June 19, 2006 GMT
(2) Brasil: Rio de Janeiro

I purposely planned my entry to Rio de Janeiro for Sunday. I assumed there would be less traffic than on a normal day. I was not totally prepared for what I experienced.

I entered from the coastal south. The two lane coastal highway fanned into an eight lane divided carriageway. It was simply deserted. There could not have been more than a dozen vehicles occupying the space in both directions. It was like a scene from Mad Max or War of the Worlds. There was little evidence of life.

Occasionally a vehicle blurred by me at twice the normal speed. Other than that I enjoyed the weird sensation of travelling alone in a megatropolis. I moved into the city centre. Still no life, except for a few street peddlars. The city had an untidy look; an unkempt feel. I moved on with trepidation. How could a place this large be empty?

Metropolitan Cathedral.JPG

I longed for the small towns I had spent the last week with. I longed for the beaches and the green of the countryside. I longed for some sign of life...

I found my hotel and went through the motions of checking in. I really wondered if I should be doing this. I felt like leaving town before I had arrived. I decided to give it a try. I could always move tomorrow. I had ridden enough for today.

The hotel was a delight. My spirits picked up immediately. The room was wonderful. The staff helpful, resourceful and reassuring. I hit the street. I did a two block loop. Incredible! I saw more remarkable architecture in that small space than I had seen in the past month. Sights abounded...parks, buildings, restaurants and people...yes, there were people here too. Wonderful. My spirits climbed exponentially. This was the right spot. I was staying.

How can you tell you are in Brasil? I know itīs another question and I am probablly pushing you all to the limit, but I pose it anyway. The breakfast decision should be over by now so your mind should be free to wander...but donīt let it go to far. It might get lost.

BRASIL...the land of beaches. Perched mostlly above the Tropic of Capricorn, it is a country where people enjoy being topless. Clothes get in the way down here. And why restrict yourself to topless when you can go bottomless too?

Yes, a heavenly delight. With all surface hair removed the body parts were tanned to an even, light bronzen hue and buffed to a mirror like finish. I gazed contentedly on forbidden fruit. Was that my smile reflected back to me or was I simply imagining things?

I had truly arrived at Heavenīs Gate. The door was open just a crack. St. Peter donīt test me now. I had but a few brief days before life would return to normal with the arrival of my wife. But wait...I was never normal. What would change? Nothing! I returned to reality...

Yes, that was my reflection..."Jesus, God Lucie keep passing the open windows."

There are a lot of Black people here.
"Say what, mahnn. Who youse calln black?"

In all of the other countries there was no evidence of a black society. Of course we already know that in the altiplano regions of Peru and Bolivia the blacks cannot survive. In Chile and northern Argentina I had encountered none. Here in Brasil evidence of the slave trade was everywhere. They formed a large component of society. Further north they would be even more dominant.


There are a lot of Taint people here.
Taint...taint white, taint black...Taint
"What did I tell you."


And...there was a token white guy...or maybe two.


Posted by Robert Bielesch at June 19, 2006 01:37 AM GMT

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