February 06, 2009 GMT
Brazil & Uruguay 1

February 4
Crossed the boarder to Brazil this morning, which took about two hours. First checkout of Argentina where they checked out the bike numbers and even wrote down the info off the side of the engine. Then to Brazil where a very friendly guy who spoke English type in all the info for the temporary import document. Just as I am ready to pull out he sends someone out to tell me he made a mistake and had to re-enter data. That done I go down the street two blocks to National Police to get passport stamped in. There they told me I needed a visa. My information was that the only country that required visa's for USA was Pargay. Keep asking questions till he checked with someone in the back, he then took my passport and ten minutes latter came back, stamped and dated it. Away I go, well almost, found combio and changed US $ for Reals.
This side of the border has the same hill as the Argentina side but here it is commercial farming. Hills covered with soybean and corn fields with enough trees to make it look right. The scenery is spectacular, if you like looking at farms. The road winds up, down and around the hills, reminds me of New Zealand. The GPS is not of too much help and I wind up the night not where I thought I was going, but then I got to see some neat places.

Farm the morning I crossed into Brazil

Farm land in Brazil

Pine forest, why can't we get trees planted like that?

February 5
Head out this morning at 8:00 with the plan of riding to Santa Maria, Reo Grande do Sol, about 570 k. Well the road numbers on the GPS do not match the map and sometimes what is on the road signs is different than both. So I run in a big circle, about 150k. Finally break down and start asking and get headed the right way. I can blame it on the fog as it was real heavy this morning making it hard to see. Most of the Brazilian drivers do not turn their head lights on in the fog. Thankfully the traffic was light till it finally lifted. I reached Santa Maria at 6:00 with a good case of baboon butt.
Absolutely beautiful farm ground. Of all the farm ground I have seen in South America, (maybe everywhere), the area south of Passo Fundo and North of Santa Maria is where I would chose to farm. As I traveled south the hills got less steep to where the last 100 k the road no longer had to go around, just up and over. Looks like the area around Pullman, WA would look if it had enough rain to grow corn and soybeans without irrigation.

This was my view when I started out this morning. Soon I had dropped down into the very thick fog.

Soybean fields in Brazil, this is without irrigation.

Many of the fueling stations that catered to trucks had these oil pits that they pulled over to fuel up. Attendants would then grease what was needed.

February 6
February 6
Headed south this morning and the land continued to get flatter and dryer. Many more cattle ranches here. Also several large acreage of rice planted in low areas (AKA converted wetlands). Arrived at the border about 1:00, this crossing is not a major place to cross and it took some time to unravel where I needed to go to check the bike out. It seems that the person in charge of that had gone to lunch so I was told to come back at 14:00.
This gave me time to find a place to eat. I ordered a hamburger but it was more than I could finish.
Back to customs at 14:00 and was checked out. On to Uruguay, first to Migration for passport stamp. Filled out some papers on the moto here also with a typewriter. Then to customs where we filled out more paper this time by hand with carbon paper. I am sure the more used crossings are more up to date, but we got it done and by 3:00 I was back on the road.
Traveled on to Melo, getting here about 4:15. I could have gone farther but it was starting to get real hot. Was told that it has been much dryer here than normal, no rain for 4 months.
I rode into the central area to see what was available for hotels, as I road around the plaza I spotted a Weyerhaeuser sign and was going to take a picture. Three people walking by saw my license plate and came up to talk, they are from Oregon and have been traveling South America. So they took pictures for me.

Breakfast at the hotel, most places provide something but this was the best I have had for awhile. Lots of bread, some cheese and meat, coffee

Cattle ranch in southern Brazil

Cars being held at the Brazilian customs included this Model A Ford as well as some other old cars. Looked like it had been there a long time, I will make it a point not to get moto impounded. Car behind it may be '55 Chevy.


Rural cemetery in Uruguay

On the Plaza in Melo, Uruguay, Pickup behind is a Weyerhaeuser pickup. They have a office here. Have not seen too many trees, maybe to the south.

Posted by Robert Thode at February 06, 2009 11:02 PM GMT

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