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Old 02-06-2013, 04:14 PM   #73
porkandcorn OP
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Joined: Jan 2011
Location: Portland, Oregon
Oddometer: 296
gramado, brazil to monte negro, brazil (with a fever of 101)

tuesday, february 5, 2013

today was interesting. i rode about 150 miles of dirt roads, with an increasingly worsening fever. not sure what i got ahold of in gramado, but my body was fighting something. i barely felt it when i left the hotel, and within 15 miles of gramado i was onto my first of many dirt roads for the day. i was winding my way north into the higher serras (hills), on my way to the famous paved twisties that wrap down the mountain between bon jardim da serra, brazil, and lauro muller, brazil. i wanted to ride some dirt, but regardless, it was the only way to get there from gramado that didn't involved oppressive truck traffic and breathing toxic exhaust for half the day.

day of dirt, east of canela, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

the gps was confused most of the day. the hard maps and the mapswithme iphone app proved helpful in navigating the sometimes confusing tangle of dirt roads. even with the fever getting worst, around noon i was into some really beautiful rolling high hills at about 4,000 ft. the air was colder, and it was threatening rain off and on all day. that would have really sucked in my condition. the heated warm and safe gloves were a big hit today.

cattle ranchers, north of lajeado grande, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

cattle ranchers, north of lajeado grande, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

around 1pm, i was really hurting. very weak and achy - not a good condition to be riding sometimes complicated dirt roads that varied from soft dirt, to rock paths, with streams running across at times.

twisty dirt road south of bom jesus, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

as much as i hated to do it, i made the decision at são josé dos ausentes to skip the twisties and attempt a ride back to the coast. the road north that i chose to abandone was more dirt - about 60 miles of it. i knew it wouldn't be safe. the road east toward timbé do sul, brazil appeared to be paved. well, that lovely pavement ended abruptly. i stopped, got off the bike, and was really hurting. i could tell i had a pretty bad fever - luckily none of the other bad stuff that typically comes with that, except a bit of nausea from time to time. as long as i was riding, i didn't notice the nausea - there's another thing that motorcycling cures.

it was starting to rain, and here i am 50 miles out in the middle of nowhere, looking up a gnarly dirt road that i knew i could not pass - it was much worse that the other option, and by stopping a truck coming from that direction, i confirmed this.

end of the pavement, east of são josé dos ausentes by porkandcorn, on Flickr

so all i could do was head back to the better dirt road north, keep hydrating and hope i was getting better instead of worse. i was getting worse. about 20 miles in i saw a few signs for pousadas do fazendas (farm guesthouses). i knew i had to stop riding. i picked the first one. bad choice, as the road dropped down into some very technical large rocks and boulders. after about a 1/2 mile of that, i turned around back for the main road.

before the fog settled, near silveira, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

the next sign was for the pousada fezendo monte negro. monte negro is the highest point in rio grande do sul state, at about 5,000 ft. by this time, the neblina (fog) was dropping in quick, and i couldn't see beyond 20 feet. it was starting to rain. pretty much a disaster scenario. luckily, the pousada was only a kilometer down the road. i pulled into what looked like something out of a weird dream. i'm sure that in the deep fog, i was an odd site. a woman came out and i explained to her, and her kids, that i was sick and wanted to stay the night. i told them that i didn't need a doctor. i was trying not to worry them.

pousada fazendo monte negro, monte negro, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

at about 2pm after i put my things away, i was shaking and sweating. i went to lay down, and ended up at least partially breaking my fever during 4 hours of sleep under a mountain of natural wool bedspreads. i had an odd dream in my sleep were i was riding on top of those strange trees i was seeing all day, with men on horseback chasing me.

araucaria tree, south of bom jesus, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

i wrote up this blog for the day while i was waiting for a home cooked meal to be prepared. chicken soup with homemade dumplings, fresh homemade bread - pretty much just what the doctor ordered. now it's about 8pm and the fever is coming back, so down the hatch with some nyquil and back to bed.

porkandcorn screwed with this post 02-08-2013 at 09:13 AM
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