This is a report about a short ride to Chapadas in the middle (literally, the VERY center) of South America. The story starts with an appointment in Cuiaba, the Capital of the Panantal. I absolutely did not want to miss the opportunity to ride a motorcycle in Brazil and so I searched the web, googled rental bikes in Brazil, even started a thread here in advrider.com - all in vain. It's very difficult to pre-book a bike in Brazil. Before I start the story and in order to save some time for fellow riders I can inform you that Davis Bales from www.brazilmoto.com was the only person who could make an offer of a rental bike. Even though we never got the opportunity to meet, Davis was very helpful in his advices but the problem was that he is located in Rio de Janerio which was far away from my route at that time. I'll just say 'Thanks' to Davis from here and I hope we can meet again when I visit Rio! I was going to Cuiaba and even though I didn't find a bike to rent on the net, I got in contact with Fior from www.cuiabamotoclube.com and set an appointment to meet while I was in town. Cuiaba is a lively townish city located very close to the famous natural wonder of Panantal in the state of Mato Grosso in Brazil. After a few days in town I was ready for my meeting with Cuiaba Moto Clube and called Fior who came and picked me up with his bike. This is my first picture as a pillion Here's Fior: Ladies and Gentlemen, it's my pleasure to present Cuiaba Moto Clube! Every single Brazilian I've met have been really friendly but Fior and his friends are a class of their own! The fellow with the white beard on the right of the picture above actually offered to lend (free!) his brand-new Harley Davidson for a ride around the area. Fior also offered his bike for me to ride around. Here's a picture with Braulio who was so kind to make a program for me to ride around in the area. He's is thinking about starting a motocycle rental and tour company. Braulio and his son: I thanked my new friends for the offer and told them that thanks to my contacts in town I luckily had managed to find a rental bike - a 250cc endoru type Yamaha XTZ250. Yes it was small, but it was a bike! Thanks Fior and Cuiaba Moto Clube! I look forward to meet you guys again! Finally, I can get to the main subject of this report; the short ride from Cuiaba to Chapada dos Guimarães. It was a very short trip - but my first in Brazil! The Bike The Road The Rider The road was in great condition - better than most places I've been riding elsewhere, and so was the surrounding environment. I randomly decided to turn in to some trails I thought looked interesting Most of them seemed to lead nowhere but in one of them I actually met a person who took this picture. I was getting close to the Chapadas - a mountain range quite similar to a minor Grand Canyon. It was beautiful. On the way you pass through the very Center of South America. Yamaha with a Chapadas font. Then the rain started... After all, it was March and I was in Brazil, so it was only natural and thinking of Tom Jobim and Elis Regina singing 'Águas de Março' I was actually happy it was raining! Here's the classic song for you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTbHU4rnKY0 Finally I reached the little town in Chapadas - appearently founded in 1779. The phonebooth Jaguar was unfortunately the only Jaguar I saw this time... Taking a break in the town's top diner. On the way back the rain continued. It took in to some trails anyway, turning back after a few kilometers... In the area there are some interesting rock formations. The nature was fantastic with many waterfalls along the road. How about this one - named 'Portao do Inferno'. I just had to see it! Closing in to the Ports of Inferno I saw monkeys crossing the road! I pulled over and I looked for more. I was riding in tropical Brazil, and the sights were just wonderful! A car stopped and I asked them to take a picture. It was time to leave and I took a few more pictures of the beautiful Chapadas before returning to the city. Finally back in Cuiaba I was completely soaked with tropical rain. That's all folks, thanks for reading along!