Tag Archives: Rio de Janeiro

Buenos Aires to Rio Cuarto, Friday, 22 February 2013, Day 234

Rio Cuarto

So which way is he going well I was going to go to Montevideo in Uraguay but a total change of plans and the new plan on the page is first to Cordoba via Rio Cuarto I am desperate to get out of the pampas and away from the wind and back into the hills and or mountains. Then to Salta and maybe into Bolivia for a quick visit to the Salt flats at Uyuni and then a right turn and drag across Paraguay via the Iguazu falls up to Rio de Janeiro and then a run down the coast to Montevideo and back to Buenos Aires to ship the bike back home. So that’s about 10,000km round trip roughly taking into account Phillys navigations skills and that fact that he is easily distracted I have given myself about a month and half for this so it should all be doable!

Daisy is mostly wearing a set of new Metzler Tourances (Cost a bleeding fortune) The dodgy replacement non O ring chain may needed to be replaced again but I have fresh oil so she should be able to do the above no problem the question is how is Phillys stamina well we will just have to wait and see on that one.

So today started with the 4th run to the bank as DakarMotos is a cash only establishment and tyres in Argentina do not come cheap and the cash point only giving out a grand out at a time/day.

Next was free petrol from Markus as he was shipping his bike back to Switzerland and his tank needed to be emptied as he had just filled it with about 35 litres (big BMW touring tank) as he was going to do some riding around Buenos Aires area but his bike died about 150km out of town and it needed to be trailered back. He knew it was risky as he had already taken it apart and was not really able to fix it but it was now terminal so we had said goodbye to him on Tuesday Morning and hello again on Tuesday night unloading his bike from the truck in the pissing rain. He was going to stop his trip soon this little upset just brought that date a bit closer.

So why the new route well I wanted another fix of the Andes before going home to erase any memories of wind and pampas from my mind but this was going to have wait as I still had about 700km before it got slightly hilly again.

Still flat still windy but least trees block some of the wind and give me something to look at!

Nice enough run flat with the odd hill but greener and more trees than in the pampas and it was nice to be on the road again. Javier had given me the route of a loop into the back of Cordoba and the plan was to take 2 days to get to Rio Cuarto which was 650km away but daisy was biting at the bit so we polished this all of in one day rolled into town at about 6.30pm and I headed straight to the Municipal Campsite, so I am back under canvas again.

Rio Cuarto

Buzzing City Center

I set up camp and then I wandered into town which was buzzing as it was Friday night I had a nice chat with the lady at the tourist office who gave me a local map and I figured out my route through the hills to Cordoba. As yet I have yet to see the hills but I have been assured that they are there just over the horizon I cannot wait. I went for a walk and for some dinner and than I got totally lost on my way back to the campsite. No worries it looks like a reasonable neighbourhood I was lost in but then it got slowly worse or maybe it just felt like that because it was now dark and street lighting non existent. So I kept on walking to what I thought was the direction of the river as if I found that I could follow it back to the campsite but it never seemed to appear and I had not a clue where I was. I did not want to ask anyone directions, as I did not want to alert the neighbourhood that there was a dumb gringo wandering around lost in the wrong part of town. Finally a cop car stopped at the lights near were I was walking so asked them for directions but I promptly got lost again but at least I found the river and after asking at another local shop I found my way back to Daisy and the campsite. Bugger my sense of direction was really of the radar tonight as its normally quite good 🙂 I was getting slightly nervous as I got more and more lost and I had walked for miles its seems.

Settle in with me Kindle, which is my standard routine whilst in the tent still reading Sea Biscuit so that may explain some of the horse racing terminology used in todays blog!

I have decided as yet I have no deadlines boats, or weather related so I can take my time and no more need to rush so I may be treating this last month or so like a holiday spending a bit more cash being more of a tourist I am not sure I am capable of either but I am going to give it a whirl 🙂

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Ourinhos to Taubate, Sunday, 10 March 2013, Day 250

Handy Bus stops for putting on waterproofs and at least daisy sort of getting a clean 🙂

It rained heavily all night but it was sort of dry when I left this morning you would think that the rain would have taken some of the heat away but it is still very hot. I am trying to get past Sao Paulo today as I do not fancy staying there as it’s a huge dangerous metropolis I am glad I am doing this on a Sunday as I cannot imagine what its like on a normal week day. The strange thing about to day coming into Sao Paulo the toll roads are now free for motorcyclist and they have small lanes at the side where bikes go through for nothing where as up till now I had spend a fortune in Brazil on tolls. All of them except one there where about 20 toll booths spread across the road I was heading for the far right as this where the bike lane usually is but as I was doing this a car started honking his horn and signalling me to go for the middle as at this one the bike lane right in the middle just to confuse us poor foreigners like me so I had to cross another 10 lanes of traffic to get to the bike lane like I said I was glad it was Sunday. As I left Sao Paulo they started charging again for motorcyclist so Philly is confused and ask an attendant why this in bad Spanish and response I got  in Portuguese but from what I can gather going into town is free for bikes going out you have to pay so I am guessing my faffing and taken my time at toll booths may have been noticed by the owners so they are not charging on the way in when I am guessing its utter chaos in morning rush hour now for the rest of country all toll roads free for motorcyclist as we are small and inefficient vehicles to process so lets do away with charging us.

Good Graffiti like it when done well.

I got lost a couple of time getting across Sao Paulo as there where huge 10 lane highways split into smaller ones all going the same way but taking different routes to get there around the various obstacles and spaghetti junction after spaghetti junction so even with my GPS I was finding it hard to navigate through this mine field.

I was heading for a place called Sao Jose dos Campus as this seemed like a big town past Sao Paulo leaving a reasonable run left to get me to Rio.

I drove around looking for a hotel and there did not seem to be any affordable ones available and if the where affordable they had no availability. It was hot again had been raining earlier in the day and it was threatening to rain again. My lonely Planet had nothing on the places I have been travelling through the last couple of days so I take a look at the map and there is another town called Taubate about 40km down the road so I have a new destination.

Yes it was Ideal.

I finally found a nice little affordable nice hotel I’m Taubate and go for a wander around town looking for food. Again this is just another ordinary Brazilian town but pleasant enough for an evening.I find a Chinese restaurant for my dinner and it has been a while since I had had  one and I ordered Singapore Noodles, which was more Indian Curry than Chinese style but it was a nice change.

     

Got back to the hotel just as it started to piss down with rain. I was sitting the kitchen/ dining room which was a building attached to the side of the house and not attached that well as it was pouring outside and water was running down the walls and across the floor so I retired to my room which was in a more waterproof part of the building 🙂

 

Taubate to Rio de Janeiro, Monday, 11 March 2013, Day 251

Gorgeous run through the mountains 🙂

A lovely run through a nice mountain range to Rio but then for the last 60km riding through suburbs and towns which where chocker block with gridlocked traffic so hard work as it was hot as hell again.

I finally made it to town and headed to an address in Ipanema that allegedly there where a load of hostels on a private street near the centre so safe parking for Daisy. Yes it was a closed street but for some reason they did not allow me to park my bike down there as seemingly some of the residence on the street objected to this I am guessing, as I was a hot sweaty mess they just did not like the look of me. I tried another place down the road and yes they had a place for me and safe parking for Daisy a bit expensive for a hostel but they did have a swimming pool and this is in one most expensive areas in Rio.

Triple decker bunks!

So have signed up for 3 nights to discover the delights of Rio I may stay longer as I am no longer in a hurry to be anywhere.

Ipanema Beach loverly walk.

I had a dip in the pool which was glorious as I was boiling and later I walked the length of Ipanema beach which was nice I am pinching myself as I am in Rio Baby and it is a rather cool place and I am looking forward to the next couple of days 🙂

Rio de Janeiro, Tuesday, 12 March 2013 to Thursday, 14 March 2013,Day 251 to Day 254

Can you spot the difference which one is the real one!

Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun was the theme for the next three days. It was hot as hell in the room in my triple-decker bunk bed but I did have the whole room to myself after getting rid of some whiney German bloke who objected to the smell of my bike boots. He was right about the pong as they are pretty minging at the moment so as soon as he had moved I put them outside and I would have done this much earlier if he had only asked nicely 🙂

Triple decker Bunk beds!

I had a bit of a sleep in as breakfast was served  till 10am and it was quite a decent breakfast as well so I had a long leisurely breakfast next to the pool trying to figure out what I was going to do first in Rio and I have plenty time so no longer any need for rushing around. It was 12am when I ventured out and extremely hot. The Plan was to walk to Copacabana I first walked through Ipanema trying to stay out of the sun and then along Copacabana beach in the full sun idiot but it had to be done. A long walk and looking at the map I had with me it looked like I should be quite close to the cable car for Sugar Loaf Mountain but I was still miles away as there was a huge hill/mountain in the way so walked some more I had probably walked about 15km in the heat and sun so that is what I mean about mad dogs and Englishmen 🙂

  

  

  

Copacabana Beach

I got the cable car up the hill to enjoy the magnificent views and to watch the sun set over Jesus on the hill opposite. Gorgeous, I met some other folks from the hostel a Dutch couple and English girl and I got a taxi back with them as I was all walked out and I went for some dinner with them and then back to the hostel as I was well knackered.

Sugar Loaf Mountain amazing Views

Day two morning was a repeat of yesterday and then bang on midday mad dog here ventures out into the heat this time to the other end of Ipanema beach and to the lake then a bus to catch the train up to see Christ the Redeemer on the hill as I had done enough walking in the heat and the sun for today. There is a small railway up the hill to Christ the Redeemer but the earliest seat available was at 5pm and it was 3.30pm so went for a small walk to see some ruins the Dutch couple had told me about and then I had a late lunch early dinner at a café at the bus station whilst waiting for my train.

Old ruin Building great fixer upper if anyone has the cash!

      

The train takes about 25 minutes to get up the hill nice ride but the weather had changed and it was trying to rain. I only got about 30 minutes at the top as the last train down was at 6.30pm which I did not realise as I would have like to have spend more time up there and I thought it would be the same setup as Sugar Loaf mountain but what really pissed me off more was that at 6pm they came round telling folks that the train was leaving to try and get every one to the station we then only had to wait 20 minutes which could have been better spent up on the hill bastards!

Christ the Redeemer

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I got the bus back to the hostel expecting it to go the same way as it had come but it took a totally different route so busses here do not go from point A and back but huge loops around the whole town so I got to see loads more of Rio it took more than hour to get back. I had a quick sandwich and then back to relax at the hostel.

      

I am liking Rio so it is an brainer and  I am staying another day this time heading to Lapa and St Theresa neighbourhoods and to the center this time I am trying to use the Metro. A lot cooler today as it is dull and overcast. I walk for miles again I saw the famous stairs and I wandered all over the place and half way back to the hostel just enjoying the different neighbourhoods and walking around this city which has a real nice vibe about it.

Famous Rio Stairs

                   

      

I got back to the Hostel quite late and I am working on this then beddy byes I am of down the coast tomorrow time to start making my way slowly back to Buenos Aires or at least start moving South again.

Night Night Rio!

Rio de Janeiro to Trindade, Friday, 15 March 2013, Day 255

Nice Spot on the way to Trindade

I am not in a hurry to hit the road, as I am not planning on going that far today only to a place called Paraty. Whilst having my breakfast I was chatting to a German/ Greek guy called Michael who tells me about a really nice hostel in a smaller less touristy village a bit further down the coast so I have a new destination that being the Kaissara Hostel Trindade.

I was going to follow the coast all the way down and I was expecting a gorgeous ride but for the first part it was not so interesting but it got slightly better as the day went on.

 

I stopped at a Nuclear Power Station on the way down which had an info center but unfortunately all in Portuguese and as yet I have not got a clue about the Portuguese language I am still trying to get my head around Spanish. However I do like the language as it makes me giggle as to say hello is oi! And the way the pronounce things is very amusing and very child like from my perspective so even though I do not understand 99% of it I do like listening to it been spoken.

They where painting the roof of the power station I do hope the rest of the maintenance was up to spec and a bit more safer than how they where doing the roof! as It looks like they missed a bit!

painting a nuclear power plant maybe that may be my next job!

    

A very pleasant run into Paraty, the GPS as usual is throwing a strop and sending me into the bushes and the jungle on non-existent roads so I am ignoring it as its well signposted here. Tight thin wiggly road to Trinidad but the views are spectacular down to the beaches then all of a sudden the road stops. I pull up behind a car that has also stopped and we look at each and ask what happened to the road?  there is a stream flowing over some rocks and huge boulder ahead so no way forward then another car appears from the right coming through the water and that is  when we both noticed the road is there to the right so just a minor stream crossing to negotiate.

My destination for today looks alright!

I found the hostel set in a rain forest at the end of a dirt track lovely little place I could spend some time here but as usual I had sort arranged to meet Alex and Andrea in Sao Paulo on Sunday as they where flying home on Monday but I still had a couple of nights here.

Kaissara Hostel Nice 🙂

I went for a walk and paddle along the beach and then back to the Hostel as George the owner was cooking and then I spent a pleasant evening on the veranda where there was a German guy Tom and an English girl Lucy playing the guitar and singing. Usually this kind of stuff is Phillys worst nightmare as I cringe whenever I see a guitar in a hostel as normally there is some talentless git crucifying your favourite songs trying to be as cool as hell and normally failing miserably. However these two could play and sing a bit as well so it was a very pleasant entertaining and relaxing evening. Hostel not so crowded so a very pleasant vibe just chilling.