I managed to exit the city with out too much of the hassle that has become the norm. Philosophically, I have come to accept it as a means of exploring my environment more thoroughly.
The narrow mountainous roads through the Serra del Mar seem to have a reputation as a kind of "death valley" because of the huge numbers of lorries plying their trade to and from Sao Paulo. Wrecks line the route acting as a constant reminder of deadly possibilities. On negotiating another bend in these challenging roads, I came upon uprooted vegetation scattered across the road, (which I later realised was a local hazard warning). This was followed by twisted road furniture, and finally, a lorry skewed across the carraigeway. A sight I have since become all too familiar with.
Walter - he drives lorries and drinks tequila. He transports stones 11 times a year from Fortaleza to Curitiba, some 9,000 km. He hates it.
It was in these hills that I met Joao Charles, the owner of a Yamaha Tenere. This was unusual in itself, as although to Brazilians, motorcycling is almost a religion, they tend to worship at the temple of Honda.
My new friend informed me that he worked for Samur, the equivalent of our emergency ambulance service, and when he learnt that I was in the same business, he offered to show me their facilities, some 50km away.
The station was staffed by a doctor, nurse, two drivers and 2 dogs, with a basic response vehicle and a UTI, (Intensive Therapy Unit, NOT Urinary Tract Infection!). Dr. Berragano treated me to some video footage and a gruesome set of slides showing me the type of work they undertake, put simply, trauma, trauma amd more trauma, with only about 2 cardiac conditions a month. The slides continued: truck on truck, truck on pedestrian, truck on tree, and with resources that come no way near matching the calibre of work they undertake - true heroes.
Thanking them for their hospitality, I moved onto the sprawling mass they call Sao Paulo. I had not reckoned on the complete lack of road-signs, which made the incredible friendliness and will to help of other moto-riders very welcome. But to no avail, and I got hopelessly lost as usual. With darkness looming and with no obvious direction to head in, I was failing to find Santos, and the beach at Praia Grande. It was at this point that I realised that I had no lights, (I had not planned on riding at night, anyway ), so I decided my best means of defence was to tailgate a lorry. This proved a horrendous experience as we overtook crawling lorries, and faster moving ones sweeping downhill, inches from me, all the time spiralling, cornering, cornering with the constant smell of burning brakes filling my helmet and the hydraulic screams filling my ears, all the time, darker and darker - no moon.
Eventually, I found Praia Grande, I checked in at the first hotel I found without looking at the room. They invited me to leave my bike at reception. When it's all over for the day and it's been this chalenging, you feel tired, but you know you're alive.
The next day, this is what greeted me, the beaches at Flori were wonderful but now I had sun aswell...
Next HU Events
- Brazil: Feb 22-23
- Germany: May 29-June 1
- HUBB UK: June 19-22
- NEW! Canada Maritimes: July 4-6
- USA Colorado: July 11-13
- Ireland: July 18-20
- Canada West: Aug 21-24
- USA North Carolina: Sept. 4-7
- Canada Ontario: Sept. 11-14
- NEW! UK - Haggs Bank: Sept. 19-21
- USA California: Sept. 25-28
- Aus Queensland: Oct 3-6
- Aus Perth: Oct 10-12
- Aus VIC: Oct 24-26
- NEW! South Africa: Nov 14-16
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