Touring Ted

2 wheels & no sense. My Motorcycle travel blog.

Archive for March, 2008

 

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 We left Argentina on the 26th of March after my birthday drinking session at the cabin. A short ride to the border and a dramatic language change hit us. We speak no Portuguese making immigration more difficult and is now the reason that I have an illegal motorcycle in Brasil (more on this later).

So we spend 2 days riding east from Igazu falls to the coast of Brazil. The landscape of Brazil is stunning. Lush forests and greenary everywhere. The twisty and turning moutain roads are a wonderful contrast from Argentina. The only distraction is the slow moving ancient trucks which you have to overtake with extreme caution.

I didnt really know what to expect of Brazil but our first night stop was a great one. We pulled into a town called Plato Blanco which is probably the nicest place iv been to in a long time. Lovely green plazas, modern shops and almost western choice in the supermarkets. Brazil seems to be the most modern out of all of South America, including Chile and the people are really nice too.

The next day of riding was a long one. We wanted to make it all the way to the east coast island of Florianopolis where the surfing beaches were hiding. We underestimated how long it would take and after 8 hours the sun went down leaving us riding unlit, twisty moutain roads with potholes and ridges. This was a nightmare for me as I only have a tinted helmet visor meaning I had to ride with it up (imagine driving your car with your head hanging out the window). I mistake I dont want to make again as its bloody dangerous and nerveracking.

We were relieved to make it to Florianopolis at 8pm. We didnt know what to do so just headed to the south of the island and the surf beaches… Of course, we couldnt find a hotel and decided to head to a supermarket to ask in there…

Miraculously there was a local guy on an XT600E parked outside who directed us to a Pousada (accomodation) which was on the beach front and only 10 quid each a night for a whole apartment :) I love the way these things happen. One moment your wandering around aimlessly expecting to sleep in a bus stop and 2 minutes later you are in a lovely apartment by the beach and have a local friend who invited us to a BBQ at his house the next day and introduced us to some English speaking locals.

The last few days we have been chilling in this beach front apartment. Surfing and drinking the local coctails (Caiparinas). Very beautiful, very relaxing and its going to very hard to leave.

We were joined in the apartment by Canadian couple Peter and Carol who we have been communicating by email with. We were all chatting over dinner and they told us that they were given a tempory import for their motorcycle at the border. Without this document, you are pretty much smuggling a vehicle ilelgally into the country. OH SHIT !!!! We dont have one (the guy at immigration told us we didnt need one.. he was wrong)

We havnt decided what we are going to do yet. Maybe just try and smuggle it out again and hope the cops dont stop us !! We potentially could be thrown in jail (although unlikely)

Lets hope I get to make another post !! heh heh

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Sean, Criste and myself arrived in Puerto Iguazu on Thursday 20th March. Puerto Iguazu is right on the three corners border of Brazil and Paraguay and the base for exploring Iguazu national park and of course the magnificent waterfalls of Iguazu. The ride upto Puerto iguazu was very beautiful. Sweeping twisty roads through tropical landscapes. I hope the roads stay like this all the way north.

So we found ourselves a nice private cabin in a small park. Its a little cramped but very nice with bathroom, kitchen and set in a beautiful tropical garden. The usual routine of drinking, cooking and checking out the local bars didnt take long to get going but hey, im on holiday. The town is very touristic as you would expect with lots of backpackers but it has kept its small town local feel which I love.

Of course, we didn’t come here just to drink and laze around. We set off on Saturday for the 20km ride to the national park.

The national park is truely beautiful. A tropcial environment with lots of wildlife such as butterflies, alligators, codies (small racoon things) and lots of birds and insects. We walked around on the trails and then came up to the falls. WOW is all I can say. The waterfalls are truly the most magnificent thing I have ever seen and makes my trip to South America worth it alone. All I can say is just to look at the photographs and try and imagine the noise of water, mist, heat and tropical birds.

We spent about 6 hours walking around them and trying to take photos from all the best vantage points. Most of the time we just stood in silence in total awe of what we were looking at.

The sky darkened and huge tropical rain clouds came out of nowhere. We quickly made way back to the carparks and our bikes just as the heavens opened. We were drenched through for the 15 minute ride back to the cabin but red wine, a good meal and great memories kept us smiling as the rain disappeared just as quickly as it appeared. That night We decided to go into town for some caiparina cocktails to finish off the night…

All in all, a brilliant day. 

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19.03.2008

Iv pretty much done no travelling since came back to Buenos Aires in early February. I met up a few times with some Argentian guys that I met in Ushuaia, seen a few shows, been shopping, repairing the bike and more often than not, drinking, eating and general chlling out with the other travellers that come through Dakar Motos. Its nice to take a time out from constantly riding and packing/unpacking everyday. 

I have mostly been staying at Dakar Motos again as its a great friendly atmosphere with new people coming through almost daily. It was there that I met Sean from Kansas. He has been stuck in Bsas for over 2 months while his bikes gearbox was being repaired.

It was Jorges ( from La postas) birthday in Azul so I rode down with Sean on the back of my bike as his was still in pieces (riding bitch as he says).  I knew there would be a great gathering and it was with over 30 other bikers making the pilgrimage to see him.. It was a brilliant party and broke up my Buenos Aires boredom a little !!

Half the reason I was in Buenos Aires for so long was because I was waiting for Bolivia to dry out. I did pretty much no research about the climate there and It seems that for pretty much most of March its flooded… The basic mud and gravel roads with heavy rainfall doesnt make good riding !!

Losing my passport and bumming about in Bsas for so long has left me behind schedule and I only really have 2-3 months max to complete my trip. For this reason I cant wait for Bolivia to dry out so iv changed my plan and decided to ride north through Brazil and pass through Venezuala into Colombia then into Equador…

This worked out pretty well as Sean from Kansas and Criste from California were seperatly planning the same trip so we all decided to ride together through Brazil to Clombia.

We set off on Monday for the 4 days ride to Puerto Iguaza which is on the border of Brazil and the base for visiting the magnificent waterfalls of Iguazu. We arrived here yesterday (20th March) and are going to stay here for a few days to go sightseeing, do some washing and waiting for them to get their visas for Brazil (US citizens need one).

The landscape is already changing dramatically from Argentina. Instead of boring flat pampa, its turning green, lush and very tropical. The very South America that i have been waiting for. Its really hot and sticky and finding locusts and ants in your hotel room is becoming just a normal thing…

So hold onto your hats for my journey through Brazil……

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