Touring Ted

2 wheels & no sense. My Motorcycle travel blog.

Archive for April, 2008

Since my last post from the Penunsular of Florianapolis, iv had some greats highs and a couple of lows.. As usual though, im still having a great time.

Myself, Sean and Cristi left Florianapolis and headed North with Peter and Carol form Canada. Sean has a friend (an old student exhange buddy) who now lives in Sau Paulo with her husband. He arranged that we go and visit them for a couple of days while we check out the city. Peter and Carol (the beach lovers they are) decided to skip Sau Paulo and go their own way for a few days up the caost but we arranged to meet up a few days later. So in true Brazilian style hospitality, Seans contacts (Patchi and Eduardo) put us up in their beautiful modern high class apartment building on the outskirts of Sau Paulo. They took us too dinner and gave us advice on how to visit the city safely. We took a bus into the city and met up with Patchis sister and were pleasanly surprised by how nice the city was when she gave us the tour. You only really hear bad things about Sau Paulo but if you know where to go, its really beautiful and full of culture.

Time was ticking on and after 2 nights we headed north to meet up with Peter and Carol at the beautiful town of Parati. Very touristic but still fabulous. Lots of little local stalls and people making street art near a lovely litle harbour. We serviced our bikes at the hostel there and made plans for the infamously dangerous Rio de janiero.

We left parati nice and early so we could get into Rio de Janiero before dusk. We wanted to find somewhere nice to stay away from the city centre an close to the beaches. We got there nice and early and headed to the beach front town of Iperena which is right next to Copacabana beach but less touristy. We had a great time in Rio. Many people avoid it due to fear of violence, muggings and extreme poverty. Although this goes on, you really have to go looking for it. Rio is one of my favourite cities in the world and im so glad I didnt miss it. The safest way to do it is to take organsised tours arranged by the hostels. We took a day trip to see the famous Christo, the Carnaval sites and sugar loaf moutain. It was truly fabulous. People are so friendly and fun loving (like all Brasilians) One night we even went clubbing in one of the favelas (the famous slums) where I had one of the best nights EVER !! Everyday dancing Samba, full of energy smiles and life. A far cry from drugged up scallys getting pissed on crap beer back in Liverpool….

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So, if you ever get the chance to come to Rio, DO IT !!!!! 

We are now heading further up the east coast along the beach towns and coast.

Its in one of these stops where I managed to get myself electricuted in swimming pool. This is  how it happened…….. It had been a hard long day and I was having trouble with my bike. It kept cutting out and stalling like it was being starved of fuel. I stripped the carb at the side of the road and still couldnt find the problem. Its really difficult working on a bike in tropical heat with a limited tool kit in a petrol station, belive me. The bike still wouldnt run so we made a decision to hobble back to the nearest town and find a good workshop. I took my bike to the mechanic and explained the problem in sign language and Spanish (he only speaks portuguese). He knew exactly what the problem was with the bike and I was up and running again within the hour. Brilliant mechanic and a really great guy :).

So after a few hours of messing about in the heat, we hit the road and 4 hours later and in the dark we roll into Vitoria and find ourselves a pricey hotel. I was really tired and pissed off after a bad day so went down to the pool with Sean. I walked over to the pool and leant on a big brass street lamp thing next to the pool. 2 seconds later, i was in the pool with this metal 240v light on top of me being electricuted and unable to move underwater for about 10 seconds…I thought this was it, the end of Ted…And what a way to go !!!!

Thankfully the light shorted out and I dragged myself out of the pool bleeding badly from deep electric shock lacerations on my foot. Sean and a local guy bandaged me up as the hotel staff giggled like it was an everyday event !! If this happened in the Westen world, id be a millionaire with compensation. Here, I was lucky not to get billed for a new lamp ! Thats just life on the road in South America though and im still keeping the reaper on his toes for now  :)

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So now im riding though tropical coutryside and rain forest on the way to the Amazon boat in Belem. Were riding sweeping moutain roads though beautiful landscapes where people sell fruit on the side of the road and overturned trucks are a regular occurance. The heat is almost unbearable. You want to keep riding just to get air over your skin so you dont boil alive in your riding gear. The one thing that I still cant get over is the size of Brasil. Its bloody enormous. There are so many beautuful places to see, you need 2 life times !! We have been riding for 2 weeks and are still only half way up to the north… Time to open throttle I think !

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So, until the next time.. ill try and keep myself alive for a few more posts !!   :)