QuickPeek: Rain. Sun. Wind. Drizzle. Flat. Climb. Beach. Mad Traffic.
The morning looked bright and cear and it felt like a good day to get on the road. The forecat for the next few days looked fantastic and that meant we could get a few good day’s ride in, unless, of course, the winds were willing to comply. Dang, life is never ideal for a bicycle tourist :-p
Juliano got up early to bid us farewell and after a nice b’fast on Crapioca and coffee, we got on the lovely little route along the beach of Barra Velha. The cloudy day with the sun stream thro looked gorgeous as we passed thro the beach strip in town. The fishing folks had just returned and seemed like they had an strange catch. A 10 ft Hammer head shark. It’s not eaten in these parts and I suppose the big feller just got caught in the nets and died for nothing. Bummer. But a beautiful specimen indeed. Hopefully, they preserve the body in a museum or something.
We rode out of the beach eventually and we had a quick stop for coffee. The sun had come out and we thought might be a good time for a break. In the sunshine the place looked gorgeous and though the route was mainly a sequence of towns that we had to navigate thro, it was fun riding. At some point, we had to take a barge across a small river to avoid getting on the big highway 101. On the other side it started to rain and we were on and off jackets to deal with the intense sun or downpour.
We eventually got to the Port town of Itajai which was supposedly the second biggest port in South Brazil. It showed for sure with the shit ton of commercial traffic and container trucks. It was not fun riding in the narrow roads and we slowly made our way thro.
We had planned to avoid 101 and tried the inland route from Itajai to Balneario Camboriu. Though we tried to get to the beach side as much as possible, there were stretches that were obscenely full of traffic. And I should say the driving in these parts was absolute madness. Probably the worst I have seen in a long while. The beach roads had to stop and we had to get on highway 101 to get across one of the big hills. The alternate was supposedly a beautiful, though trecherous route called Inter-Praias. We opted for 101 and it was a stiff climb up to the top.
The winds had picked up by this time and it was a bit of a workout in the headwind. The gusts were hard enough to stop the bike for a few seconds. The day was a bit of a tough day of biking (though the maps and route looked totally benign).
Once up and over this only little hill, I took the little route out of 101 and followed the beach route thro the town of Itapema and headed to Porto Belo. Our next host was Andre, a Bombeiro, from a town further south. But he asked me to come over to his work place as he was on duty till 7 PM. It took a bit of time to find the spot as the paint on teh building had faded from red to white, heh. Once I got there, I was offered coffee and fruits and it was a pretty spiffy setup. Till now, the best Bombero I had seen was in Costa Rica, but the ones in brazil might give them a serious run for its money! I hope going forward, I might encounter more Bombeiros.
I hung out for a while for the sun to go down and once the weather eased up, I took andre’s advice on an alternate route and rode up to his place. Andre and Morgana (and their 3 cats and dog) were really wonderful hosts and I was fed a lovey bit of dinner and hung out till late evening and knocked off to sleep.
Route: Barra Velha to Tijucas
Distance: 91 Km
Road: Asphalt. Shoulder on 101. Some cobble stone and gravel near Tijucas.
Traffic: Horrendous in the towns.
Expenses: SG$ 5.51
Comments: A mixed bag of a day indeed, the weather was all over the place.