs of ice-cream and cold coke. My friends know that I can ride indefinitely on ice-cream and coke.
Even though I’m still out in the wilderness in Brazil, two things that I have noticed give me a warm feeling. The first is along route there are power pylons. Power pylons to me mean only one thing. Somewhere up ahead there is a town and they have enough power to really cool down a can of coke. No drinks in chilly bins (the Bolivian way). Secondly the shops actually sell food! And if that isn’t good enough I can buy high calorie food like dairy products (yogurt, and cheese).
I think things are looking up. My money doesn’t go so far but at this stage I just want to eat things.