QuickPeek: Flat. Hot. Kayaking. Good stories.
With the bike fixed and body rested, I decided to head out today. Yesterday, Souza, another cyclist and bike shop owner from a nearby town had visited here at Tania and Sander’s and had invited me to his place. It was a 65 km ride and I leisurely packed up and started at 8:30. Tania joined me for a bit of ride out of town and then I bid farewell and got going on the highway.
The route was pretty flat and the only views were of the rice and tobacco fields. It was a bit boring ride actually. But with not much wind getting in the way, the ride went fast. I stopped for a bit of coffee along the way and before I knew it, my ride was complete and I came up to Souza’s bike shop! He was out at the moment and I waited for him to show up.
Souza showed up in a while and he turned out to be a bit of a legend in these parts in terms of bicycling. He had been winning numerous road tours in the region for nearly 35+ years. His shop was a bit of a museum for medals from numerous years and he showed me news clippings of his athletic achievements over the years. Incredible. And he was happy fixing bikes in his small shop – A brake adjustment for someone, painting rusted frames, fixing flats etc. Heh. Fun life!
He was popular around and he introduced me numerous passers-by who were friends of his. I suppose with his gregarious nature the entire town was friends with him, heh. I was invited to one of his friend’s place for dinner too! It still does not cease to amaze me. Some one meets a stranger in another’s place and invites that stranger for dinner with family. And our friend offered to make some vegetarian empanadas, just for me! Incredible.
During the day, I was taken to a school and asked if I could give a talk to the kids there, I have been running close on time to exit this country, but Souza offered to give me a drive down to a town 2 days away on the day after and I figured it might work out fine, time wise and offered to stay another night. Though knowing Souza’s loose concept of time, I should have thought about it more (more about it tomorrow).
Once he closed his bike shop, we headed to his place which was in the far end of this small town right next to a lake. He asked if I liked to kayak, and given it was such a warm day, it seemed like a good idea to dip in the water. So we headed to the water with his boats and I spent the next couple of hours paddling thro the water and watching the numerous birds and fishes flying about. Pretty lovely.
We went up to Souza’s friend’s place for dinner and the family was super lovely and had made special accommodation for me, including a chocolate empanada! Awesome. Our friend was extremely knowledgeable about the history in and around Brazil and recounted so many incredible tit-bits. The most curious among them was when he was in a small town called Peruibe in the 70’s he had met a feller from Yugoslavia, who had died a few months later, and had numerous chats about the world war 2. After his death was reported, he realised that the feller was actually Josef Mengele! Holy Shit!
We had a lovely evening and when I came back home, I was super tired and knocked off like a rock.
Route: Ararangua to Passo De Torres
Distance: 66 Km
Road: Asphalt. Good shoulder on 101.
Expenses: SG$ 1.14
Comments: Even boring days tend to have a twist before they end! Gotta love this life.