QuickPeek: Flat. Tunnel. Sand Dunes.

The idea for me today was to cover distance. I had about 180 km to the next warmshowers host and if I ate into the distance a bit then tomorrow I could do a easy ride and relax in comfort. I hoped to make an early start at 7, but Laura’s hostel was pretty cozy and I slept in a little bit. It was after 7 when I got up and it was nearly 8:30 by the time I had my b’fast and headed on my way after farewells.

Today’s route was to be mostly on highway 101 and I braced myself for a boring ride. The first few k’s out of Guarda Do Embau was on cobbles and it was nice without much traffic. Soon I hit 101 and there was no alternative to this all day. So I took it and put my head down and rode. The tailwind that was strong the last time around was not showing up. I had a bit of a tidal wind and once in a while it would turn into a hear or tail wind. But I can’t complain, the sun and rain stayed away and that made for a good day’s ride.

After 20 or so km, I made a brief stop for a bit of coffee and snacked on a couple of boiled eggs that I have gotten into a habit to carry with me. The rest stop was super fancy and looked out of place. I found a really lovely copper frying pan, but I might not need it yet so skipped on spending on it.

I got back on the road and passed numerous other petrol stations and a couple of towns. There was a bit of a hill climb up ahead and I mentally prepared for a 40 minute climb. However, I was surprised to find that they built a tunnel thro and it even had a separated (though pretty narrow) path for bicycles. A testament to the thought that there is actually no other option here apart from 101. It was a long tunnel and turned out it climbed on the inside (Why??) and noisy. I got out on the other side and rode down looking for a bit of lunch.

I couldn’t find any decent spots and the one I did stop at didn’t have much veggie options even on a buffet at 30 reals. I decided to snack on my reserve biscuits and peanuts and had a break by the side of the highway. I had been riding mostly along a fresh water lake on my right and mountains at the distance and the ocean to the left. There was no views of the ocean, but the lake was pretty. At the end of the lake, I rode down to the town of Laguna, which seemed to have some historical significance. The old houses in the center were breaking down and it seems like they seemed to be making some repairs to promote tourism in a month or so.

My original plan was to stop at the Bombeiros in this town, but it was only 3 pm, I felt pretty good and decided to keep going. I had to cross over a water channel and waited a while for the ferry. My alternate destination was a town with a light house, Farol do Santa Marta. Once on the other side of the water, the landscape changed quite a bit. I was on a smaller road with a nice bike lane and there was no traffic either. The mountains disappeared and I was greeted with beaches which were hidden behind giant sand dunes! Suppose I should be seeing a lot more of sand dunes going South. I saw the Farol do Santa Marta at the distance and it seemed like it might be expensive to stay there. So I skipped the town hoping to ride another 20k’s to a place with Bombeiros.

As I got to the next village, I was greeted with a camping sign and figured I might enquire. I had to wake up Victor, the guy who owned the place, and he told me that they had not opened for the season yet. Bummer. As I was about to leave, he offered to let me camp out for free and let me use the showers and the kitchen area too! sweet! A good score after a good day’s ride! I got some supplies at the supermarket, made some dinner and knocked off early.

Track Notes

Route: Barra Do Embau to Garopaba Do Sul
Distance: 102 Km
Road: Cobble stone out of Barra Do Embau.Asphalt all the way. Shoulder on 101. Bike lane after Laguna!
Traffic: Heavy
Services: Plenty.
Expenses: SG$ 6.94
Comments: 101 was a bit boring to ride on, but it was a good day none the less.