Adventures in Brazil

After the Carnival it was raining for four days, and there was no sign of  clear sky. Riding a bike in the rain is actually not that bad, especially if you don’t have to worry about your gear. With ortlieb bags I’m confident,  my Deuter bag pack with the rain cover is not 100% waterproof. But I haven’t had problems so far.

During the “rain riding”, I usually put on the rain poncho because it still lets some fresh air under your arm pits, and keeps your body ventilated. My specialized shoes gets soaked, but that doesn’t matter as I can change dry shoes after the run. So basically the only problems is, that my sight blurs when I take my glasses off. Also camping is not pleasant thing to do, as the tent setting in rain can be problematic. Therefore my tight budget strongly dislikes rainy evenings.

Well, the fifth day after Carnival I wanted to reach Curitiba. I learned, that the distance from Joinville to Curitiba is 130km, and that from basically  sea level (Joinville) I have to climb up to 900m (Curitiba). One Japanese bike tourer apparently did this stretch in 13 hours. To make things more complicated though, the news channel reported, that the highway between these two cities was closed due a landslide.

So that fifth morning was raining. I woke up at 4.30a.m to get an early start for my day, and first hour I cycled in the dark out of Joinville on the highway. After 20km there was a traffic control person informing all the vehicles, that passing to Curitiba is not possible. I continued anyways, and the next traffic guide 10km later showed me a “thumbs up”-sign. So I got my hopes up to get through somehow. The pay toll place was open, but all the red traffic signs were on –  no cars were allowed from this point on. Between 40km and 50km I passed some parked truck along the mounting highway, but the traffic was silent. Funny feeling to have the whole highway for yourself!

Then, at the 50km mark, the police stopped me and said that it’s impossible to go on: “the mountain is down” (little English spoken) he explained. But when I showed that I can carry my bicycle if necessary, the friendly policeman complied to let me through. As I slowly continued uphill, all the road service workers showed me “thumbs up”. Then I realized that the cop was maybe exaggerating. Well, the mountain was down, but in one day the ploughs had cleared the road, and only some mud was left on the asphalt. True, some parts of the inner line was swept down, but these parts were marked and could be past. Also the rain had stopped and for a moment I had winner’s smile on my face. In the middle of this moment I heard snapping, and noticed that the chain had broken down. Chain change was ready in 10 minutes, just before one guy came to tell me that he will let some trucks to pass. That was the end of the private free way part, even though not all truck were unleashed. As I was on top of the hill, the traffic calmed down again, and only few cars passed until I had only 20km to Curitiba.

In the end it took me only 9 hours to get from Joinville to Curitiba, so at 2p.m I was already calling my host to pick me up. This host was a contact through travel2help.org, representing Brazilian Experience. But about this four day stay in Curitiba I’ll write in my next blog post.

Anyways, here is a short post from the media of Curitiba 🙂

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One Comment

  1. Tadeas Priklopil
    Posted March 21, 2011 at 12:50 am | Permalink | Reply

    ahoj kulco! slapej slapej!

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