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Old 03-07-2013, 11:58 AM   #226
dean10 OP
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Los Pirpintos to Resistencia, Sunday, 3 March 2013, Day 243



Dull straight roads can you spot the difference yes only the amount of mud dragged on from adjoining roads making each one a different colour that is how exciting my riding was today

Odd bit of wildlife occasionally to spice things up![/caption]

Still wet when I got up and was I glad to get out of that hole after a cold shower in a filthy bathroom packed up and hit the road. Dullsville again heading for a place called Resistencia as I had read that there are thousands of art sculptures dotted all over the city and we all know Phillys likes his sculptures.

Rolled into town at about 3 it had been trying to rain all day but not enough to need waterproofs on but just as I reached the hotel I had the address of it started pissing down. Hotel not cheap but it was wet and I was bored so decided to take the room anyhow and it had safe parking and was quite central and remember I am no longer a traveller but on me holidays!

It rained for the rest of the day but I did venture out trying to stay out of the rain. Looking for an Internet Cafť as the Hotel did not have Wi-Fi it was a Sunday and wet one at that so very little open or very few folks around and could not find anything open that had Wi-Fi so ended up in a cafť at a Shell petrol station still figuring out how to get home!

Resistencia Art Sculptures in the rain and rubbish different![/caption]





Did not fancy eating out so went to the supermarket looking for empanadas came with a packet of crisps, some Oreoís, a Swiss roll (well I though it was it was just the dough!) and some energy bars and I returned to the hotel room with my feast and watched Avatar the film which I had got from Alex months ago but never had time to watch. Pretty crap movie plot wises but effects and scenery nice better than what I have been seeing the last couple of days.

I think I need to go home and soon but how and when?
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:49 PM   #227
Rutabaga
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Full marks to you!

I am exhausted with your pace. Finally caught up with your postings here and have not peeked at the blog to see what is time warped. I do really appreciate the immense effort it must take share this adventure via advrider. The logistics of carrying and maintaining a pc in useable condition(especially on a bike) and acquiring a useable signal to get the message out is no small feat. Making the time and effort to document your daily existence with a camera by stopping and capturing images is truly a labor(labour for you) of love and generosity. Thank you for all of your work. I have enjoyed it and look forward to its continuation.
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:31 PM   #228
dean10 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutabaga View Post
I am exhausted with your pace. Finally caught up with your postings here and have not peeked at the blog to see what is time warped. I do really appreciate the immense effort it must take share this adventure via advrider. The logistics of carrying and maintaining a pc in useable condition(especially on a bike) and acquiring a useable signal to get the message out is no small feat. Making the time and effort to document your daily existence with a camera by stopping and capturing images is truly a labor(labour for you) of love and generosity. Thank you for all of your work. I have enjoyed it and look forward to its continuation.
Wow what can I say buts shucks! and I appreciate your comments as I wonder sometimes why I am sharing all of this with the world and you just given me one reason why thanks.
PC been no problem except for a dodgy cable that needed replacing and with all the photos I have been taking running out of memory but a big thumbs up for Apple MacBook Air 11inch great travel companion I would be lost without mine.
Unfortunately Trip is coming to an end soon all will be revealed when I get round to updating my bloke but thanks again Rutabaga for your kind comments
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:33 PM   #229
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Resistencia to Asuncion, Monday, 4 March 2013, Day 244

Asuncion Paraguay[/caption]

Maybe a new country will lift my spirits as the last couple of days riding has certainly not helped but I already knew that this was going to be a dull couple of days up front so its exactly as I expected with some damp weather thrown in to add to the dullness. Today did not start at all well as in my expensive room (by my current standards) no bleeding hot water the hot water tap in the shower did not work so I had a cold one. Complained to the guy in reception about this and he says I can have a different room tonight. I am leaving you arse but he could not give a fig and they probably knew full well about the broken tap as its not something that goes of just like that assholes. Rant over I really am not a happy bunny at the moment must try and rectify this somehow.

Adjusted my chain again as it was sloppy and I am guessing this chain is about shot to after a days ride it needs adjusting and there not much adjustment left. It has done 5,000km and it is not an O-ring types so I am not surprised at the rapid chain wear, as it not designed for the job being asked of it. So stop at a Yamaha dealer and yes they have an O ring chain that will be 1,200 ARS or if I pay in USD* $160 or that should be $240 using the official rate not black market rate. Ask to see the chain and he shows me an EK 530 I say no I am looking for a 525 he pulls out a Yamaha own brand chain and I ask him how much for this he says same price. This is to expensive just for a chain and the fact that I did not really like the chap I said thanks but no thanks I will try and get one in Paraguay. May regret this decision but I think if needed I can squeeze some more miles out of the old one but itís a risky call.

Road to the border not much different from the last couple of days so that means another dull day.

*

Border crossing into Paraguay quite quick had a laugh with the Aduana on Paraguay side the guy filled in the forms very slowly by hand beautiful copper plate handwriting was a joy to see. Chatting whilst this going and then they start talking about money and suddenly Philly does not speak Spanish anymore and the guys think this hilarious and ask for 100 USD and I reply in Spanish Lunes este todas libre (Monday everything is free) and this amuses them and handshakes all round and another bribe avoided with humour.

Asuncion only 30km from the border and I get there at about 6. Place seems awfully quite turns out today it is a public holiday. Find a place to stay they have no parking for Daisy but I can park her on the pavement in front of the hostel there is a night watch man all night and a police station round the corner so she would be fine. So checked in and then first thing I needed some local currency so off to the Cashpoint tried the first one and it says I have no founds I think it means no funds amusing how a corporation like a bank can have such bad English on something like a cash machine does not look very professional. So the question who has no founds (funds) me or the bank as it a bank holiday weekend so may be out of cash so try another bank and try a couple of times to get cash out then there maybe a possibility I may not have any money in my current account as its been a while since I transferred some monies across and I have been spending quite liberally. Back to the hostel on the Internet to check my bank balance yep it is me current account totally empty oops. Transfer some money and then go for a walk around Asuncion for about an hour before trying yet another bank and hey presto funds have been found or is founds have been fund according to the programmer of the Paraguayan cash machines :-)

Got to love a capitol city that has pigs wandering round the national monuments :-)[/caption]

Downtown Ascunsion![/caption]

I have cash so I can have some dinner and on the way back to the hostel I find an ice cream shop and it is a help your self ice cream shop. So you get a plastic glove and you help yourself to all the ice cream that you want and it is charged by weight. Brilliant I was like a kid let loose in a sweat shop asking the ladies what everything was and most of the responses I had not a clue what they where telling me but I did not care as I was having a great time. Was quite constrained and the total was quite expectable and did not require more founds from the cash machine.



Back to the hostel could pay my bill now and then back working this. Would like to maybe stayed another day here but not sure if there was that much more to see than what I had already done and I was meeting Alex and Andrea in Iguazu last chance to catch up with these guys before they head back home to Romania as there trip is nearly over.

Sleeping in a 20 person dorm which sounds horrendous but there only 4 of us in their so loads of space and little disturbance so good night kip was had.
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:38 PM   #230
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Needs updating but the route as at 26th February 2013 I know you lot out there like your maps as much as I do
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:05 PM   #231
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB View Post
Wow, you sure a long way to ride!!! thanks for the detailed report and pics

You can blame idiots with straight (LOUD) pipes who cruise thru the old city revving their engines for the ban on all bikes in the old city... Mind you, if you get thru, there's an underground municipal parking lot with designated motorcycle parking in view of the parking lot attendant, for a really cheap rate ($3 a day), so maybe it's for the locals, but that's where I parked when I was there.

GB just noticed this response must have missed I am guessing the ban is due to all them noisy Harley's that folks seem to like up there ruining it for the rest of us says the deaf bloke who cannot hear due to all the years that he rode around with noisy illegal exhaust when he was younger thinking he was cool well guess this is payback
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:22 PM   #232
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Asuncion to Puerto Iguazu, Tuesday, 5 March 2013, Day 245

Makes you want one![/caption]

Hot shower this morning strange the cheaper the place sometimes the facilities are so much better not a bad breakfast either. Time to load Daisy and the street is completely different than yesterday when its was dead today it was chocker block with folks and Daisy is parked at a bus stop so surrounded by folks waiting for buses getting on and off busses that seemed to come every minute so basically Daisy was blocking a very busy thoroughfare Ooops.

So packed her very quickly as she was in the way of everyone trying to get to work did not fettle with the chain as there was no space and hit the rush hour of a Capital city been a while since I was in heavy traffic and it was quite chaotic. Looking for bikes shops as I head out of the city and I spot a Honda dealer and stop and enquire about chains. It amazes how little the folks in these shop know about what they are selling a chain is a chain it does not matter what type of bike it goes on if you have the specs and I do itís an O ring 525 chain with 118 links but the chap there not sure as a Honda dealer that the chains they have would fit a Suzuki but he will investigate. Comes back some time and tells me that a Honda Atlas has a 525 chain and 118 link really fascinating but do you have one. No.

I am having a dig at these guys but they were trying so hard to help me they called some guys in town to see if they had one in stock it was hard to get away as they where determined they where going to get me a chain so appreciate the effort put in in it was entertaining but very time consuming. One guy rang his mate who had V-strom and seemingly he got his spares from Amazon.com good to know. Finally managed to get away thanking my new friends for there effort head back to the road out of town try a couple more shops one will only work on bikes that he sells and an other had one but only 114 links but we could butcher another one for 4 extra links not the solution I was looking for this last dialog all done in German! So decide that Paraguay not the place for chains lets wait till we get to Brazil and see if I can score there. Itís about 12.30 still not left Asuncion and I still need to get Iguazu and a border crossing so better hurry up.

Felt like I was driving through town for ageís loads of traffic and stopping and starting and when I did leave town it was never for very long before you where passing through another town or village with speed humps chaotic traffic and traffic lights. Been away in unpopulated areas for to long and not enjoying this much its dull and overcast and threatening to rain as well and it finally does so waterproofs out and careful as the road very muddy.



took very few photos today not really in the mood and scenery not that photogenic.

Finally reach Ciudad del Este and realize the route that Mr GPS is sending is via Brazil and there no way I want to go through Brazil and add another border crossing to my day as its already quite late. So I am certain that there has to be a way into Argentina without going via Brazil (sound familiar) I am stuck in rush hour traffic just before the border when I have this realisation so turn right and figure out if I follow the river should hit the border with Argentina soon why Mr GPS is not being cooperative I do not know why. Ask some Motorbike taxis and they send me to a place called tres fronteres which sound promising ask a police man and he says yes there is a border crossing but its closed but its down there. Well he right itís a ferry to Argentina and the last one is 16.30 its 17.30 talk to the Army guys at the ferry about next border crossing into Argentina and thatís about 200km away as there are no bridges across the river till then. I am about 5km away from the Hotel where A & A are staying but have to go back 20km and go in via Brazil this I was not expecting. Sheepishly follow the instruction of Mr GPS who was right this time really should do my homework on Border crossing expecting a lot more than there are in reality. Huge queues crossing the bridge into Brazil but its moving nearly miss Paraguay immigration and Aduana as I cannot see them for the lorries but I know they are there so pull over and I am just past them. Check out easy peasy next stop Brazil. Tell the guys I am going straight through to Argentina so they say so do immigration for me and no need to temporary import for the bike so that was easy as well. 20km ride through Brazil, which looks very civilised in comparison to Paraguay high tech traffic lights, which count down and up for every change quite mesmerising.

Final border immigration for me simple chat with Aduana and they say if I am only going to Puerto Iguazu and going back to Brazil no need to import the bike. Sounds dodgy but its late and getting dark so accept this and head to the Hotel to meet up with A & A.

Rolled into Argentina just as it was getting dark.[/caption]

Roll up to the Hotel just as its getting dark A & A are there and seem happy to see me :-) so shall I stay at this place or try and find a hostel its quite expensive but I am knackered and I really do not like the creepy guy running the place but after some negotiation I get the price down to a more acceptable level by agreeing a 3 night deal and I have a huge room with a double bed and 3 single bed as well so have 4 beds to choose from to sleep into tonight nice.

A & A have taught me well in the art of haggling for Hotel rooms :-)

I am totally done in after the long day I had and so where A & A as they been out and about all day as well so we spent the evening just hanging in there room chatting and catching up and swapping tall stories no dinner only chocolate biscuits which was all I needed. A very pleasant evening going to miss you guys it was nice that you where always in the vicinity so when I needed company or a pick me up a quick E-mail and a rendezvous was quickly sorted :-)
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:25 PM   #233
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Puerto Iguazu, Wednesday, 6 March 2013 to Thursday, 7 March 2013, Day 246 to Day 247

Iguazu Falls Wonderful![/caption]

So I had agreed to stay here 3 nights so that is 2 days so day one was a no brainer of to the falls but first breakfast and byes byes to Alex and Andrea who where heading to the beach then back to Buenos Aires to ship there bike back home there trip complete. Adios amigos.

First thing I did was hit the cashpoint so that I had some money then a bus to the falls.





Spent all day wondering around seeing them from every conceivable angle from the Argentinean side walked for miles got soaked in many places which was fun as it was extremely hot and sunny so was nice to have the cool spray from the falls which would soak you to the skin in seconds in some viewing place. Walked for miles and think I covered the majority of what there was to see it amazing how a bit of water flowing of a cliff could be so fascinating but when you scale this up to millions of gallon and a extremely pretty cliff then you have the Iguazu falls another one of natures great treats. Had a really great day there.





At about 4 had seen enough and was starting to tire so headed back to the Hosteria only to find creepy guy had moved all my stuff to another room and was trying to convince me it was better!

One I do not like strangers touching my stuff as I have a system and I normally know where everything is.

Two we had a deal on the other room not this new one

Three no its not the same it half the size has one bed not four

Four the Internet does not work in this one

Five you horrible slimy man a deals a deal and if you wanted to move me no problem you could have told me this morning and I would have been compliant as itís a no brainer that you want to rent the bigger room out to more people but to this whist I was out really pissed me off and then telling me I have a better room as well what kind of moron do you take me for.





So I have a new room so head into town looking for some food wander around for a while and one end of town there is market selling olives and salami and stuff like that and you can sit outside the stalls and eat there with a drink, unfortunately this not that substantial for a meal and I found a little kiosk that did Lomito and had one of those instead and back to my smaller room to watch Dredd another one of the films I had got from Alex brain-dead action movie not more I can say about.

Got up the next day for breakfast and it was pissing down outside and I mean chucking it down and it did not stop raining until about 5 so spent all day working on the computer getting my http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=837163 up to date and various other computer related chores.

At 5 manage to venture out and walked to Tres Fronteras this time on the Argentinean side as if you recall I was trying to get the ferry across from the Paraguayan side a couple of days ago. Walked back into town and found a great little fresh pasta place for my dinner followed by an ice cream so a very slow but productive day



The ferry I missed a couple of days ago at Tres Fronteras I was so close :-)[/caption]
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:27 PM   #234
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Puerto Iguazu to Cascavel, Friday, 8 March 2013, Day 248

Modern Cathedrals not sure about them yet![/caption]



I have no idea where I am going only that I want to get to Rio de Janeiro. I have found out very little on this stretch of the trip nothing in the guides books or on the forums that I can find so it going to be a total surprise as I have no idea what the route will be like and I usually have a vague idea.

Border crossing very simple done so them many now I am a pro. I had seen a Suzuki Motorcycle shop in Foz do Iguacu on my way through Brazil as my chain is totally knackered and I have very little confidence in it and I am expecting it to come loose and take my foot of with it which is an uncomfortable feeling. Adjusted it again this morning not that it makes much difference. I also noticed the nut on the spindle was loose so does that mean that it had worked itself loose or had dick for brains (me) forgotten to tightened last time he was fettling with it oops that could have been a disaster.

Half decent scenery at last and rolling hills yes :-)[/caption]

Suzuki Dealer does not have the chain I am looking for so off to the Honda Dealer nope they do not either so then to the Yamaha Dealer yes they have but again bleeding expensive. Try another couple of shops again no cigar and I had tried 3 shops in Puerto Iguazu as well yesterday so not much luck on the chain front. It was a very hot day so 35 degrees plus so all I wanted to do was get riding to cool down slightly as I was a soggy mess and most of the day already gone by the time I left Foz in the direction of Cascavel the state capital maybe I would have better luck there.

Hot sweaty day scenery pleasant much better than the last couple of day in Argentina but that does not take much to be better than that! I forgot to hit a cash machine in Foz or as it was to hot I thought I get to one later as I did not need any Brazilian Cash just yet. However about after 20km I see a tollbooth ahead no problems bikes are usually free no not today. Bugger plug ATM into my GPS and thereís one about 5km back down the road.

Try the machine nope not working and all in Portuguese so have to queue to ask somebody to help on whether or not the machine accepts my card or am I just pressing the wrong buttons. Itís the first one so to the next bank HSBC first machine says no twice second machine also say no being helped by a lady from the bank who suggest a put on a lower value great idea love but will be still be charged the same fee for less money but I am hot sweaty and irritable and I comply and the machine dies completely in front of my eyes bugger. Nice lady directs me to the next bank for a small village in the middle of nowhere lots of banks and the machine at this one says no but before that the guard says no to me in entering with my helmet on you can guess Phillys mood at the moment so chat with another lady who directs me to yet another bank and yes we have winner Phillys has some Realís so can pay the toll attendant to get to Cascavel where the continuing saga of the chain can recommence. Had been chatting to a local bloke who had given me the name of the street with the bike dealers on it well I say chatting the mood I was in he was chatting I was giving gruff retorts to his chattiness so my friend I apologise for being in a foul mood chubby English blokes are just designed for the heat and I had been un successfully being traipsing round banks and bike shops for what seemed like forever.

Hit Cascavel temperature was creeping into the 40ís first stop Honda Dealer nope no chain then to the Yamaha Dealer complete Asshole telling me that I have a 520 chain on my bike not a 525 and insists on dragging me and his mates out into the heat to prove he is right. Oh what a surprise itís a 525 I know you twat as that what I put on last time and have been telling you for the last 10 minutes then he starts on about 520 being the same as 525 no they are not and anyhow you cannot get 525 in Brazil or the whole of South America. I could have battered the guy so full of himself instead I just left saying I would just continue with this one thank you very much at which he suggested pulling a couple links out of this one to add some life. Thanks but no thanks mate that is just asking for trouble.

Found the Suzuki dealer and joy of joy they have one with 120 links but can easily take 2 of a new chain problem was is was not cheap but I had gotten to the point of not caring and asked if they could fit it there and then.

Some TLC for Daisy well sort of![/caption]

Yep no problem, I have said it before but it is probably not wise to hang around and watch when someone else is working on your beloved bike well today was no different have not cringed so much at the mechanical apathy shown whilst working on Daisy since the last time someone did some work on her that I watched.

We had a look at the front sprocket, which was toast, and they had a new one so added that to things to change this was when the first problem started could not get the nut holding the front sprocket loose so huge torque wrench with extension for mechanical advantage she would not shift so we call the big fella with muscles and see if he can get it loose nope no joy either, so the mechanic disappears on his bike and comes back 10 minutes later with air gun. This fails as air gun not powerful enough to loosen nut so back to Torque wrench with an even longer bar extension and there is a huge crack as she finally loosened. I think there is a macho thing going on with mechanics on how tight they do up nuts as this is not the first time I have struggled with loosening nuts on Daisy there are specs for tightening but mostly ignored and tightened till cannot be tightened no more.



So that was the front sprocket changed and now on with the new chain. In theory you have a tool that spreads the soft rivets on an O-ring chain they did not have that tool just a hammer a wooden block and a chisel and just hit the bugger using the back sprocket as the vice! Oh and no protection of the O-ring to ensure that does not get squished the teeth of the back sprockets will ensure that they will be okay. I was cringing whilst all this was going like I said should be somewhere else and just see the finished product, as ignorance is bliss.

All this took quite a while so after settling up went to look for hotel one recommended by the blokes at Suzuki to expensive but they pointed me to a cheaper one down the road. Quite expensive by my standards but as I have no idea of prices yet in Brazil went for it as I was hot sweaty and tired. Went for a walk and for some dinner and back to the room working this again :-)



Made very little inroads to Rio de Janeiro with all the faffing looking for a bank and even longer looking for a chain that was more expensive than others I had declined in the last couple of days oops but Daisy is sorted and touch wood only need to keep her filled up with fuel for the rest of the trip as the consumables are all up to date and fresh (sort off :-))

 
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Old 03-13-2013, 07:20 AM   #235
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Cascavel to Ourinhos, Saturday, 9 March 2013,Day 249

Nice Country Scene[/caption]

Nice run today no idea where I am only a vague idea where I am heading that being Rio de Janeiro. Covered no distance yesterday so decided a big mileage and long days in the saddle will get me there in couple of days. Its was bleeding hot again so another day being a hot sweaty dribbley mess in the saddle.* The main roads all seem to be toll roads and unlike some countries in South America you have to pay for the majority of them so was forever having to stop take my gloves of found my wallet pay get ticket put wallet back put gloves back on and this is a slow process which I always do very slowly hoping that toll booth owners realize it is not very efficient charging motorcyclist and all we do is hold up the threw flow of traffic and its bleeding hot every time when you stop. (I spent EUR20.00 on tolls today imagine if I had to do that every day of the trip would prove to be very costly endeavour)



Decide to call it a day in Ourinhos for no other reason than that I liked the name like I said no idea of where I am or what places are nice and worth stopping for in this neck of the woods. Spotted a hotel and just as I pulled up it started to chuck it down luckily I was just inside but I was drying some kit on the back of the bike that had got wet before and this was dry but now was soaking wet again. They had a room but no real safe place for Daisy but they directed me to another Hotel in the center. The rain had eased so headed there and yes they had a cheap room and safe parking for daisy and Internet so sold.



Went for a walk it was still raining but not so hard not much to see in town found a place selling meat on stick so sat under an awning out of the rain enjoy my BBQ meat kebabs and then it really started pissing down so sat there eating my dinner glad I was not out in that and waiting for it to ease of before finally running from cover to cover back to the hotel to work on this.

After weeks of procrastination I have finally booked my airline ticket home so Phillys is going to Istanbul, as this is the cheapest way I could find to get home with Turkish Airlines going to take me 32 hours to get home so that should be fun.

Daisy is being airfreighted to Amsterdam I think via London on British Airways and after doing a lot of research and changing my mind 3 or 4 times a day have decided to use the services of Dakarmotos http://www.dakarmotos.com not because they where the cheapest but because I had a good feeling on how they operated and had seen Sandra in action and I knew the bike would get home as I seen her ship some other bikes whilst I was staying there the others where all somewhat unknown quantities for me and I did not fancy taking any risks.

So that is about 30 days left of traveling in South America and 36 before I am back in reality. You may have noticed I been a bit of a grouch lately so need to find my happy mojo. I think the many months of relentless travelling where starting to catch up with me and the heat and me are not a good combination as the fine figure that is Philly is just not designed for these kind of temperatures so once I hit Rio going to slow the pace right down and try and enjoy what is left of my trip as I have the time to cut the pace as I am no longer in a hurry to catch a boat get somewhere before the weather turns cold or any other deadlines so its tappy lappy up the coast back to Buenos Aires but first still need to get to Rio.
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Old 03-13-2013, 07:22 AM   #236
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Ourinhos to Taubate, Sunday, 10 March 2013, Day 250

Handy Bus stops for putting on waterproofs and at least daisy sort of getting a clean :-)[/caption]

It rained heavily all night but it was sort of dry when I left this morning you would think that the rain would take some of the heat away but still very hot. Trying to get past Sao Paulo today as I do not fancy staying there as itís a huge metropolis I am glad I am doing this on a Sunday as I cannot imagine what its like on a normal week day. The strange thing about to day coming into Sao Paulo the toll roads are free for motorcyclist they have small lanes at the side where bikes go through for nothing where as up till now I had spend a fortune in Brazil on tolls. All of them except one there where about 20 toll booths spread across the road I was heading for the far right as this where the bike lane usually is but as I was doing this a car started honking his horn and signalling me to go for the middle as at this one the bike lane right in the middle just to confuse poor foreigners like me so had cover another 10 lanes of traffic to get to the bike lane like I said glad it was Sunday. As I left Sao Paulo they started charging again for motorcyclist so Philly confused and ask an attendant why this in bad Spanish and response in Portuguese but from what I can gather going into town is free for bikes going out you have to pay so I am guessing my faffing and taken my time at toll booths has been noticed by the owners so they are not charging on the way in when I am guessing its utter chaos in morning rush hour now for the rest of country all toll roads free for motorcyclist as we are small and inefficient vehicles to process so lets do away with charging us.

Good Graffiti like it when done well.[/caption]

Got lost a couple of time getting across Sao Paulo as there where huge 10 lane highways split into smaller ones all going the same way but taking different routes round the various obstacles and spaghetti junction after spaghetti junction so even with my GPS was finding it hard to navigate through this mine field.

Was heading for a place called Sao Jose dos Campus as this seemed like a big town past Sao Paulo leaving a reasonable run left to get me to Rio.

Drove around looking for a hotel and there did not seem to be any affordable ones available and if the where affordable they had no availability. It was hot again had been raining earlier in the day and was threatening to again. My lonely Planet had nothing on the places I have been travelling through the last couple of days so take a look at the map and there is another town called Taubate about 40km down the road so I have a new destination.

Yes it was Ideal.[/caption]

Finally found a nice little affordable nice hotel and go for a wander around town looking for food. Again this is just another ordinary Brazilian town but pleasant enough for an evening. Find a Chinese restaurant for my dinner been a while since I had one and ordered Singapore Noodles, which was more Indian Curry than Chinese style but nice change.

**

Got back to the hotel just as it started to piss down with rain. I was sitting the kitchen/ dining room which was a building attached to the side of the house and not attached that well as it was pouring outside water was running down the walls and across the floor so I retired to my room which was in a more waterproof part of the building :-)
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Old 03-14-2013, 06:32 AM   #237
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Taubate to Rio de Janeiro, Monday, 11 March 2013, Day 251

Gorgeous run through the mountains :-)[/caption]

Lovely run through a nice mountain range to Rio but then for the last 60km riding through suburbs and towns which where chocker block with gridlocked traffic so hard work as it was hot as hell again.



Finally made it to town and headed to an address in Ipanema that I had seemingly there where a load of hostel on a private street near the center so safe parking for Daisy. Yes it was a closed street but for some reason they did not allow me to park my bike down there as seemingly some of the residence on the street objected to this I am guessing, as I was a hot sweaty mess they just did not like the look of me. Tried another place down the road and yes they had a place for me and safe parking for daisy expensive for a hostel but they did have a swimming pool and this is in the one most expensive areas in Rio.

Triple decker bunks![/caption]

So have signed up for 3 nights to discover the delights of Rio may stay longer as I am no longer in a hurry to be anywhere.

Ipanema Beach loverly walk.[/caption]



Had a dip in the pool which was glorious as I was boiling and later walked the length of Ipanema beach which was nice pinching myself as I am in Rio Baby and its rather cool place looking forward to the next couple of days :-)
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:40 PM   #238
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Rio de Janeiro, Tuesday, 12 March 2013 to Thursday, 14 March 2013,Day 251 to Day 254

Can you spot the difference which was one the real one![/caption]

Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun was the theme for the next three days. It was hot as hell in the room in my triple-decker bunk bed but I did have the whole room to myself after getting rid of some whiney German bloke who objected to the smell of my bike boots. He was right about the pong as they are pretty minging at the moment so as soon as he had moved I put them outside would have done this earlier if he had asked nicely :-)

Triple decker Bunk beds![/caption]

Had a bit of a sleep in as breakfast was till 10 and was quite a decent breakfast as well so had a long leisurely breakfast next to the pool trying to figure out what I was going to do first in Rio and I have plenty time no longer any need for rushing around. It was 12 O clock when I ventured out and extremely hot. Plan was to walk to Copacabana walked through Ipanema trying to stay out of the sun and then along Copacabana beach in the full sun idiot but it had to be done. Long walk and looking at the map I had it looked like I should be quite close to the cable car for Sugar loaf mountain but I was still miles away as there was a huge hill/mountain in the way so walked some more probably walked about 15km in the heat and sun so that is what I mean about mad dogs and Englishmen :-)



Copacabana Beach[/caption]

Got the cable car up the hill to enjoy the magnificent views and to watch the sun set over Jesus on the hill opposite. Gorgeous, met some other folks from the hostel a Dutch couple and English girl and got a taxi back with them as I was all walked out went for some dinner with them and back to the hostel I was knackered.

Sugar Loaf Mountain amazing Views[/caption]





Day two morning was a repeat of yesterday and then bang on midday mad dog here ventures out into the heat this time to the other end of Ipanema beach and to the lake then a bus to catch the train up to Christ the Redeemer on the hill as I had done enough walking in the heat and the sun for today. There is a small railway up the hill to Christ the Redeemer but the earliest place available was at 5 and it was 3.30 so went for a small walk to see some ruins the Dutch couple had told me about and then had a late lunch early dinner at a cafť at a bus station while waiting for my train.

Old ruin Building great fixer upper if anyone has the cash![/caption]

Train takes about 25 minutes to get up the hill nice ride but the weather had changed and it was trying to rain. Only got about 30 minutes at the top as the last train down was at 6.30 which I did not realize as I would have like to have spend more time up there and I thought it would be the same as Sugar loaf mountain but what pissed me off more at 6 they came round telling folks that the train was leaving to get every one to the station only have to wait 20 minutes which could have been spent up on the hill bastards!

Christ the Redeemer[/caption]





Got the bus back to the hostel expecting it to go the same way as it had come but it took a totally different route so busses here do not go from point A and back but huge loops round the whole town so got to see loads of Rio took more than hour to get back. Had a quick sandwich and back to relax at the hostel.



Liking Rio so staying another day this time heading to Lapa and St Theresa neighbourhoods and the center this time I am trying the Metro. A lot cooler today as it is dull and overcast. Walk for miles again saw the famous stairs and wandered all over the place and half way back to the hostel just enjoying the different neighbourhoods and walking around this city which has a real nice vibe about.

Famous Rio Stairs[/caption]



Got back to the Hostel quite late working on this then beddy byes of to down the coast tomorrow time to start making my way slowly to Buenos Aires or least start moving South again.

Night Night Rio![/caption]
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:43 PM   #239
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Rio de Janeiro to Trindade, Friday, 15 March 2013, Day 255

Nice Spot on the way to Trindade[/caption]

Not in a hurry to hit the road, as I am not planning on going that far only to a place called Paraty. Whilst having breakfast chatting to a German/ Greek guy called Michael who tells me about a really nice hostel in a smaller less touristy village a bit further down the coast so I have a new destination the Kaissara Hostel Trindade.

Was going to follow the coast all the way down expecting a gorgeous ride but for the first part it was not so interesting but it got better as the day went on.

Stopped at a Nuclear Power Station on the way down which had an info center but unfortunately all in Portuguese and as yet I have not got a clue about Portuguese language still trying to get my head around Spanish. However I do like the language as it makes me giggle as to say hello is oi! And the way the pronounce things are amusing very child like from my perspective so even though I do not understand 99% I like listening to it been spoken.

They where painting the roof of the power station I do hope the rest of the maintenance was up to spec and a bit more safer than how they where doing the roof! Looks like they missed a bit!

painting a nuclear power plant maybe that may be my next job![/caption]



A very pleasant run into Paraty, the GPS as usual is throwing a strop and sending me into the bushes and jungle on non-existent roads so I am ignoring it as its well signposted here. Tight thin wiggly road to Trinidad but views are spectacular down to the beaches then all of a sudden the road stops. I pull up behind a car that has also stopped and we look at each and ask what happened to the road there is a stream flowing over some rocks and huge boulder ahead so no way forward then another car appears from the right coming through the water and thatís when we both noticed the road is there to the right so just a minor stream crossing to negotiate.

My destination for today looks alright![/caption]

Found the hostel set in a rain forest at the end of a dirt track lovely little place could spend some time here but as usual I had sort arranged to meet Alex and Andrea in Sao Paulo on Sunday as they where flying home on Monday but still had a couple of nights here.

Kaissara Hostel Nice :-)[/caption]

Went for a walk and paddle along the beach and then back to the Hostel as George the owner was cooking and then spent a pleasant evening on the veranda where there was a German guy Tom and English girl Lucy playing the guitar and singing. Usually that kind of stuff is Phillys worst nightmare as I cringe whenever I see a guitar in a hostel as normally there is some talentless git crucifying your favourite songs trying to be as cool as hell and normally failing miserably. However these two could play and sing well so it was very pleasant entertaining and relaxing evening. Hostel not so crowded so very pleasant vibe just chilling.

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Old 03-19-2013, 06:45 PM   #240
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Trindade, Saturday, 16 March 2013, Day 256

Paraty Brazil Pretty![/caption]

Excellent breakfast and at a civilised time from 9 to 11 so had a sleep in as well. Plan today was to catch a bus to Paraty check that out and back to Trindade to see the other beaches and have a swim in the natural salt water pools. So another busy day planned so much for slowing down and taking it easy guess I do not do or cannot do taking it easy as I always seem to be busy doing something very rarely stop for a breather as I get restless very quickly so always on the move guess thatís why I am always totally exhausted but in a nice way :-)







As usually Phillys is out in the Midday sun again but a nice bus ride to Paraty only about 40 minutes and spend a couple of hours just wandering around this picturesque and interesting place and then back to Trindade where Toms joins me for the trek to the natural pools which is about 2km walk along the beach and up and down a couple of mountain paths but worth the walk spend a while swimming there and then back to the Hostel.

One for the ladies :-)[/caption]



The Hostel is a lot busier than the previous night so no collective cooking tonight so head out for a pizza and then back on the Veranda just chatting to the folks there. At 12 down to the beach I bars was nearly tempted into having a drink but have decided to stay dry until I get home so thatís 146 days without a drink and will be 175 days in total that nearly 6 months makes you want a drink! Getting harder to abstain especially after a hot hard day in the saddle but can go back to being a pisshead when I get home :-)

 
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