Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Day 3 - Road Trip North East of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on a little motorbike

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We are now on the 3rd day of our Road Trip ...
on our little 50cc motorbike we call “Dozer” because it’s brand is BULL.

Our host has suggested we go to Sana – 
- an area where there are beautiful rivers and tributaries, waterfalls, 
and some places of interest in the towns near-by.

As she goes to work before 9 a.m., we have a fairly early start.

Our Couch-surfing host has had a great idea. 
She writes a note which describes who we are; that we don’t speak Portuguese, 
and for her to point us in the direction to go – not to ‘tell’ us, as we won’t understand.  
The flip side is the reverse – in case we get lost coming home.
We note which Route number (a bit like USA numbered motorways) that we are to travel on.
Alas, they fail to put up the notices of these roads.

So we turn and travel a way up a road out of town.
First we stop a guy on a bicycle, and show him the map.
He promptly blabs of a string of directions -
- completely ignoring the fact we have no knowledge of Portuguese!  
Then he realises, and we both laugh.
He points, and we head off.  
But we are unsure if we are on the right road, and we need to turn or not.
After a while we are going up and down hills.
I have to watch the rear view mirrors for trucks and buses, 
and hit the side verge or stop as they come along.  
It is not wide enough for them to pass me with on-coming traffic -
- though some try even overtaking other trucks.
We stop at a little town, and realise the man we show the note to can't read.  
But he finds a girl and again we get pointed in a direction.

Unbeknown to me, this road is about to become an Auto-piste. 
Soon we have to pay a toll - 
- we again show our note and get instructed to pull to the side. 
A man comes along who speaks some English and tells us to turn in 13 km.
But the good thing is the Auto-piste has a wide side lane with no bumps, 
and we can safely ride along with no problems from traffic.
We reach Casimiro de Abreu.
Here we thought there would be places of interest.
But we find none really.
We do however get people pointing us in all sorts of directions.

We stop at a Self-Service Restaurant for lunch.
There a man tells us he will guide us to the road to Sana.
Just follow his car.
He is great.
We go over the main road, and soon find a road heading north.
Instantly the temperature cools, the vegetation changes to lush green.
We travel quite a way, and finally reach the turn-off.
We go through a main gate with an arch.
We then head to Sana, and have no idea it is so far, nor that the road is terrible.
Well it is not a road. 
It is a rock & stone path - hardly a road.  
It is a kidney shaking experience, where my arms ache from hanging on.
We get to the town and it is pretty.

We head on for the waterfalls.
Somehow the lock won't work for the motorbike -
-  I also note that although I have no fuel gauge, we are pretty much out of fuel.
So off we walk to find the waterfall.

Nearly all the shops are closed.
We go down a path that is barely wide enough for a car.
The rocks on the road are so bad - I have passed a few tyre business - now I know why!

We find the swimming waterhole - near the small cascade, and get ready for a swim.

We carry our helmets, and clothes.
First my son slips on the rocks - no matter how careful we were - oh no - his knee -
the skin has all shed off - again!
Next just as I am telling him to be careful, down I go!
I look down - the camera is no longer!
Oh dear - thank goodness for Travel Insurance - but this is a very good camera.
I have a back-up waterproof camera but the flash has died on that, so we head back.

We ask 3 people the way for gasoline, and get pointed in different directions.
We then learn there is no gas station in town - yipes!
So we pull up to a mechanic for motorbikes.
Three men stand around and tell me I have no fuel - no kidding!
I hold my ground and finally one goes off and finds some.
He brings back a 2 Litre Coke bottle.
He charges me 10 Reais - now normally I can get 4 litres for less than this price, 
but frankly I am just grateful.
The option is pushing the bike 40 km.
So I smile, pass my money, and head off.

It is nearly 3.30 pm and we have a long ride back.
But at least I know the way.
We get fuel in the main town and we head home.
Quite an interesting day!
Glad to be Couch-surfing with a lovely family.

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