December 11, 2004 GMT
Osarios - Florianopolis 1635km

A bad day!!!, but also a good one in that I reached my target destination, and in one piece...

The night was spent in a Brazilian love shack, somewhere you can rent by the hour. I have resolved to return one day in order to stay-in, and photograph Brazil's "motels", for they are weird, wonderful and some of them damned luxurious! On this occasion, the privacy afforded meant a complete lack of windows, secluded garaging, (a plus!), and a very seedy atmosphere.

There was some interesting stuff on the box that evening, as well...

Miks Images 110.jpg
Not as early a start as I had planned, and I had just loaded up the bike, when the whole thing toppled over bending my brake lever, but luckily nothing else. Before I could get her vertical I had to remove all the very, by now, muddy luggage - such a Mick Pugh moment!

Having got up a head of steam, I could not for the life of me, locate the correct road North. I rode up and down endlessly whilst the heavens opened. Not an unfamiliar problem in itself, except guess who had forgotten his waterproofs? I decided to brave it out and press-on to see if I could leave the now torrential rain behind. Eventually, after 40 km or so, I conceded to the elements and decided to make a pit-stp. As the the bike had now started mis-firing badly, and as I didn't know whether to blame the fuel, the rain, both or neither I decided to top-up anyway. Whilst astride the bike, I opened the fuel cap and started to dismount. As I did so, the bike came with me. I ended up on the deck with with a fully loaded bike and fuel pouring from the tank all over yours truly - a comedy moment indeed, as we all scrambled, slipping and sliding, in frantic attempts to right the bike. Back in the UK, this would have been an incident worthy of informing the CFDA and closing the gas station, but not here. They hardly batted an eyelid, and I was amazed to see people continuing to smoke, not 3 metres away. After stopping for some food and multiple coffees, I was approached by someone I presumed to be the owner of the restaurant. He was keen to learn of my intentions and equally keen to inform me as to the quantity and quality of women in the North East of Brazil.

Once more on the road and the bike behaved no better, but I did manage to procure some very rubbery waterproofs on the way.

As I reached a point some 100km outside Florianopolis, it seemed like a total eclipse was in progress as the sky blackened, the rain beat down reducing visibility to some 10 metres and I was treated to a display of thunder and lightening immediately above my head. I spotted a supermarket, itīs lights flickered wildly pending a power cut. Diverting to the car park, I joined other bikers mostly dressed in T-shirt and shorts, where we sheltered good-humouredly from the worst storm I have witnessed.

Miks Images 111.jpg

Half an hour or so, and although the storm had only partially abated, I decided I should carry on. As I got up to full speed, I could see a double line of traffic up ahead, a car on my side of the road, heading my way, at a rate of knots. The driver was flashing his lights madly, and only by jammng on and hugging the lumpy nearside of the road could I avoid this lunatic, or should I say, criminal.

As I arrived in Florianopolis, somewhat more soggy than I left Osarios, I reflected, gratefully, when checking into the hotel, that had I been in a car, little could have been done to avoid a head-on collision.

Posted by Mick Pugh at December 11, 2004 03:24 PM GMT
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