Royal Road Brazil (Estrada Real Brasil)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Linhares, Sep 14, 2015.

  1. Linhares

    Linhares OSM addicted

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    Last month I and three friends had a nice trip from Brasilia to Paraty. We took ten days to get there. The longest trip I ever had and for me it was epic!

    I am translating my ride report and I will post it day by day. We followed a touristc route called Estrada Real (Royal Road) that was created on top of an historical road used to carry gold from the mines to the coast back in the 18th century.

    Abraços, Linhares


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    The brochure reads "We are in the right path!"
    #1
  2. Linhares

    Linhares OSM addicted

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    First day we rode only on asphalt. 630 km from Brasilia to Curvelo. Top speed 115 km/h.
    We had to stop at every city to fuel up. The CRF was doing 25 km per liter, which means an autonomy of 187 km. In this part of Brazil, north of Minas Gerais state, the cities are far from each other.

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    Leaving Brasília

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    Paracatu - MG

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    Checking the map

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    One of the guys has a problem of feeling very sleepy on the bike. Sometimes he would stop and chew gum to wake up!

    Our goal would be the city of Diamantina, but I was very tired of my first long trip on the CRF and asked them to stop here in Curvelo.

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    This is the old train station

    It was really good for the first day.

    Abraços, Linhares
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  3. Linhares

    Linhares OSM addicted

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    We left for Diamantina. Sweet mountain roads. At a point there was a cow in the middle of the road, but the vehicles in the oposite direction warned us by flashing lights.
    Diamantina is a historic city. Its streets are paved with stones. We visited a museum before getting on the road again.
    By the end of the morning we started riding unpaved roads. We thought there would be just gravel but we found some "sand pools". At lunch time we found two other riders following the same course. They were on two Yamaha XT600.

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    A brief stop at the Yamaha dealer

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    One of the guys wanted to clean the chain and sprocks before hitting dirt

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    Ready to roll!

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    Up the hills

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    This building was problably the train station

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    This bridge was used by the students to cross from one side to the other. The place used to be a religious school and the girls couldn't leave.

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    First royal road milestone!

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    Soon after this picture my friend made a turn back and the bike fell

    Face plant:
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    He is happy with the picture #SaidNoOneEver

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    We dind't expect those dusty roads:
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    But it was most gravel anyway:
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    At the milestone there is a red point showing where you are on the route. At this point the end was far, far away

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    Village of Vau

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    The board reads "first sip" from one side and "Last sip" from the other

    At São Gonçalo do Rio das Pedras city we met these guys:
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    Nap time

    From Miho Verde to Serro where we slept it was about 30 km of asphalt

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    End of first day!

    Abraços, Linhares
    #3
  4. Linhares

    Linhares OSM addicted

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    First day of the XT600 fellows. They rode from Belo Horizonte to Diamantina by asphalt also. They visited some museums too and left a bit earlier than us. We reached them by lunch time.

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    Crash. It was the excitement of the first day plus a "sand pool"

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    These picture of the bridge seem from afar is something that happens a lot on hilly roads. You go up the road, look back and see where you've come from. Very nice!

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    After lunch they left before us but we met again by the end of the day

    Abraços, Linhares
    #4
  5. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    :lurk Looks great! What are the temperatures where you are riding?
    #5
  6. Linhares

    Linhares OSM addicted

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    Let me see... It should have been around 20º celsius. It is a dry winter season. It is cold in the morning but soon the sun get high in the sky and warm things up!

    Abraços, Linhares
    #6
  7. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    :thumb Sunny skies and 68F... that's perfect!
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  8. Linhares

    Linhares OSM addicted

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    This was a great day! Only good roads and wonderfull views!

    We had lunch at Conceição do Mato Dentro city and slept at Itambé do Mato Dentro city.
    Total: 10 km paved and 100 unpaved roads.

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    Leaving Serro we found these section of the road under maintenance

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    We were present with a bit of mud

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    Cattle grids. There are a lot of them in Brazil

    Short video of the group on our smooth pace:
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    Hilly roads

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    Up the hill

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    Serra de Itapanhoacanga

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    Everyone is happy!

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    ^edited picture

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    This guy had to bought new boots after lunch

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    We slept at Itambé city

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    Calling it a day

    Abraços, Linhares
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  9. Linhares

    Linhares OSM addicted

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    This day we discovered the archeological site Parede Pintada with six thousand years old paintings.
    We crossed the infamous eucalyptus forest where many get lost. It is a place with many forks and intersections.
    Another place I was anxious to know was the Bicame de Pedra, an aqueduct built by the slaves to bring water from the hills to the mines. It was originally 18 km wide but there is only 400m left. But it is still amazing!
    Amolst at the end of the day the road followed alongside a train track. A friend said: "It would be nice if a train comes by". And it happened! :D

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    Monument to the tropeiros at Ipoema city. These guys opened the roads to the countryside.

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    We crossed the highway many times. We had to look for the milestone to follow the right (unpaved) road

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    Close to the eucalyptus forest

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    After this picture I was left behind right in the middle of the labyrinth. I was fine because of the GPS, but after riding many miles with my friends it was kind of scary to go alone. They waited for me close to the next town.

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    This private property is the entrance of the archeological site

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    six thousand years old wall paintings

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    Narrow section of the road

    Soon after we get to a single track section of the route that we decided to avoid:
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    We turned back and asked for directions how to go around the track. An old man that works in the nearby farm showed us another road trough the farm.

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    This farm road got us back on the trail


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    Bicame de pedra aqueduct. The stones are put one on top of another without any type of glue

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    Close to the city of Catas Altas we crossed beneath a train track

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    then the road goes along the track

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    Here comes the train!


    Abraços, Linhares
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  10. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    I'm trying to follow along on Google maps... you are not where I would have thought. Very interesting ride. Thanks!
    #10
  11. ItsNotTooLate

    ItsNotTooLate Adventurer

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    Nobody rode a Sertão? We have those here in the U.S. but I saw my first one at a BMW dealer in Curitiba:-)
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  12. Linhares

    Linhares OSM addicted

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    Rhode, this track at wikiloc was part of our goal for thursday (Aug 6th), although we didn't followed exactly the track.

    ItsNotTooLate, in Brazil almost 80% of big monocylinder bikes are XT600 and XT660. We don't see many of the others models.

    Abraços, Linhares
    #12
  13. Linhares

    Linhares OSM addicted

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    Friday we rode just by the morning. We took a nice road from Catas Altas to Mariana. Between Mariana and Ouro Preto we visited Mina da Passagem an abandoned mine that used to connect the two cities through underground tunnels.
    Ouro Preto is halfway from Diamantina to Paraty so that we deserved a break.

    One of the guys in the Yamaha XT600 went on by himself. He didn't want to lose half day of riding.
    I walked around the city and looked for a barber shop. The foam became a mud in my dusty face :D

    Ouro Preto is a big touristic city. Everywhere you look there is someone with a giant camera taking pictures and you see many foreingers. It is really a beautiful city! The streets are very steepy and paved with stones. No easy to turn back the motorcycles.

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    Serra do Caraça

    Cleaning the dust (video):
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    Mina da Passagem

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    Ouro Preto city

    Abraços, Linhares
    #13
  14. Linhares

    Linhares OSM addicted

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    Last month a dam broke and flooded Bento Rodrigues district here in Brazil. The village was covered by mud. You can read about it on wikipedia. It was a terrible disaster! :cry
    A small section of the Royal Road was damaged along with the village. It is the section we rode on August 7th wich I wrote in the previous post although there is no picture of the village.
    #14
  15. Linhares

    Linhares OSM addicted

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    Down from Ouro Preto city the route goes through the Old Path of the Royal Road that ends at Paraty city. There is another leg of the road that goes to Rio de Janeiro and is known as New Path because it was used some time after the first one.
    Until the previous day we were riding the Diamond Path named after Diamantina city that was famous for its diamonds mines.
    Talking about maps and gps I wasn't quite prepared for this leg. We were lucky that our new friend in the XT600 had all the milestones in his Garmin and also a printed version of the roadbook that we could check in case of need. It was useful to avoid some sections of single track.

    This saturday, August 8th, we crossed many hamlets. One of them was Glaura village, where we met this guy with a KTM 1290!

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    He was folowed by this GS 1200

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    Checking the route on the GPS

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    Miguel Burnier village where there is a mining facility

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    This huge bridge is a railway bridge where trains full of iron ore pass by. The iron ore powder covers the roads so that the mining company pays for a truck to wet the road to prevent people from inhaling the powder.

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    Lunch break at Lobo Leite district, city of Congonhas. It was a fine restaurant that we almost passed by without noticing. We were planning to stop by Congonhas city but I saw the tables and stopped.

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    Restaurant Boca do Lobo (Wolf's mouth). The food was delicious!

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    One of the last unpaved roads we rode this day

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    The railway bridge from afar

    After Congonhas city we followed a section of the road that was paved with cobblestone. Then we decided to get on the highway to make some miles and sleep at São João del Rey city.

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    BR-393 highway. The board says "Feeling the Royal Road"

    We were lucky to find a hotel in front of one of the road milestones:
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    Hotel Brasil (very old hotel). It is for sale!

    That night we regrouped with Rodrigo, the guy in the blue XT600. He decided not to stop by noon on friday and rode on. But he crossed some single tracks that slowed his pace. And he had to ask a lot of people for directions since he had no GPS.

    Abraços, Linhares
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  16. Linhares

    Linhares OSM addicted

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    This day we crossed a lot of cattle grids!

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    My friend Sergio had lowered the tyre pression of his bike. At some point of the trip he thought he had a pin. It wasn't the case but he kept looking to the front tyre and had a small crash.

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    Little scratch on the bike:
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    Aproaching the lake of Camargos:
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    This man saw our group and stopped to chat. He said he and his brother put most of the milestones we saw in the road. It was a hard work specially in the single track sections.

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    Ferry boat

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    City of Carrancas in the horizon

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    Traituba Farm. It is a couple of centuries old

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    Cruzília city

    Abraços, Linhares
    #16
  17. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hola Linhares,

    Muito obrigado for the great ride report! I am currently north of Brasilia up at Jalapão in estado do Tocatins. I will be in Brasilia in a few days. Would love to meet you and get some ideas of this route if you are in town during the holidays and it is not too much trouble. It looks like fun! I don't speak much Português though. My email is johndowns(at)yahoo.com.

    Keep up the good work on this report!

    Abraços,
    John Downs
    #17
  18. Linhares

    Linhares OSM addicted

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    Thank you, John!

    I'm gonna check your RR! Jalapao is a great place. I don't know it yet but many of my friends have been there a couple times! Don't forget to go to the "fervedouro"!
    Come to Brasilia and I'll buy you a beer! From here you can go to Diamantina and then start to ride the royal road.

    Abraços, Linhares
    #18
  19. Linhares

    Linhares OSM addicted

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    August 11th. Eduardo, Sergio's brother, was our guide for the day. He rides 50 km every day so he knows the area like nobody else!

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    We rode to Baependi city throught this beautiul trail:

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    Then to Caxambu city where we had lunch. Our guide stayed in Caxambu. We left for the next town. My friend Hamilton noticed that his back tyre was flat. He drove his bike back to the town were we found a tyre repair worker. Unfortunately the tyre wouldn't return to its original shape. Even after putting high tyre pressure. So he decided to buy a new one from the tyre repair shop.

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    After the tyre repair we headed to São Lourenço city.

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    Ténéré 250cc. Only in Brazil!

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    This crash was the last of the trip. You can't see in this picture but the road was very dusty because of the guys riding ahead and my friend took a wrong decision when he got to see the pavement again.

    Just a bit further in the road there was this climb up section with some loose rocks. We thought it would be tough to cross. The third image links to a video.

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    Video:
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    A few miles later we called it a day:

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    São Lourenço city, Minas Gerais state

    Abraços, Linhares
    #19
  20. grizzzly

    grizzzly The Pre-Banned Version

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    cool
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