Brazil
October 07, 2007 GMT
Tudo Bem? Tudo Bom!


17braz.JPG

What can be said about Brazil? It is:
Big, Bold, Beautiful, Brassy, Boobs, Bums, Babes, Beaches, Breakfast, Beans, Bikes and Bloody Friendly!

BORDER CROSSING

Argentina
* Go to the Brazillian Embassy and sort out visa requirements;
* Drive up to the Argentine Customs & Immigration window;
* Complete formalities
* Drive Across the International Bridge


02braz.JPG
One Bike in Brazil & One Bike in Argentina
Marcel and Grant

Brazil
* Park bike and complete Immigration
* Walk over to the Customs and temporarily import bike
* No additional fees required

Bem Vindo a Brazil

We muddled through Customs and Immigration, suddenly finding that Portuguese is nothing like Spanish, however, all the officials were very friendly and helpful and seemed to understand our poor Spanish.


01braz.JPG
International Border

Cruising the three lane highway, with a multitude of modern high powered cars alongside, and high above on the overpass, a horse drawn cart stacked with a Brazillian family trots contentedly by while ramshackle huts are built close to the well maintained road to Cascavael.


20braz.JPG
Horses and Carts - waiting for thier next job


Between the three of us (Grant, Marcel and Jules) we held the equivalent sum of NO money and were in dire need of hitting an ATM.

The first machine would not accept international cards, the second, third, fourth and fifth gave us the same response.


00parkingbraz.JPG
Parking in the mall - Cascavael
Photo courtesy of Marcel

Discouraged, we parked the bikes in a paved shopping mall and parked ourselves at a small eatery where we mulled over the menu, finally deciding on the only familiar thing.... hamburgers!

Jules spied an HSBC bank and ran across the busy road.... sucess 'Maestro and Cirrus accepted'... financially solvent.... now we could pay for our lunch. A new waitress had started her shift and she spoke some English, so at least we could get some hot chips with our hamburgers!


00lunchbraz.JPG
Lunch Stop - Cascavael
Photo courtesy of Marcel

Piggy's chain & sprockets had been clunking for some time, the noise was horrific and emabarassing. We asked the Lassie from the restaurant if she knew where a Suzuki dealer was located, she did not, instead she organised for a scooter riding friend to take us there.

Upon arriving, the moto mechanic quickly checks over the noisy chain and observes how loose it is, so with spanners in hand, his intention is to adjust the chain.

Grant seeing the spanners motions him to the chain and spins the rear wheel showing the mechanic that, indeed, the chain is adjusted correctly in one spot, however the chain is badly stretched in other sections. The mechanic soon realises that Grant had actually adjusted the chain correctly.


03braz.JPG
There once was rainforrest

Curitiba was our first look at Brazil's obsession with high rise appartments and motor bikes.

We visited Moto-Central where dealerships and parts stores line the streets. It was early Saturday morning and the place was already 'heaving'.

Loud rock music pumped out of the stores, coffee and cakes were on offer to shoppers, bikes roared up and down the ashphalt. The atmosphere was electric and festive, however, you could not hear yourself think.


07braz.JPG
Cool Mural

We hit the stores in search of a new chain, (we were carrying sprockets from the Chain Gang in Australia - Chris is on the ball and very helpful), oil filter, oil and other sundry bits and pieces.

When leaving one shop it was announced over the loud speaker that 'Round the World Australian Motorcyclists' had been shopping there... we wondered who they were!!!

Where we could not be understood in Spanish, someone - customers and shop assitants a like - would come to our rescue. People would draw maps, diagrams, give directions, tell us of other stores who may have what we were looking for, help us in every way possible, their kindness was overwelming.


05braz.JPG
Monster Truck

With bits in hand, a monster truck appeared out of nowhere and presently drove over a car several times. Crushing it flat to the cheering, caffine hopped-up crowd.... this was a very surreal experience. It was then that we decided to find a quiet place to think and change the chain.

The quiet place came in the form of Motoshow, a small dealership and work shop far from the maddening crowds. The owner gave us workshop space and assistance to remove the old chain and put the new on. Life is so much easier on top of a hoist!


06braz.JPG
Work Space at Motoshow in Curitiba

When it was time to leave they would not accept any payment for hire of space, tools or help, we were told they were very happy to assist us and wished us well on our trip. Again, the kindess of strangers never ceases to impress us.

It was not 'all work and no play'. Estaçaco Shopping Centre with great food (best Thai Chicken Curry with Jasmine Rice outside of Thailand) and where a goggle eyed Grant has never seen so many beautiful young and older women in one place at one time. Jules felt ever so daggy and unattractive in her practical clothes and helmet hair.


09braz.JPG
View of French Garden from Glass House - Curitiba

We visited the botanical gardens with a beautiful glass house filled to the brim with bromeliads and other exotic local flora. We were even treated to an exhibition of orchids.


10braz.JPG
Myriad of Orchids

Florinopolis, for us, was less than inspiring. Busy noisy traffic and generally had an unsavoury atmosphere in the evenings.


11braz.JPG
Waiting for the Big Bang - Road works

So we continued to Torres, a long the way were stopped at some major road works. Motorcycles were ushered to the front of the queue (thank you!) where we waited for 45 minutes until blasting was completed. A loud bang preceded the plume of smoke and after the road was finally cleared we were escorted, by the police, past the blast site.


12braz.JPG
Bikes Go First - Police escort

Torres is a quite and unassuming coastal resort town with maginficent cliff walks offering the opportunity to see seals at close quarters and to watch the local fishermen casting thier lines from the 150 foot sheer cliffs to the waters below.


15braz.JPG
'Jules... I think you can get down to the beach from here..... I think!'
Grant - Torres


16braz.JPG
Sunbather


13braz.JPG
Virgin Alcançada - Patron Saint of Fishermen


14braz.JPG
Fishing from the Cliffs - Torres

It was almsot about this time that Miss Piggy had developed somewhat of a serious cough. Cruising happily at 100 kms for an hour when sudden throttle shut off would cause the motor to stall.


19braz.JPG
A Ride on the Sand

Reigniting by roll starting would leave only one cylinder firing at low speed. After some experimentation it was discovered that stopping completely and turning the ignition off and then on again to start would allow everything to work ok, at least until the next cough.


04braz.JPG
Hey! What does that say? Thats not Spanish!

We deduced that the lousy fuel in Brazil may be the culprit at an exagerated 85% octane and laced with a great deal of sugar cane alcohol.


21braz.JPG
Marcel - Swiss BMW GS1200

Returning to Argentina via Uraguay was a good idea at the time on a busy Saturday morning we arrived at the border town. After farting around, for what seemed an eternity, and finding the Brazillian Immigration we headed to the Urugayain post.

'Australian's need a visa to enter Uruguay' said the Immigration Officer

'No, sir' replied Jules 'I have not read any information that Australian's need a visa for Uruguay'

'As of last week it changed, you will need to visit the consulate on Monday to organise it!'

Great... do we hang around for two days or do something else?


23braz.JPG
A brief and unsuccessful soiree into Uruguay

Something else was to ride through the beautiful rolling hills of 'Gaucho Country' and cross into Argentina at Paso de los Libres. So that's what we did.

With Piggy coughing and spluttering we left Brazil. Even though our stay was brief we enjoyed our time thoroughly. Our circuit through the southern states showed us the people of Brazil were welcoming, friendly and helpful. It is certainly on our list of places to visit again in the future.


18braz.JPG
Fishing off the rocks - Torres

Posted by Julie Rose at 07:18 PM GMT
 


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!