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Old 02-08-2013, 05:07 AM   #76
porkandcorn OP
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praia jureré, florianopolis, brazil

thursday, february 7, 2013

music is and has always been very important to me. ever since my older brothers and sisters introduced me to reggae and blues in middle school, which led down paths to me collecting all kinds of music from all over the world - probably led me to those other parts of the world. i thought i be listening to a lot of my brazilian collection here: joao gilberto, antonio carlos jobim, sue jorge, and others. but in fact, i've been diving in the deep end of my americana collection: ray price, willie nelson, ray charles, townes van zandt, muddy waters, greg brown, lightnin' hopkins, and so many more. it's a beautiful thing how powerful music becomes when you are far away from home. it's given new life. it's takes your farther forward, farther back, and most importantly - keep you deep in the present moment. the present moment is the only moment any of us will ever have.


praia jureré, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

jorge ben jor, "chove chuva chove sem parar"

funny also how much i miss the hell out of my bosch washer and dryer, which are engineered to the absolute pinnacle of german perfection. as mentioned previously, nothing i've encounter in south america is all that perfect, and there's really no need for it to be. so it's great. but after a month of carefully and dutifully washing my clothes in sinks across the continent, clean perfectly pressed clothes that don't wreak of sweat, mold, nasty beach funk, dirt, exhaust, and general BO are a pretty amazing thing. i took all my clothes to a lavanderia this morning, and they came back cleaner than i ever remember them being before in their lives. too clean, in fact.

the tiger also got a bath today.


2012 triumph tiger 800 xc after first bath, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

i did some required man-scaping, went for a run and did my exercises, took my time shaving, went out to stock up on groceries for the week. these are luxuries on an adventure of this scale. and it's important to take a week or so as often as it seems necessary, in order to maintain some normality in life. the little studio room i'm living in is no bigger in total than my the guest bedroom in my condo in portland, but every inch of it is precious, organized, efficient, and appreciated. the tiny little desk is a desk. the wardrobe is full of my neatly pressed clothes. my motorcycle gear is neatly lined up in the corner. toiletries carefully laid out in on the small marble sink top. most of the days in the last months, things are tossed out where they fall, and that is pretty much all you have time for.

good to learn and know all paths in life so that you can always move toward the center.


argentina, chile, uruguay, bolivia, and USA by porkandcorn, on Flickr

friday, february 8, 2013 - first day of carnival

for those of you looking for carnival pictures, you might have better luck with google images than with this blog. florianopolis doesn't really host a traditional carnival like you might have in your heads. the funny thing is that carnival is actually held in these weird stadiums, sambadromes, where there are massive bleachers on either side of a central 'avenue', and the samba processions move through the sambadrome. i always thought carnival was this big celebration out in the streets, which it is at time, but the ones that foreigners see on tv are the ones in the sambadromes. here, it's more big parties at big clubs.


sambadrome, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

it's raining gatos e cães (cats and dogs) here today, so my beach plans are for the moment not happening.

this pousada - pousada jurerémirim - is awesome. the owners of 11 years, manon & david are extremely nice.


pousada jurerémirim, jureré - florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr


pousada jurerémirim, jureré - florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr


pousada jurerémirim, jureré - florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

there is a soccer pitch over the fence of the pousada. you can here the games every night. all these guys go play soccer until about midnight, after which i assume they go out or go home. everything happens late here. in one minute of watching and listening from the street, i remember all the bad words i was taught 10 years ago. i don't think there was a syllable uttered during the 10 minutes i watched that wasn't a profanity. it was hilarious and beautiful. the intensity and talent of this random neighborhood game was on par with any of the best soccer i've seen in the states. the pace of play was exciting. and these are just a bunch of dudes getting together to play. this continent is very, very serious about it's soccer/futbol.

i'm feel very much at home here in brazil. it's very comfortable. remembering and using the language is second nature. it's good to be back. i'm remembering why i like this place so much last time i was here.


soccer pitch next to pousada jurerémirim, jureré - florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr


soccer pitch next to pousada jurerémirim, jureré - florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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Old 02-09-2013, 08:02 AM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porkandcorn View Post

friday, february 8, 2013 - first day of carnival

for those of you looking for carnival pictures, you might have better luck with google images than with this blog. florianopolis doesn't really host a traditional carnival like you might have in your heads. the funny thing is that carnival is actually held in these weird stadiums, sambadromes, where there are massive bleachers on either side of a central 'avenue', and the samba processions move through the sambadrome. i always thought carnival was this big celebration out in the streets, which it is at time, but the ones that foreigners see on tv are the ones in the sambadromes. here, it's more big parties at big clubs.
You may discover that in Florianopolis you may still find the more traditional street carnaval. I was there a few years ago, had a chance to enjoy the Carnaval de Rua on a very small scale, but it makes you more part of the celebration and it is much closer to its origins. Check the schedule for "carnaval de rua" in the villages of Santo Antonio de Lisboa and Sambaqui, and others I don't remember.

Below is a photo of the setting, before the Carnaval de Rua starts (I apologize for the out of focus photo). To be honest, I don't remember what village this was... I asked people at the hotel and they offered a few options (each of the four days of Carnaval it happens on a different one of these traditional villages.





And later the fun starts!






BTW I also came down that Serra do Rio do Rastro road, and it also had fog...



Looking back up:



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Old 02-09-2013, 09:09 AM   #78
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yes! i just actually found out about Santo Antonio de Lisboa today from some people on the beach1
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:55 AM   #79
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carnival in florianopolis, brazil

sunday, february 10, 2013

right now, the protocol for everyone on this island is: wake up, go to the beach, take a 4 hour nap, go out and party hard all night until 6am - repeat, repeat, repeat. it's best to do as the locals do.

i met a super nice couple from sao paulo, brazil who are here at the same pousada, spending carnival in floripa. vini, bruna and i have gone out a couple of times together. they are kind enough to speaking slowly and clearly for me so that i can continue to improve my portuguese.


vini & bruna, carnival da rua, santo antonio de lisboa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

friday night, we went to a club called music park, which is a multi-venue complex out in the middle of nowhere on the island. we went to a show headlined by fatboy slim. made some other new friends at the show. alberto is a commissary for the venue, and liked the fact that i arrived to floripa on a motorcycle.


devassa/posh nightclub, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr


americano divertindo, devassa/posh nightclub, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr


alberto, ?, vini, bruna, e me, devassa/posh nightclub, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

i wasn't that into the DJ scene that night, and most people seemed to be just standing around looking at each other and half-assing it on the dance floor. come on people! it's carnival! put it into a lower gear and get it done!


butterfly dancers, devassa/posh nightclub, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr


close butterfly, devassa/posh nightclub, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

saturday, during the day, i met up with my friend leila, who was the person i met 11 years ago in san francisco who told me i should visit floripa. leila is living north of the island in balneario cambourio, brazil, with her boyfriend and her 7 dogs. was really nice to see an old friend.


leila e me, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

i think the two twin sisters that work at the beach shack making deep fried, meat-filled pastels have a thing for me, but they don't seem like the clubbing type.


pastel lady, praia jurere, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

last night, i went with vini and bruna to santo antonio de lisboa, a neighborhood that is about 10 miles south of jurere. there, they host a more traditional street carnival. along the main drag, people pack the streets, waiting for this huge truck with a band on top to pass by. the truck moves at about .0001 miles per hour, that's slow. people flow around the truck as it passes, dancing to traditional songs and generally having a good time. then it gets to the end of the 4 block main drag (it's a small town), and it's over.


carnival da rua, santo antonio de lisboa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr


the big music truck thing, carnival da rua, santo antonio de lisboa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr


Untitled by porkandcorn, on Flickr

people still hang out and party, but that's generally what a street carnival is like. in a bigger city, there would be more trucks, samba groups, drum groups, passing by like a parade. i met the "father of carnival". he gets the key to the city, i suppose so that for these 5 days, him and his fellow partiers can do whatever the hell they want - a "hall pass", if you will.


father of carnival, carnival da rua, santo antonio de lisboa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr


VIP, carnival da rua, santo antonio de lisboa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

you think that might be enough partying for one night? no. they it was off to a masquerade party. i bought a 5.00 mask outside the venue, which i later gave away. this time, the DJ knew what he was doing, playing more diverse types of electronic/dance music. lots of beautiful people out doing their best to impress each other. it was like an episode of mutual of omaha's wild kingdom. i had a good time, and sweat clear through my jeans and shirt dancing. i literally had to wring them out in the shower when i got home at 5:30am.


festa de masquerade, jurere - florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr


a gente boa, festa de masquerade, jurere - florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr


atras, festa de masquerade, jurere - florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr


fresh air, festa de masquerade, jurere - florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

then up for breakfast, and now off to a BBQ with some other old friends from 10 years ago that i haven't seen yet.

repeat, repeat, repeat until wednesday morning when i leave for argentina and the next leg of my journey.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:02 PM   #80
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more carnival, florianopolis, brazil

monday, february 11, 2013

another difficult day of partying as hard and a much as possible. i told manon, our pousada hostess, that i didn't know if i could do another 2 days of this - going out every night until 5am. she looked me in the eye, like a boxing coach in the corner of the ring with a badly-battered fighter. "no fritz, this is carnival," she said. "this is what you have to do." in other words, find another gear, get the job done, i don't want to hear any excuses from you.


brazilian flag, praia jureré, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

and then manon recited the list of all the parties that were going on in the next 24 hours - day parties, sunset parties, all-night parties, street parties, beach parties, parties where all the men dress up like women (i chose not to do this one), parties, parties, parties. and this is why all of us here at pousada jureremirim love manon - she's like a mom in that she makes sure we are all safe, comfortable, well-fed and happy. but she's a mom that wants you to party hard and have the best time that you can have. cheers to you manon!


manon close, pousada jureremirim, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

up at 10am this morning, still feeling the effects of an afternoon churrasco (BBQ), a house pre-party, a Jamiroquai concert, and an all-night dance-your-ass-off party the night before. you have to set your alarm or you will sleep through breakfast, which lasts until 10am. i set my alarm for 9:50am.

my good old friend ivan, his wife and son, and their extended family had me over for a churrasco - no shortage of meat.


ivan the grill master, jurere - florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr


ivan & arthur, jurere - florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

it's hard to think of very many things that i don't like about brazil, but i think all brazilian will agree with me that there is one thing that really sucks about brazil: impuestos! (taxes and fees). i had a package mailed to ivan's house with about 200.00 worth of stuff - running shoes, a portable computer speaker, a shirt or two, and some small stuff i needed. ivan got a slip saying that i owed an import tax/fee of $553.00 brazilian reais. that's $275.00! ouch. that hurts. obrigado brasil!


impuestos, thank you brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

after a 30 minute siesta, it was off to my good friend danielle's house to pre-party for jamiroquai. dani and i also met 10 years ago here in floripa. he now has a little less hair, and two beautiful daughters. they have a flat in jurere, but dani works in sao paulo during the week - commuting back and forth from the mega-city like countless thousand of other brazilians do. sao paulo is a place to work, and according to the brazilian's i've met, not a place to live if you can avoid it.


at daniel's house, jurere - florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr


brazilian ruffles, jurere - florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

after a quick video chat with my good friend preston from portland, it was off to the club. the place was completely packed. i used to work in concert promotion and i'd estimate there were 20,000 people there. it was sardine city. gustavo (a friend of dani's and my compañero for the night) and i opted for more space, and decided to camp out at the after party spot and dance in the fresh air without getting stepped on every 5 seconds.


jamiroquai, music park, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

i'm a fanatic for really dark, multi-rhythmic electronic dance music. i can't stand normal club "house" music. the dj in the back party area was my kind of guy. dj juciano rosa was a master of more minimal styles of electronica. i headed right for the front of the dance floor to earn my keep.


dj juciano rosa, pacha club, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

i'm a big guy, and some might think a bit old at 36 to go "clubbing" like this. but this white boy earned his place on that dance floor, and eventually a spot up behind the DJ in the VIP backstage area. with so many people staring around trying to pick each other up, i think some people appreciate a man who is there to dance.


backstage VIP, pacha club, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

i haven't danced that hard in years. i was completed soaked when i left - for a second nigh in a row. gustavo - thanks for the company. we were a good team out there. valeo, cara. fue show!


gustavo, the party animal, pacha club, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

these guys needed a pep-talk from manon...


too many parties, pacha club, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

today after breakfast i spent the day on the beach with vini, bruna, and another couple from the pousada - mariana and raphael. praia do forte is on the northwest tip of the island, about a 30 minute walk west on jurere beach. it sits underneath an old 15th century fort that used to protect the island in the good ol' days.


vista from fortaleza of praia jureré, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

i was busy applying sunscreen all day, trying not to turn into a lobster. i succeeded, except for the top of my left foot is cooked.


chillin' na praia, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

there was a really nice family sitting next to us that we spent some time talking to as well. they asked for the blog address so they could read about my adventure. many people seem to be genuinely interested in following along - seeing where i have been and where i will be going.

i'm not sure, but i think i heard the big guy on the end referred to as "camarão," possibly because of the excellent sun-burn that he had achieved on the beach that day. i will always remember him fondly as 'the big shrimp.'


novos amigos, praia do forte, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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Old 02-12-2013, 04:56 AM   #81
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carnival demais (too much??)

tuesday, february 12, 2013 (last day of carnival)

sitting out on the patio after breakfast. i didn't go out last night. i tried, but i walked back home. i didn't have it in me. maybe i'm saving myself up for the final night, tonight.

being back here in florianopolis for the week has come with a mix of strong emotions. this is a familiar and adored place, but it is not home. there have been many times in the last 10 years when i have pondered the possibility of buying property here, and for at least part of the year, trying to make this a second home.

i'm at that familiar place in long-term traveling and exploring where i am missing home, my friends, my own life back in the states. the brazilians call this "saudade" - which is best translated to "longing" in english. for those of you following along, a month may seem pre-mature for this kind of longing, but this month has felt like an eternity from my perspective. i could easily say it feels like 3 or 4.

could i live in florianopolis? yes. would i be happy here? i don't know. i'm not sure if living outside of you culture could ever really feel like you are home. and "home" is a powerful and important sentiment, not to be taken lightly. it's something i'm appreciating from this new perspective, looking back on my life in portland. even portland 6 years ago was new to me, and i was having similar feelings. now, away from portland, it feels more like home than it ever has living there for the last 6 years. this is saudade, the kind of longing that you here about in the classic, beautiful, old bossa nova songs. listen to this one, it's important.

Luiz Bonfá & Elizete Cardoso - Manhã de Carnaval (Morning of Carnaval

o carnaval passe different pra mim que o outros.

and it's after coming out of this saudade that the real experience begins. you have to find your way through the fog to the real purpose of exploration. for what other purpose do we all find ourselves here in this life, if not to explore in our own way?

...

i'd also like to take a moment to thank bruna and vini, who left for sao paulo early this morning. thanks for adopting me for a few days, my experience here was better for your friendship and your adventurous spirit. 'tou suso. fue sinistro!.


bruna, vini & me at carnival da rua, santo antonio de lisboa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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Old 02-12-2013, 05:54 AM   #82
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Awesome pics!! Be safe man
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:00 PM   #83
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I've really enjoyed your ride report, particularly the insights you expressed in your last post. I will continue to follow.

Gorgeous song, by the way.

Be safe and have fun,
Carlos
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:29 AM   #84
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leaving florianopolis

i survived carnaval. and it's time to get moving again. woke up with willie nelson's "on the road again in my head." did most of my packing last night. i'll be using my spot again, so you can track my progress back across the continent on my spot page.

the last couple of days in floripa were a lot of fun. i might have broke my right foot dancing - a fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone on the outside of your foot is known as a dancers fracture. i only know this, because i broke my left foot dancing at a rooftop party in miami beach 10 years ago. i was dancing with 10 supermodels, and felt rather animated until i heard the snap... one of my favorite stories. no snap this time, but dancing without shoes at a pool party is not always the best idea, even if it seems so at the time.


P12 club pool party, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr


me in 20 year i hope, P12 club, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr


P12 club dancing, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr


eu e una minina, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

before the pool party, i went to a peixada - basically what in english would be a "fish fry". everyone has the same yellow shirts. the girls went to great lengths to customize them into dresses, sexy tops, etc. must be a thriving niche industry for this in floripa, because i know some of those girls didn't do their own work.


peixada do gui, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

the last couple of days were full of goodbyes as people leave floripa for their normal lives. lots of good people were met.


eu e as mininas, pousada jureremirim, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr


david, eu e manon, pousada jureremirim, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

yesterday was a day of logistics. lubed the bike chain, fixed a broken right front turn signal with rapidfix - EVERYONE should have some of this stuff. amazing. put some oil in the bike, as it was a little low in the tiger's sight window. got the boxes back on. and she's ready to go.

also spent most of the day at the post office, receiving a package from the USA, and sending another one back. i'm now a real ADV rider - i overpacked, realized the overages, and sent them home. i'm 49 kilos lighter now!

thanks to andréa at the post office in central florianopolis! you were a life saver. i had a hard time finding a box, so she was kind enough to help me build one.


andréa, my savior, correios, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

last night i had to have my favorite santa catarina state meal - a moqueca de peixe. it's a fish, shrimp, and other tasty things stew with a base of coconut milk, tomato, fish broth, green peppers and onions. i ate enough for a large family.


moqueca do peixe, toca do jurere, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

and now, on with the riding gear, and on the road to mendoza, argentina to change my tires, my oil, and then head north into the next phase of the adventure - to northern argentina and chile, to bolivia, peru, ecuador and finally columbia. this next three months will be ripe with more off the beaten path adventure and i'm sure it will produce some amazing photos as i'll be back in the andes region again.

chao brasil!


and thanks to my very good friend dave for this appropriate insight into my trip:

Tom Waits' "San Diego Serenade"

I never saw the morning till I stayed up all night
I never saw the sunshine till you turned out the light
I never saw my home town until I stayed away too long
I never heard the melody until I needed the song

I never saw the white line till I was leavin' you behind
I never knew I needed you until I was caught up in a bind
And I never spoke I love you till I cursed you in vain
I never felt my heart strings until I nearly went insane

I never saw the east coast until I moved to the west
I never saw the moonlight till it shone off your breast
I never saw your heart until someone tried to steal, tried to steal it away
I never saw your tears till they rolled down your face

I never saw the morning till I stayed up all night
I never saw the sunshine till you turned out the light
I never saw my home town until I stayed away too long
I never heard the melody until I needed the song

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Old 02-14-2013, 05:03 PM   #85
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praia do rosa, brazil (a change of plan)

thursday, february 14, 2013

florianopolis left something undone. something needed to be resolved before i left brazil. i think it can happen where i am at now.

i was about 70 minutes south of floripa, wondering what the empty feeling was that i carried with me on the moto. the plan was to do as many hours today as possible - 9, 10, 12 - however far i could safely and comfortably go towards argentina. i passed the sign for praia do rosa - garopaba, brazil, two beautiful beaches that i have been hearing about for many years. a part of me was telling me to stop. 5 km later, i went across the divide in the freeway (BR101). i turned around. plans abandoned. beach awaits.


praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr


another praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr


toward the hills, praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

i rode into praia do rosa, looking for a pousada. mabye i was missing the scene in punta del diablo, uruguay. i probably needed a vacation after carnaval, to recover from the recovery. i have been here before, but only for 1 day, 10 years ago. i stopped, got a pousada, went to the beach, negotiated to leave a pousada, and then got another better pousada with air conditioning.


a gente boa, praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

now i'm at the bar attached to the pousada, watching a soccer game between the porto alegre, brazil team (close by) and curitiba, brazil. the guy who runs this bar says the stadium is for the world cup and the olympics and is only 3 months old. he's very proud of his team, and of his new stadium. being that he runs a pousada/bar in praia do rosa, this is his team. curitiba just scored a goal and he threw something at the tv - a crumpled up napkin i think. but his spirits are up as he is getting another beer.


from the bar at praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr


reggae band playing at praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

i might stay here through the weekend. i met a reporter from porto alegre on the beach earlier who is here doing a story and we are going to meet later at a party that is being thrown tonight to celebrate - i guess - the end of carnaval.

and this is off-track a bit, but Tabasco® is everywhere in south america. it might be a more powerful symbol of american imperialism than the statue of liberty… think about it… every country - argentina, chile, brazil, uruguay - so far has tabasco! probably in the rest of them too. it's a marginal hot sauce, but i'm still a little bit proud when i see it and more often than not, i use it. it's the only option for hot sauce in the mercado and in restaurants.

said goodbye to manon this morning. she is good stuff and i'l miss her. we both have the same birthday, march 11.


manon e eu, pousada jureremirim, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

curitiba is still up 1-0. i'm hoping for the best for porto alegre.
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:24 PM   #86
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final day, praia do rosa, brazil

saturday, february 16, 2013

i've been listening to this song over and over. here's too all my friends and family - i miss and love you all.

bob marley, "high tide or low tide"


brazilian and bob marley flags, praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

praia do rosa has satisfied whatever was missing from florianopolis. fewer people, better beaches, and a more relaxed vibe. i've been able to really chill out here, after a day of adjusting to it. i've enjoyed my time here and i'm happy that i took this detour.


future lady-killers, praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr


young dudes, praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr


many umbrellas, praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

i am fairly certain at this point that i did not fully break my foot. i think i went about as close to doing so as one can. maybe a very small fracture. regardless, after a couple of days of walking on it, the pain seems to be receding, something that did not happen with the other foot. i'm being very cautious walking on it. the worst is the soft sand on the beach, before you get to the wet, hard sand on the shoreline. walking in the soft stuff causes your foot to flex, and that hurts. walking in flip flops - tranquilo. no problem. in my shipment from the USA was a pair of new balance ultralight running shoes. they are worth the 250.00 in brazilian post office fees that i paid. the shoes i brought were too small. so that is good for my feet too.

today, i walked the 5km from the pousada to north praia do rosa (beach), then to the north, north end of the beach where i started a 10km walking trail that leads up over the mountain (left on the photos looking out to sea), and down to the next beach, praia vermelho (red beach). it was work, but it was early and still cool.


view back from hill to praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr


looking south, still at praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

i needed the exercise to clear my head. i was nervous about the possibly broken foot, not able to run as i usually do to chill out or de-stress. that's a huge thing to loose on the road - exercise is critical, almost more so for your mental health than you physical health.


boundary on hill of praia vermelha, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

at praia vermelho, there was a beautiful swimming hole with fish, eel, star fish, and other critters. there was a strong current running north to south down the very inside of the bay, and so it has carved out a nice underwater refuge at the south end of the beach were i came off the trail. took a dip to cool off. had some other hikers snap a photo.


path down to praia vermelha, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr


deep bay with good snorkeling, praia vermelha, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr


foreigner on beach, praia vermelha, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

after the hike, i came back on the trail to praia do rosa, rented an umbrella and a chair, and spent the whole day napping, going to the water, napping, chatting, going to the water, napping, and getting sunburned. fact: you can get a very nice sunburn even sitting under an umbrella all day. it's the sunlight reflected off the sand that gets you!


cheers!, praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr


taking a dip, praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr


more umbrellas because it's after noon, praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

it's my last night here, so i'm going to order a pizza at a close-by spot i've scoped out. on the road tomorrow, for real this time.

i'm dreaming in portugues. long epic sagas and i wake up with the dialogue in my head. or maybe i wake up and my brain translates it? they are not all good dreams. they are not all bad.

thinking more about my time here in brazil… i'm repeatedly loosing and finding my voice here, my place here. it's a fragile balance. it can be easy. it can be difficult. i've accepted the back and forth, and it's easier for having acepted it. there are some days where i don't talk to anyone until well into the afternoon. sometimes, just going to a little food-cart to get a snack can be too much work. last night, i was very talkative, outgoing. i hit the streets and chatted with lots of different people. after a couple hours, my brain tired, and i went to sleep early.

i feel like with all this 'stirring of the pot,' i'm condensing something down to it's essence. i'm curious to see how that sauce turns out.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:29 PM   #87
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praia do rosa, brazil to são gabriel, brazil to santa fe, argentina

sunday, february 17, 2013

i didn't know how far i would get when i started riding today. i was aiming for the border town of uruguaiana, brazil, where i could cross into argentina. it was literally hot as hell today. about 103 and humidity of 10,003%. i was absolutely miserable in my riding gear the entire morning. but with that kind of heat, storms are a given. i could see the relief off in the distance to the west, but i had to suffer through the intense heat until i got to the storms. i was tired, and the heat was compounding the fact.


beauty north of porto alegre on BR101, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

i stopped at a gas station as i do about every hour or two if they are available. i took off my jacket and laid in the shade under a tree next to the station. i had my leftover pizza from the night before. it reminded me of the praia do rosa, but i was far from the beach now. i think i actually dozed off a couple of times laying on the dirt concrete. i've become an opportunistic napper on the continent. one must do this.

so i went from the driving heat into a driving rain. it was intense for a while, and then continued to rain steady for the next 3 hours. i asked at a gas station where the next "cool" town was to stay for the night. the pimple-face teen said são gabriel. it was 160km to the west, and the sky was finally starting to clear. i was pretty confident i could make it there before twilight. twilight is when all the animals start to come out on the road, and i was riding through an area with more big rodents, deer, dogs, chickens, and an occasional cows feeding by the roadside.


rain without end, BR 290 near uruguaiana, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr


more rain without end, BR 290 near uruguaiana, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

são gabriel is a peaceful little farming town, from what i can tell. i drove into the main plaza or square as i now do out of reflex. sunday nights are big nights for small city plazas. it was just before dark, and all the teenagers were parked and tailgating, drinking yerba mate, and blasting their stereos. others were driving around the plaza in and endless loop. moms and dads were out with the kids and the kids rode their bikes and played on swings. the town drunks were out too, in a jovial mood, dancing to the bateria (drumming ensemble) that was playing on the east side of the plaza.

i was having dinner in a restaurant in the middle of the plaza. plastic chair, plastic tables, and a pretty damn good steak with the requisite papas fritas (fries), arroz (rice), and salada mixto com palmito (mixed salad with palm heart). sitting there, calmly and slowly eating my dinner, it was like being transported back to the 1950's in middle america, long before walmart destroyed our small town squares that probably used to look a lot like this. one can find several things that are "wrong" with these "developing" countries, but one thing you can't say is that rampant commercialism is destroying their sense of community. it is strong and alive, and it is admirable. i love palm hearts by the way, i'm going to start eating them all the time when i get back to the states. they are very good with arugula, tomatoes and oil/vinegar/salt.

also, thank you to my new friend cleber from porto alegre. he was on vacation with his family at the same pousada in praia do rosa. it was nice to have some company for a change to explore the town last thursday and friday nights.


cleber from porto alegre, praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

---------------------------------------

monday, february 18, 2013

after another 10-hour day on the road, i made it to santa fe argentina. it was a character-building day on the bike. it began raining 30 minutes after i left sao gabriel. it was coming in sheets, massive downpours. it was ok on the brazil side, but after about 3 hours around noon, i crossed into argentina at uruguaiana, brazil.


final moments in brazil with a buffet livre and guarana, uruguaiana, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

once in argentina, the roads took a turn for the worse. still pavement, but with deep grooves in the road in the direction of travel. in the right lane of the two west-bound lanes, heavy truck traffic had worn two parallel tire grooves into the lane. the favored solution for this problem in argentina is to take a highway-sized cheese grater to the bump that is left in the center between the two grooves.


a rare break in the clouds, near federal, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

either way it is a nightmare scenario for a motorcycle. if you ride in the two grooves, they act line a rain-channel, an inch or more deep at times. this was all fine until the bikes rear wheel (maybe both) began to hydroplane. hydroplaning in a car is a curious or maybe unpleasant experience. doing so on a motorcycle at 90kmh is an oh-shit moment that will get the adrenaline pumping overtime. i slowed down after that obviously.

riding on the cheese grated center portion is just as weird, because the grooves go with the direction of travel and whip the tires back and forth, almost like riding thick, loose gravel.


a weird looking kid with big hair, federal, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

and you can't travel in the fast/passing lane for very long, because in brazil, argentina... really anywhere down here, there is always some asshole right on your tail or coming out of nowhere. no matter how fast you go, someone else is always in a bigger hurry than you are. it's easy in that lane to get too comfortable and forget to check your mirrors. then you are in a situation where you have to move over into the water-filled or cheese-grated sections at speed with some jerk-off with his bumper on your tire.

on top of all this, there was a 40mph cross wind, so i was leaning the whole day at an angle in the wind, which at times would push me over 4 or 5 feet with strong gusts.


more forboding skies, near chajarí, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

fun stuff! the rain finally let up for the most part at about 4pm today, i arrive in santa fe at about 7:30pm. i followed the signs to city center, and pulled over to ask a couple of younger dudes where i should stay. good practice to get into before you get too deep into a big city that doesn't have an obvious town square or city center. i like to do it on the perimeter. the dudes said go to the holiday inn, and pointed it out on my GPS. i hit "go" and in 5 minutes, i was pulling into a u-drive and checking into my $80 USD room. covered in mud, soaked in rain, and weary from the day, that felt like the deal of the century.


pedestrian street, santa fe, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

then off for some famous argentine beef, which even though ordered "jougoso" (juicy/medium rare), it was totally overdone. a known practice in argentina for meat lovers is to order one or two levels more rare than you would like, because they will almost always over cook it here. it looked like it was once an amazing piece of marbled beef - at least it still tasted good.


espana restaurant, santa fe, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

ps. just received some really good news. one of my old ducks was just recently recovered in boulder creek, california by an old friend. this duck is about 10 years old and have seen some good times. i certain my current duck will be happy to know his long-lost brother has been found.


an old friend, boulder creek, california by porkandcorn, on Flickr
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:57 PM   #88
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Backstory on the ducks

Fritz, very much enjoying your travels. Your prep work has been invaluable for my upcoming trip in April.

What's the backstory on your ducks??

Cheers,

David
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:05 AM   #89
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excellent question. for some unknown reason, i have travelled with a rubber duck off and on since i was 18. the duck has lived in nigeria, brazil, and visited australia, europe, canada, fiji, tahiti, mexico, belize, and many other places - as well as having been all over the usa. people seem to really like seeing him, and so it can sometimes make traveling a bit easier - having a mascot like this along for the ride. i also feel like he is a talisman, which means that he somehow protects me. i have him tattooed on my right shoulder as well, so i'm committed to the principle.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:11 AM   #90
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rosario, argentina to córdoba, argentina

thursday, february 21, 2013

after waking up to some really pleasant tv news covering a man about to hang himself in his home, i had a quick 2-hour ride south to rosario, argentina.


you think your news is horrible, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


santa fe, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

rosario is a bit of an edgy, counter-culture college town. i had done a bit of research the night before on hostels, because i felt like meeting some people after a night alone in santa fe. "to hostel or not to hostel"... this is always the question traveling like this. you never really know what you are going to get out of the experience. you can almost always guarantee an uncomfortable nights sleep on a shit mattress. and being 6' 4", with several ruptured cervical discs and traveling by moto, this is a concern.


view from river parana, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

but hosteling, you have a much better chance of meeting people, and enriching your experience. hotels are terrible for this. usually, i'm the oldest person in the hostel but i don't care and no one else does either. everyone thinks i'm in my early 30's, so the religious moisturizing must be working!! calgon - take me away!!!...

at the hostel che pampas, i met several really great people.


micaela, me, veronica, y tatiana, hostel ché pampas, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


hostel ché pampas, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


very crazy and drunk german guy, hostel ché pampas, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

tatiana and micaela are from buenos aires, and had never been to rosario. so they adopted me for the afternoon, and we went for a walk to the monumento de las bandas (flags). rosario is among other things know as the birthplace of the argentine flag - it was first flown in rosario. it is also the birthplace of che guevara, and the current pride of the country - lionel messe of soccer fame. (he's really good.)


tatina at monumento de las bandas, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


micaela at monumento de las bandas, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


monumento de choripan, i'll have mine this big, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


monumento, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


outro monumento, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


outside of hostel ché pampas, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


across the street from hostel ché pampas, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


air conditioners & motos!, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

later that night, ricardo, the guy working at the hostel desk when i arrived, took us all out to see a reggae-cumbia band at a really cool old theatre, cine gardel. ezequiel (a native rosarino and friend of ricardo), and veronica (a traveler from munich, germany) joined us too. the theatre didn't look like much from the outside, but inside it had been made into a really interesting space, and the sound was good in the venue because of the theatrical construction.


cine gardel, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

the venue was an homage to the revolutionary figures of south america. interestingly enough, i had learned about many of these figures on the airplane ride down to the continent, having watched a movie by oliver stone called "south of the border". the club might have made some americans uncomfortable, with political figures like fidel castro, hugo chaves, and others proudly displayed.


sueños insurgentes, cine gardel, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


famous revolutionaries, cine gardel, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

but this being a college town, full of young, politically active students, it seemed pretty normal to me. i really don't keep much of an opinion on political figures like this. seldom to we actually ever know the truth about any of them, even our own, from only gathering information from one side of the fence. some of them are loved, some of them are hated. maybe we know the truth, maybe we only know the lies - and in the end, it really doesn't matter. i prefer to think it is best not to make generalizations, whether it be politics, cultures, people. it's best to do your own research, look at things from all sides, and make up your own mind. most people just think what they are told, or believe what is comfortable or convenient for them at the time.

the opening band was interesting, if only slightly out of tune. they seemed like a bunch of college students who had met and said "hey, let's get the band back together!". it was a cool mix of reggae and cumbia, a musical style that comes from columbia, but which is very popular in argentina. the second band was a bit more polished, and more of a straight reggae vibe.


there for the reggae/cumbia band, cine gardel, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

there was even an 'amway' across from the club and next to the gas station, which i thought was interesting.


amway in rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


a nice gas station outside cine gardel, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

after the show, ezequiel, ricardo and i started walking back toward the hostel. we ran into some other people from the show who's truck was stalled in the street. we jumped in a pushed them for a block, to pop the clutch and get it going. success! our hard work earned us a ride in the back from about a mile in our direction, at which point we hopped out much closer to home.


ricardo getting a free ride, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


ezequiel getting a free ride, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


the car is running fine now, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

thank you ricardo for taking me to this venue - never in a million years would i have found it, or had this interesting experience if you had not. lots of "buenas andas" (good waves, as argentines say when things are good and people are having fun.) and thanks everyone else for a great night out.

on my way out of rosario, i ran into sebastian at a gas station with his brand new KLR 650. in march, he is going to start riding to alaska from argentina. i invited him to stay at my condo in downtown portland (which also goes for anyone else on moto traveling through the area - mi casa e tu casa.) sebastian - hasta seis, siete o qualqier meses usted necesita llegar a oregon!


sebastian, future adventurer, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

i'm currently sitting in the restaurant of the hotel amerian in the heart of downtown córdoba. it was an easy 4-hour ride from rosario - a straight shot on what might be the best chunk of pavement in argentina. perfect, and made out of 'portland', which remember, is what they call cement down here.

i really like this town. it's really organized, lots of good restaurants, bar, and cool places to hang out. the people here are muy tranquilo, and i want to stay longer - but don't know if i have enough time to be staying an extra day in all these places i like. it's a struggle, because a day here is a day i won't have later in peru, ecuador, bolivia or columbia. maybe i'll just have to come back.


cool building in córdoba, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


big old church, córdoba, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

i've started using couchsurfing.org to meet up with locals and travelers in these new cities. it's intended for finding a place to crash for a night, but the chat threads in each of the cities are a great place to connect with people when you are staying i a hotel, or just want to diversify your connections with people. so i typed in "córdoba, argentina", and put up a note saying i was here for a night or two and looking to meet up with people. pretty cool system. another american motorcyclists responded, and invited me to join him at the house of some argentines who live in a mountain town about 30 minutes up the east side of the mountains that straddle córdoba. this group of argentine motorcylist have been meeting here in villa carlos paz for 15 years, and they are having an asado (BBQ) tonight. very excited about this!
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