Day 273 – 275 – Belem, Brazil

Day 273 – 275 – Belem, Brazil      05/21-23/11       Mileage: Local miles

John and I both had some maintenance to do on the bikes, so that was both our plans this morning. I tightened my chain and did what could be the last oil change for this trip….a sure sign that the inevitable end to this journey is on the horizon.

We did eventually meet up with Ian and he had been in town for a few days already. He met a local rider named Alex who not only owns a motorcycle shop in Belem but is also a local motorcycle club president. Alex was helping with local information and showing Ian around town…and later that night the four of us went out on the bikes for dinner.

L to R: Ian, John, Alex and me…

He showed us a great local joint that he said was “good and cheap”…and that it was. So, with the money we saved Alex took us to a strip club to pursue the local talent….and this was the kind of place that you could also make a purchase.  😉  (sorry guys, no pics)   The next day was spent running errands and tracking down information on the routes out of Belem as well as exploring the option to take a boat up the Amazon to Manaus, which in the end we all decided to do. We got a good deal for the three of us (and our bikes) to take a boat from Belem all the way to Manaus in the heart of the Amazon. That night Alex took us to a hopping outdoor club on a pier overlooking the river.

The place was freakin jumping and everyone was dancing and partying in the tropical heat….language barrier….what language barrier!?

Ian is loving the scene….

…..and so is John!

The next day John and I walked down to check out the boat and scope out the logistics of getting our bikes onboard.

That’s our boat at the end of the pier…the Ciudad de Santarem II…

When we got there we watched them offloading a pick-up….that was a tight fit…

They sell refreshing cold coconuts on the street which they open for you with a machette….check out the skills in the video below…



That night we met Alex and some of his motorcycle club buddies again and they took us out to another “cheap and good” dinner.

Alex (center) and 2 of his motorcycle club buddies…

So, thanks Alex for all the great info and the locals tour of Belem!

Day 272 – Bom Jardim to Belem, Brazil

Day 272 – Bom Jardim to Belem, Brazil      05/20/11       Mileage: 322

John and I had just over 300 miles to get to Belem, so after a nice breakfast that was included with the rooms, we continued up the BR316 north.

We sheltered our bikes in storage area behind the hotel…

John and his Yamaha TT600…

The skies were threatening all morning but we managed to stay dry. We planned to have a nice lunch at a churrascaria (a Brazilian steakhouse) which are generally plentiful along the road and in particular at gas stations and truck stops. Luckily we found exactly what we were looking for at exactly the moment it started to rain. As soon as we pulled the bikes up to the pumps under the shelter of the roof, it began to pour….perfect timing for sure. We filled the bikes and filled ourselves with meat at the churrascaria….different cuts of steak, chicken, ribs, tongue…the works! It was still pouring outside so we were in no rush to leave, and being a fixed price all you can eat….we just kept eating…meat. Eventually the rain ended along with our appetites, so we continued up the road to Belem.

All the rivers we crossed were very high…..this one has flooded the local soccer field…

John’s friend Ian whom I also met back in Buenos Aires was already in Belem, so we were going to try and hook up with him. We found the hotel easy enough but they didn’t have any more room in their garage and Ian was not around, so we found another hotel around the corner that had room in their garage for the bikes. After stowing the bikes and gear we went down to the waterfront for dinner and a few beers.

They served beer in these towers….almost like having your own personal beer tap….sweet!

The “working girls” were doing a good business at the waterfront and a few of them seemed particularly keen on selling their services to me and John….which could be taken as a compliment I guess…but probably not…. 😛

Day271 – Tutoia to Bom Jardim, Brazil

Day271 – Tutoia to Bom Jardim, Brazil      05/19/11      Mileage: 365

My plan for today was to make it over to the town of Barreirinhas which is the gateway to another place that is supposed to have some spectacular beaches, dunes and scenery.

My hotel in Tutoia…

The road there from Tutoia was partly paved, but in the town of Pauliuno Neves it turned to all sand with many deep water holes to cross. I pressed on for 2 or 3 kilometers but the water holes and sand were only getting deeper. I passed a local on a moto and he said it only got worse from here. He also said he had a friend with a lifted 4×4 Land Cruiser and he could possible take me and the bike across, but I didn’t like the idea of the bike being bounced around in the back of a truck for 2-3 hours of hard off roading. So in the end I was forced to backtrack towards Tutoia and then ride south and west before the road turned north towards Belem…looks like Barreirinhas will have to wait for next time.

Crossing a small bridge in Pauliuno Neves….

At least now I was free to make the run to Belem so I turned up the pace and made use of the good road surface.

For an hour I was transported to the American Midwest complete with a John Deere harvester. Nothing runs like a Deere…except maybe a KLR….   😉

Late in the afternoon I came around a truck and saw up ahead the silhouette of another adventure bike….the first one I’ve seen since Valerii and I split up way back in Argentina…some 5 weeks and 6,000 miles ago. I pulled up alongside and saw it was John….one of the guys from the UK that I met back at Dakar Motos in Buenos Aires!

It always amazes me when I bump into another rider again thousands of miles later….it’s a small world. We pulled over and caught up on our travels for the last few weeks. John was also heading for Belem so we decided to ride together. We rode for another hour or two and found a hotel for the night in the tiny town of Bom Jardim.

I bed for sleeping…and 3 for my crap….

While we were unpacking the bikes there was a little group of kids that were asking us questions and wanting to take pictures with us. They also invited us to play soccer with them so after getting settled we went across the street to their tiny soccer field….which amounted to little more than some grass and dirt wedged between the road and a ditch. John and I joined in one on each team making a three on three…two kids and one, errr, “elder” kid to a side.



It was great fun for sure and the two old men didn’t embarrass themselves too much. We thanked them for the invite, had a shower and then went out for a few ice cold beers….a great way to end another day on the road north.

Day 270 – Jijoca de Jericoacoara to Tutoia, Brazil

Day 270 – Jijoca de Jericoacoara to Tutoia, Brazil      05/18/11      Mileage: 238

After another breakfast for one, I packed the bike and started towards the beach town of Jericoacoara which is supposed to be a remote tranquilo town nestled in the sand dunes right on the ocean. I was stopped in the way in to town last night and was told that I needed a guide to get there. A guide, I don’t need no stinking guide.  😉 

So off I went sans guide…and the road started out paved and well marked, then turned to cobbles, then dirt and then to deep sugar sand…which sucks the big fat one on a loaded adventure bike. It is work…hard work…and at times the sand was so deep I couldn’t ride the bike…but had to run next to it while working the clutch and throttle while balancing the 500+ lbs worth of motorcycle….in the blazing hot sun. And trust me, running in deep sand in motorcycle boots is a freakin workout…holding the bike up or not!

Also, in the sand and dunes there were many tracks leading in every direction, so I was constantly trying to find the right one.

Bit of a water crossing here….gun it and go!

Some would dead-end in a lagoon or just run out into open dunes…but I did eventually find my way to Jericoacoara.

Jericoacoara is little more than a collection of houses and a few small pousadas…but a super chill and laid back place. Plus…you can ride right onto the beach…how cool is that!

I rode for miles down the beach and at times it was surreal with the sun and clouds reflecting off of the wet sand. Here’s the video…



At one point I stopped and was going to take a picture, but as soon as I got off the bike I realized it was sinking like quicksand…so I hopped back on and gassed it! Another 30 seconds and it would have been sitting on the skid plate buried up to the axles…not good! After my fill of beach riding I made my way out a different route across the dunes and again had to run next to the bike in the deep sugar sand. In the video below, the bridge had many missing and loose boards which you can hear slapping around….so I nailed the throttle across to the other side…



Once back in Jijoca de Jericoacoara I got gas, found a place to wash the salt off of the bike, aired the tires back up to road pressure, lubed the chain and hit the road west along the coast.

One more great Brazilian sunset on the road north….

I ended up in the town of Tutoia where I found a room, a margarita pizza and a shitload of beer. That was definitely one of the more memorable days of the trip!

Day 269 – Fortaleza to Jijoca de Jericoacoara, Brazil

Day 269 – Fortaleza to Jijoca de Jericoacoara, Brazil      05/17/11      Mileage: 236

Regular routine this morning…breakfast, wifi and then hit the road. It was only a little over 200 miles to Jericoacoara which was the next place on my list to check out. Getting out of Fortaleza through the traffic in the blazing sun was hot and sweaty affair I was glad to put behind me once the road opened up. The Aerostitch Darien Jacket and pants that I wear are well armored and tough as nails, but no one will ever say they are well ventilated or very comfortable in hot weather.

Some unexpected mountain scenery that was quite nice!

The road though soon turned to shit…choc full of huge pot holes and sandy dirt sections. Worse yet were the trucks that were swerving clear across the road both ways to avoid the monster pot holes. Several times they swerved into my lane and only noticed me at the last second and swerved back as I went diving to the right. I had a few of those close calls and this went on for a 100 miles….nerve racking.

Here’s one of those monster pot holes….

Get back in your lane!

Next was a dog that wandered on the road…I was on the brakes hard and swerved right only to have the dog change directions into my path again. It was only luck that it turned away at the last second oblivious to its near demise….and possibly mine. Towards the end of the day I was dodging pot holes again and riding west into the sun at dusk…when at the last second I saw a grey car with no lights on in my lane. I swerved onto the shoulder at the last second and they continued by seemingly unaware of my presence. The driver must have been drunk as that is the only way to explain it. To top it off both times today the gas station attendant overfilled my tank spilling gas on the hot engine and exhaust…I was afraid the bike was going to go up in flames. It was just one of those days on the road that just I’m glad I survived and is over with.

At least I did make it to Jijoca de Jericoacoara (the town right before Jericoacoara) and it ended well with beer and pizza….

Day 268 – Itaja to Fortaleza, Brazil

Day 268 – Itaja to Fortaleza, Brazil      05/16/11       Mileage: 227

This morning I worked on the blog a bit before packing the bike and heading down the road. It was a pretty flat ass boring rip up the coast up the BR304 to Fortaleza…Brazil’s 5th largest city.

These are some nice resorts on the coast just south of Fortaleza…

I picked my way through the city maze down to the beach and found a room 1 block off the beach for only triple my budget…not bad by Brazil prices.

Actually, I find Brazil is definitely a bit less expensive in the north compared to the south, and you can find reasonable accommodations and food if you really look.

This was the view from my motel…pretty good…

So after a quick hose off I changed into my shorts and made a b-line for the beach….and promptly got a beer of course.

I lingered long enough to take in a stellar sunset as well as a few more beers and a caipirinha just for good measure.

Day 267 – Olinda to Itaja, Brazil

Day 267 – Olinda to Itaja, Brazil      05/15/11      Mileage: 287

It poured all night and was still pouring went I went down to breakfast. I took my time eating as there was of course little point in rushing. The rain did lighten up a bit, so the decision was to walk around Fortaleza in the rain or to ride in the rain…so I chose to ride, packed the bike and split for the BR101 north. My thought was to ride out from under the rain into better weather to enjoy somewhere else up the coast, but that never happened. It pretty much rained the entire day riding until finally at around 3:30 I found some drier weather.

A ball, a few sticks for goals, some friends…and you have a soccer match on the beach….

I whipped up the pace on the dry roads to make some miles and ended up in a roadside truck stop near Itaja.

The hotel did have wifi and a churrascaria right next door which was handy! So after my fill of beef, beer and wifi…I called it a night….

Day 266 – Indiaroba to Olinda, Brazil

Day 266 – Indiaroba to Olinda, Brazil      05/14/11      Mileage: 376

I was up, out and on the gas by 8:30 hoping to make it as far as Recife.

The pousada….nothing fancy for sure, but it’s my kind of place and it was only $14 with breakfast….

Table for (only) one. I was, no surprise, the only guest there…

As has become my M.O. when I’m riding to make time, I didn’t even stop for a picture…except to wipe an enormous glob of bug guts off of my sunglasses.

Sunglasses – 1
 Big, juicy Brazilian bug – 0

I did stop off at the Honda dealer looking for chain lube….and there it was, a Honda in KTM orange…but none in Kawasaki green.   Oh, and for some reason Honda dealers do not carry chain lube here….I stopped in 4 different dealers in as many towns…none. I had to go to a “local” shop to find some….strange.

I rolled into Recife just at dusk and went about finding a room. It took a while to find but I eventually found one in Olinda, a historic town 3 miles up the coast from the downtown.

Again…nothing fancy, but it’s a dry roof….

Once again the hotel owner was extremely welcoming, like only a mother can be. She did everything but make me a fruit salad (like my mother!).

I did have to expel the previous occupant of my room. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Brazilian cockroaches are not good swimmers….   😉

So after settling in I walked down the oceanside avenue for dinner and some beers….big surprise there. Hopefully the weather will cooperate tomorrow so I can have a look around….

Day 265 – Itubera to Indiaroba, Brazil

Day 265 – Itubera to Indiaroba, Brazil 05/13/11 Mileage: 252

It was going to be a short ride up the coast to catch the ferry to Salvador, so I lingered a bit to use the hotel wifi. Itubera ended up being a really nice little town….the kind you won’t find in any guide book and will only stumble upon by chance….and I’m glad I did! It’s like Frenchtown, NJ at home… won’t find it in any international guide book for the U.S., but a foreign tourist would love to stumble upon it.

Me and the Hotel Jerusalem where I spent the night…..shalom!   lol

Once packed and on the road it took about 2 hours to get to the ferry which departed a few minutes after I arrived….perfect timing!

The KLR strapped in for ferry ride number…..errrr….oh hell I have no idea….I lost count…

It started pouring half way across the bay but fortunately had stopped by the time the ferry arrived at the terminal in Salvador.

The Salvador skyline from the ferry….

The GPS was note able to route me to the historic town center, so I was doing a bit of dead reckoning to find my way. Well, I managed to dead reckon myself into what has to be the roughest part of Salvador as it would make the roughest neighborhoods of the Bronx back in the day look like Candyland. I didn’t stop for even a picture and just kept rolling until I found my way back to a main avenue…and did eventually find my way to the historic center.

 The main square was quite nice, but I was hounded as soon as I stopped by pushy fucks wanting me to stay at their hotels or take their tours. I had to wave them to move so I could get a picture of the square without them in it.

They continued to hound me so I just got back on the bike and left to go check out the waterfront and the nicer section of town.

When I stopped to take this picture on the waterfront….a guy ran from down the street to tell me about the hotels he was pushing….I said no thanks…but when he didn’t stop I just got back on the bike and rode away.

I pulled into a waterfront parking area lined with restaurants and again was hounded by people pushing me to eat at their place.

Maybe it’s just me but that turns me off, so turned the bike around and split.

This guy spoke english and we chatted for a minute at a traffic light…nice guy…he sais he had a bike and would love to do a trip like mine…

I continued along the waterfront but didn’t see anything compelling me to stay and I was starting to feel a little “big city’ed out” anyway, so I continued up the coast. Maybe Salvador will have to wait for next time.

Lane splitting is great for beating traffic…but dicey sometimes! I think it should be legal back home…(it is in California!)

There wasn’t much in the way of towns or services on this part of the BA 001, so I had to ride an hour or so in the dark before finding a room in a little pousada in Indiaroba. Tomorrow, it’s back on the road north…

Day 264 – Linhares to Itubera, Brazil

Day 264 – Linhares to Itubera, Brazil 05/12/11 Mileage: 411

I was up relatively early, packed and on the bike by 8. The weather was overcast which was a shame because plan today was to check out some beach towns that were recommended to me Sabine and Gisa. My first stop was Porto Seguro which was nice, right on the beach and full of bars, restaurants and shops.

Next I took a short ferry across to Arraial da Ajuda which is perched on a hill above the beach. It was more quaint and tranquilo than Porto Seguro and had a nice vibe to it.

Arraial da Ajuda

Lastly I headed to Trancoso which several people told me I had to check out. Unfortunately by the time I arrived it was raining but I rode around and had a look anyway and worked my way down to the beach.

The beach in Trancoso…very nice!

The Ferrari dealership closed up shop….after all it’s more of a Land Rover market anyway…  😉

I would have found a place to stay, but with the weather there was just no point, so I split for the BR101 north. The rain continued on and off, and when the roads are dry and when there are no speed bumps or trucks…the BR101 is a pretty nice ride full of hills, twists and turns. I veered off onto the BA001 which was a smaller road that ran closer to the coast. It also made for good riding as it weaved through some very small towns and villages. At dusk I found a room in the quaint small town of Itubera. After settling in I wandered out and had a lite dinner in a little open square next to the river that had a nice little scene going on.

I giant fried burrito type thingy, smothered in hot sauce, washed down by a giant beer…or two. Now that’s livin’…

263 – Sao Jaoa de Vicosa to Linhares, Brazil

Day 263 – Sao Jaoa de Vicosa to Linhares, Brazil       05/11/11       Mileage: 343

It was a mix of sun, clouds and rain all day today and it was all business making miles north.

This bridge has seen better days….

Progress however is painfully slow at times with only 1 lane in either direction and the countless slow moving trucks. I’ll be bombing along at 80 mph when around a bend I’ll have to wail on the breaks down to 15 mph for a decrepit old truck struggling to get up the slightest of hills. I must have passed well over a thousand trucks today…no exaggeration. At times I was passing 3, 4, 5 at a time…then diving back into my lane at the last second. Today I wish I could have transformed the KLR into GSXR1100…

Parting shot: Sunset over the BR101 north….

Day 262 – Ouro Preto to Sao Jaoa de Vicosa, Brazil

Day 262 – Ouro Preto to Sao Jaoa de Vicosa, Brazil        05/10/11       Mileage: 211

I enjoyed the nice breakfast spread that the B&B put out and took some time to get another blog post up. Once that was done I packed the bike and hit the road toward the coast.

Last shot of Ouro Preto on the way out of town….

The weather was great again and the road twisted its way through the small rolling mountains. I was on the gas and just wasn’t compelled to stop and take many pictures.

OK, I took this one when I was forced to stop for some road maintenance…

….and this one when I stopped for gas and food…

…and this one so you can see what most towns look like in rural Brazil….becasue they all don’t look like Ouro Preto.

Shortly before dark it started to rain so I pulled of and got a room at truck stop. Soon after stopping it started to rain in earnest so I was pretty happy with that decision. Hopefully it clears by tomorrow so I can get an early start and make some miles…

Day 261 – Ouro Preto, Brazil

Day 261 – Ouro Preto, Brazil      05/09/11      Mileage: 0

The B&B was well over my budget, but it was very nice and Ouro Preto was so quaint, I decided to stay another day. Now, I could also take the time to have a nice long walk around town to see the sights.

Here are some pics of the B&B…

The view from the 2nd floor balcony…

Look at the size of my room key… losing that!

The weather was great as I walked around town….here are the pics….

That’s a very picturesque town for sure. So after my walk I relaxed at the B&B and got caught up on the blog and my guide book reading. At night I walked around the town square and got dinner and a few beers at a cozy little pizzeria.

Roughing it on the road again….

I also saw what might be my and my buddy Paul B’s dream truck….a Land Rover crew cab pickup…diesel with a snorkel kit of course.  I want it!! (That was for you Tracy)

Tomorrow it’s back on the road towards the coast…

Day 260 – Rio de Janeiro to Ouro Preto, Brazil

Day 260 – Rio de Janeiro to Ouro Preto, Brazil      05/05/11      Mileage: 264

This morning I went back to the beach and there were even more people out and about than yesterday afternoon. Being Sunday morning, they even closes 3 lanes of the road closest to the beach making way for pedestrians and bikes. Several volleyball matches were already going and it was quite a scene.

Oh, and did I mention that I haven’t seen one overweight person in Rio…not one! It seems like it has to be one of the healthiest cities I’ve ever scene….like a giant Boulder Colorado on the beach! I also made a little time to update the blog, then packed and hit the road around noon.

One last shot of Sugarloaf in the sun….

…and one of Christ the Redeemer and Corcovado.

Once outside of Rio the road started up into the mountains and became twisty good fun full of 3rd and 4th gear corners, then opened up for another 150 miles of rolling hills and 5th gear sweepers. I had so much fun I hardly stopped for a picture…and in fact didn’t. Oops! Anyway, I pulled into the colonial town of Ouro Preto and immediately liked it. I’m not sure what it is about colonial towns that I like…I just do.


The the main square in Ouro Preto…

I also found a room in a super quaint B&B in an authentic colonial period house just off the main square. The owner was very welcoming and made sure that I had everything I needed. So after taking a quick shower I went out for a bite and a few beers. Tomorrow I’ll have a better look around….

Day 259 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Day 259 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil       05/07/11       Mileage: 0

The weather was overcast in the morning but I went out to see the sights anyway hoping the weather would clear, which thankfully it did. I was feeling adventurous so instead of taking a taxi I just hopped on the first bus going in the general direction I wanted to go and hoped for the best.

Sugarloaf Mountain from downtown….still in the clouds…

Corcovado and Christ the Redeemer barely visible from downtown Rio…

 As luck would have it it passed within a half mile of my first stop…the gondola to Sugarloaf Mountain. Like everything in Brazil it was a little pricey, but it does give you an amazing panoramic view of the harbor and the city.

To the left is Copacabana Beach…to the right downtown Rio…

Looking across to Corcovado and Christ the Redeemer above downtown Rio…

So after lingering for a while to take it all in, I moved on to the most famous site in Rio and perhaps one of the most famous in the world…the statue of Christ the Redeemer high above the city atop Corcovado Mountain. There is a cog railway that takes you from city level to the base of the monument which provided good views as well.

It was a short scramble from the train up the last few sets of stairs and then you are there with the entire cityscape of Rio stretched out before you.

It certainly was one of the most impressive sights I have ever seen for sure. If there is a more beautiful setting for a city, I don’t know of it…’s simply amazing.

Maracana Stadium….the largest soccer stadium in the world!

I stayed for quite a while taking in the view and soaking it all in, then headed back to Impanema. By this time the sun was starting to set so I went down to the beach to check out the scene.

To say that Brazilians, and particularly those in Rio, love the beach would very much understating the fact!

It seems everyone was there basking in the sun, playing soccer, volleyball, roller blading, biking and some were playing footvolley…a cross between volleyball and soccer. Think volleyball but you can use anything BUT your hands.

A  footvolley game in progress…



That night I got a bite to eat and sampled the beer at several bars, just to make sure it was safe for everyone…what can I say, I’m a giver. 😉

Day 258 – Paraty to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Day 258 – Paraty to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil      05/06/11      Mileage: 187

It was another stellar day weather wise and the road up the coast was as scenic and enjoyable to ride as yesterday.

I pulled into Rio de Janeiro and after a bit of searching around, I settled into a room in Ipanema Beach… 2 doors down from a Belgian bar with an extensive beer menu…perfect!

As a child I can remember seeing Rio de Janeiro among the other exotic sounding places on my globe and I’ve wanted to travel here ever since. Kathmandu, Jakarta and the others will have to wait for another day….but for now its one more place off the life list. I quickly settled in and went straight for the Belgian bar…Delirium. They had an extensive menu of imported beer…I was in heaven…until I saw the prices. Fookin hell was it expensive! Yes it’s imported, yes this is Rio, but $25-35 USD for a beer…that’s shite! The larger bottles were around $50 USD!

I did find a “bargain” at $9 USD per bottle for a Leffe…one of my favorites…so I savored two of those and then went for a walk to take in the scene….

Day 257 – Camburizinho to Paraty, Brazil

Day 257 – Camburizinho to Paraty, Brazil      05/05/11      Mileage: 126

Jackpot. The skis were clear and sunny and the roads were dry….which was a great thing as the scenery was spectacular and the roads deliciously twisty. I also got to let the bike run a little bit and it felt great. It was also good to scrub the new tires in as riding the virgin rubber on the wet roads the other day was not confidence inspiring to say the least.

I stopped for a quick lunch at this beach side stand with a Harley-Davidson theme….pretty funny…

I rolled into Paraty mid afternoon and found a room (though pricey) easy enough. After settling in a walked around the old colonial town center which is entirely pedestrian only…no cars allowed at all.

My room and the view from my balcony….

There are many great shops and restaurants and all in all it’s a pleasant place to be for sure. That night I wandered out to take in the scene over a few beers. Tomorrow, it’s further up the coast to Rio de Janeiro to cross one more item off the life list!

Day 255-256 – Camburizinho, Brazil

Day 255-256 – Camburizinho, Brazil      05/03-04/11      Mileage: 0

The weather wasn’t going my way the last two days so I stayed put, did some writing and worked on the blog which was over a week behind. Tomorrow the forecast is supposed to be better, so hopefully my patience (read laziness) will be rewarded with dry roads and sun.

All the bad weather did make for some rough surf…

Day 254 – Sao Paulo to Camburizinho, Brazil

Day 254 – Sao Paulo to Camburizinho, Brazil      05/02/11      Mileage: 161

John called from the airport last night to tell me that the Indy race was on….rescheduled for 9am this morning!! So I thanked Gisa for her wonderful hospitality, packed the bike and split for the race. The weather was still not great but at least it was not pouring like yesterday. I got there just as they were on the warm up lap and got to see the start from where I was standing just 50 yards beyond the finish line.

The Penske / Verizon Team car above went on to win the race…

The sound of the entire field flying by with engines screaming is something that has to be witnessed in person to fully appreciate….it’s incredible! Make sure you turn the sound up all the way before you watch the videos!



My Uncle Bob used to race and being there brought back good memories of being at the track watching him race…I know he would have loved to be here.



Here are the number 2 and 3 cars being pushed to the pits after the race…I couldn’t get a shot of the winning Verizon Team car…

So after the race I got back on the bike and headed for the coast. The weather got worse with every mile and before long it I was in the middle of an absolute downpour. I stopped off for a bite and to wait for a lull in the rain, but soon after getting back on the road it was pouring again. I had hopped to make it to Paraty, but only got as far as Sabine’s beach house which I was fortunate to have available to me. A dry roof over one’s head when your soaked and chilled to the bone is wonderful thing. Hopefully the weather will be better tomorrow, as the BR101 is supposed to be a spectacular ride along the coast to Rio…and it would be a shame to ride it and not see a thing..

Day 253 – Sao Paulo, Brazil

Day 253 – Sao Paulo, Brazil       05/01/11       Mileage: 0

John and Sabine were heading to the airport later today, so this was our last day together. Sabine wanted to spend more time with a friend in town, so John and I went to…..the Sao Paulo Indy 300!! We didn’t have tickets, but we went anyway hoping to score tickets there….which ended up being kind of a fiasco…but we got in.

The weather was starting to get bad fast and by the time the cars were on the track there was a light rain falling. Twice they started the race but each time there was a pile-up in the first corner bringing out the yellow flag.

While they were under yellow a huge downpour arrived and they pulled the cars off the track.

We waited around for the weather to improve with the hope that they would restart the race…but it was not to be. So, we split and went back to the house, collected Sabine and her sister Gisa drove us all to the airport to drop them off. It was so great to see them and we had such a great time, I hate to see them go. They made a huge effort to get down here while I was here… I’m so fortunate to have them as my dear friends. They were the first familiar faces I’ve seen since my friend Tracy visited way back in Guatemala. John, Sabine and her sisters were all such welcoming and gracious hosts…I think they might have let me buy only a round or two of drinks the entire time. Hopefully we will see each other again soon.

So just like that they were off and I went with Gisa back to her house to stay the night…as tomorrow morning it’s back on the road north.