Finding Freedom...World Wide Ride

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by BcDano, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
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    3,932
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    On our second morning we were again up at 530 in order to go Piranha fishing. They live at the rivers edge in the flooded areas and we used chunks of steak for bait. We tried several locations without much success, and then actually bush wacked to get into a new spot. Our boat driver Roberto is a local and not only did he catch all but 3 of our 15 fish, but his were also 4 times the size of ours. Sara did catch one too! You can see why these guys can do some damage.

    [​IMG]manaus-rio negro-amazon 39 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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  2. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Feb 19, 2011
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    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    After breakfast we moved down river to visit an island that has an indigenous community. They were very friendly and the Chief welcomed us. His wife then showed us how they process the manioc or cassava they grow into Farofa (a toasted manioc and flour mixture that Brazilians eat with every meal and looks and tastes to us like sawdust) and Tapioca (cassava starch extracted and formed into flakes or balls).

    [​IMG]manaus-rio negro-amazon 119 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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    Some of the local schoolteachers had a pet tapir and several pet macaws.


    [​IMG]manaus-rio negro-amazon 124 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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    We also saw the Acai palm trees that grow here in the north of Brazil. These fruits are 80% nut and the flesh is just about 1 mm thick. This explains why Acai is so expensive. The nuts are dyed and made into jewelry and handicrafts.


    [​IMG]manaus-rio negro-amazon 144 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

    [​IMG]manaus-rio negro-amazon 160 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr
  3. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
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    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    After lunch we were supposed to go swimming from the beach, but the rest of the guests had voted to go to the “swim with the pink dolphins”. This was an added expense of 50$ and was not worth it. You did not swim, but 10 people at a time stood on a platform in the water while the staff lured the dolphins with fish. Very touristy trap place that we would not recommend. They also keep these massive fish in pens and you can get them to the surface with a fish on a rope. The sound they make when their jaw clamps down is incredible. We did see quite a few pink dolphins from the boat and the canoes, but they are never up for long.

    [​IMG]manaus-rio negro-amazon 162 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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    [​IMG]DSC00756 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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  4. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
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    3,932
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    This afternoon we went into the Rio Ariau area, which is much more populated with wild life. Here we saw many Squirrel monkeys, sloths, hawks, egrets, ibis, toucan, and macaws.

    [​IMG]manaus-rio negro-amazon 185 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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    We wandered into marshy area until we could not go further because of the dense vegetation.

    [​IMG]manaus-rio negro-amazon 221 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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    The ship met us where it had docked near this crazy jungle hotel. It had 7 towers, but 2 have collapsed. On the net its 600$ a night to stay here! They sunset was awesome from the deck with our gin and tonics.

    [​IMG]manaus-rio negro-amazon 223 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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  5. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Today we travelled closer to Manaus as we are headed to the “real” Amazon and the meeting of the waters. This is where the black water of the Rio Negro and the white water of the Amazon meet. They do not mix for over 11 km downstream. This is due mostly to the high clay content of the white water, but also due to the slower speed of the black water.



    [​IMG]images-5 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

    [​IMG]images-4 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr



    [​IMG]manaus-rio negro-amazon 270 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr



    [​IMG]manaus-rio negro-amazon 266 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

    On the way there we took a short walk in to see the giant water lilies. They bloom white and at night and stay open 1 day. Then they close and re-bloom the next night pink and then they die. The walkway we came in on can be at water level or be just under it in the high water of July. This is a massive ceiba tree. The lilies are just starting to grow, but they will eventually fill the entire lake.


    [​IMG]manaus-rio negro-amazon 227 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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    [​IMG]manaus-rio negro-amazon 247 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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    There is a ton of birds here including herons, hawks, and tree crawlers. This guy spent quite a while to kill this fish he did not want to swallow alive.

    [​IMG]manaus-rio negro-amazon 249 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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  6. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Feb 19, 2011
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Manaus is a city of 2.5 million people and cannot expand anymore on the north bank of the river due to flooded area, a protected area, and an indigenous reserve. They just completed the Manaus Bridge from old Manaus to new Manaus. The road goes 100 km south and stops.



    [​IMG]manaus-rio negro-amazon 278 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr



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    We did stay 1 night in the city and this was mostly to see the famous Opera house. It is so humid here they keep the books in the shop in a vending machine.


    [​IMG]manaus-rio negro-amazon 283 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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    They were preparing for a carnival like party in the nearby streets, which looked to be mostly heaving drinking.


    [​IMG]manaus-rio negro-amazon 308 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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  7. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
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    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
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  8. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Today we start are just over 2800 km journey south to the border of Uruguay. We have until February 16 or 8 days before our Brazilian visa runs out. If we over stay it is just 8 Reals or about 4$ a day, but we have to have the bikes in Buenos Aires at Dakar Motos on February 23 to get the shipping organized before our flight to Madrid February 28.


    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 8.30.13 PM by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

    The first leg was the 1330 km to Bonito and we planned for 3 days. Today we went 453 km south and west to Rio Verde.


    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 5.57.46 PM by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

    The road before Goiana is quite good, but it is a 4 lane divided highway and so we did a bit of detouring to get off it and onto the secondary roads. Much of this day was dodging potholes, but that can be fun. The added benefit is there is almost no car or truck traffic. The scenery is lush and green with huge tracks of farmland. The sky was covered in black clouds and you could see the rain pouring down almost everywhere. Dan’s route managed to steer us clear of all but one 5 min douching.



    [​IMG]rio verde 12 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr


    The town itself is not much to speak of, but we found an ok hotel on the highway. The only thing nearby was a huge mall and so we took in the food fare and the air con.



    [​IMG]rio verde 9 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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  9. decodent

    decodent CyberGypsy

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
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    1,421
    Location:
    Marin County, CA & Ketchum, ID
    Looking forward to seeing your pics and impressions of Uruguay! It's a country my gf and I are (in the very early stage of) exploring as a place we could retire.
  10. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
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    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Doug

    In a word tranquillo. For retirement I would check out Ecuador too. Sara
  11. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
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    3,932
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    When we went to bed it was pouring, but we woke up to clear skies. We had a big day planned today 639 km south and west to Campo Grande. This was again initially on a 4 lane divided road, but after 90 km you turn south to the secondary roads.


    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 6.06.24 PM by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr


    At about the half way mark we stopped for gas and a break in Chapadão do sul. While we were getting ready to leave Ricardo drives up on a small bike and says HI! He has a BMW 800 and wanted to show us their really nice moto clubhouse.

    [​IMG]campo grande 3 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

    [​IMG]campo grande 2 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

    [​IMG]campo grande 5 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

    The scenery here is hilly with many huge corporate farms with soybeans, sugar cane, and corn. One farm had so many combines parked outside we though they were selling them.

    [​IMG]campo grande 1 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr


    Continuing south the road gets like Swiss cheese and this combined with a long day and the heat was annoying. We did have one 5 minute drenching to cool us off. It is so cool when you see flocks of macaws and toucans flying across the road as you pass. We arrived to the hostal in Campo Grande about 5 minutes before a very heavy rainstorm began. Of course this is Brazil and so 45 minutes later it was sunny. There is this totally awesome gourmet burger place called “Contiener” up the street that is in a shipping container of course. Try the traditional sausage or Maracuja it is delicious.


    [​IMG]campo grande 6 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

    [​IMG]campo grande 7 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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  12. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Today we rode south and west 304 km to the eco-adventure capital of Bonito. The route surface is pretty good for the most part. Today again we saw tons of toucans and macaws flying overhead.

    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 4.04.28 PM by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr


    [​IMG]FILE2920 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr



    The town is very touristy, but with only Brazilians. We did not see any other foreign tourists here. This is likely because accommodation here is very expensive and the “tours” are outrageous. You must do any activity here on a tour and with a guide. That said there are about 30 options. We decided on rafting and rappelling. The big attraction here is river snorkeling with the usually crystal clear water it is like swimming in a fish tank, but at this time of year in the rainy season the water is not clear. Most of the attractions involve travelling long distances from the town and transports are wow expensive (70$ to the rafting location). The drive there is only 12 km down a pretty good dirt road. The river is slow flowing and there are 4 small waterfall crossings. This is pretty much what we in Canada would call a “float”. It was fun, but not worth the price of 45$.


    [​IMG]bonito 2 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonito 3 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonito 10 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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  13. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We had also organized to go rappelling at the Boca da Onca (mouth of the jaguar). This is also very expensive at 200$, but this is a day trip with a 3 hours jungle walk past 12 waterfalls, 4 of which you can swim in and then the repel 90 m down the largest waterfall. As you have to book for everything here the only time we could get was 8 am. We were told to leave the hotel at 630 to go the 59 km. We did leave a bit late because we wanted to have some light for driving on what we were told was a dirt road. It was raining and so we were happily surprised to find that the first 48 km was paved. The dirt road the last 10 km had some pretty slippery sections and 11 also very slippery cattle gates.

    [​IMG]bonito 12 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

    We arrived to the farm, which is in a beautiful setting only to be told the rappel was canceled due to the bad weather. We decided that the price was too steep for a walk in the jungle and they gave us a full refund. On the way back the rain had let up, but one driver was obviously going too fast and crashed the car at a cattle gate and blocking the exit from the park. We could squeeze by, but no one in a car can get in or out until it is towed. While we were riding back to town I saw 3 huge shadows on the road beside us. These were 3 blue and red macaws just above our heads. Now we have a whole day to do nothing.

    [​IMG]bonito 13 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

    [​IMG]images by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

    [​IMG]bonito 18 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr
  14. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Feb 19, 2011
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Heading out of Bonito we back tracked 70 km west to Jardim and then south to Itaquirai after 463 km. The terrain is rolling hills and huge farms. We had some brief showers, but no real rain. This is a one-horse town, but surprisingly it had a pretty good hotel. For dinner we found a guy grilling skewers of meat on the side of the road.


    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 6.59.13 PM by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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  15. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Feb 19, 2011
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    3,932
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    For 6 of the 7 hours we were riding today it POURED rain. We were so glad to arrive in Sao Miguel d’Oeste after 483 km. At times it was raining so hard you could barely see where you were going. Without our pin locks it would have been impossible. In one particularly low spot on the highway the water was very deep and a car was actually flooded and stuck. This very bad weather did not change the Brazilian driving style of excessive speed, driving on your back tire, and dangerous passing. This made for a very challenging and stressful day. The most painful was when you got stuck behind trucks doing 30 km /hr because you can not see to pass because it is raining so hard and often drivers here for some mad reason don’t put their lights on. Luckily this was the same town we stayed in on our first night in Brazil and so we knew where to find a hotel, which is no easy task here as 2 of the 3 are in residential areas. The rain finally stopped when we were about 10 km from the city.



    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 7.04.31 PM by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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  16. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
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    3,932
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Today’s 387 km to Sao Miguel dos Missiones turned into 590 km to Julio de Castilhos, but at least it was sunny. This was because in Sao Miguel all the hotels were completely booked. This was the first time in 3 months that we were asked if we had a reservation. It is a Sunday night, but this is Carnival weekend and so a “holiday”. This meant we had to press on. There were tons of local bikes coming and going on this “route of the missions” in Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay.

    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 7.54.25 PM by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

    [​IMG]misionnes 2 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr



    [​IMG]misionnes 3 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr
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  17. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Feb 19, 2011
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We only planned to visit the best-preserved and largest Jesuit mission in Brazil in Sao Miguel. This 1745 red stone church ruins is a UNESCO site.


    [​IMG]misionnes 4 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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  18. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
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    3,932
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We backtracked almost 125 km and there were no places to stay as far as Cruz Alta. Well there was one sketchy place there called Hotel California, but if you know the song we could not stay there for obvious reasons. Plan B was to keep going south another 133 km to the bigger city of Santa Maria, but luckily we came across a decent hotel on the BR 158 after 70 km in the small town of Julio de Castilhos. We drove into town to find some dinner and got lucky on the square where there were some food carts making really good “burgers”.


    The closest we will get to Paraguay, since there really is nowhere to ride unless you want to cross the country and the visa for Canadians is 125$.


    [​IMG]punto del este 7 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr
  19. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
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    3,932
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    The sun was not out today and it was only 17 degrees when we left. It did warm up slowly all day to about 30 by late afternoon. We rode south and west and arrived after 304 km in Bagé about 1230. Almost everything was shut for Carnival, but we finally found an open restaurant with good frango asado (grilled chicken).


    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 8.07.15 PM by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

    [​IMG]melo Uruguay 1 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr
  20. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
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    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We then made it for the border of Uruguay 66 km south. Here you actually cross into Uruguay before you hit the Brazil town of Aceguá and Brazilian immigration. It is in the Federal Police building that is on the left hand side of the divided road and so you have to drive past the building and u- turn to get back there. They will want you passport and the entry paper you got when you came in. They check you have not out stayed your 90-day visa and then exit stamp your passport. There is no bike import paperwork for Brazil and so the bikes can just exit.

    [​IMG]melo Uruguay 2 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

    [​IMG]melo Uruguay 3 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

    [​IMG]melo Uruguay 5 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr