After turning green on the ferry we finally made it to Belem in 26 hours 😦 but boy was it good to hit firm dry land again. However not after having to get the bikes from our ferry onto another ferry and then onto dry land. I almost couldn’t watch the proceedings as the bikes we walked across the most bendy thinnest planks with no support except 3 of the crew members I was in a panic but I guess these guys do this all the time so neither of the bikes landed up in the river.
We were soon sweating to death in the Belem traffic on the way to meet Alex. I had arranged to get my bike to a mechanic through Alex as I needed the chain & sprockets, front tire and oil filter changed. I was also going to put my bike on an auto transport to Sao Paolo in order to save the 4600km trip to Buenos Aires, since I needed to get there no later than the 30th October.
Sadly the transport did not work out as it would have taken longer than me riding so I readied myself for a very long boring ride, but at least the bike was up to it. Alex was great and posted my trip on Face book and I got invitations to come and stay with fellow bikers from all over Brazil. I wished I had a month or two just to travel Brazil and meet them all, but sadly my deadline calls so I only got to see a few, but it turns out that those meet ups were awesome.
The best thing about Belem was of course seeing Rubem and Cristina again. Benoit and I stayed with them for two nights and it was great . I really really enjoy their company. They helped me get a new back tire, we went and ate, and then went and ate some more, damn I’m eating a lot. All in all I just had a great time, sadly I was very ill though as I had a throat and sinus infection but it did not stop me enjoying myself.
On Sunday 18th I headed off for Paragominas only a 302km journey but since I was not feeling 100% I wanted to take it easy. I got first taste of this long journey and it was BORING as hell. I thought the Peru Pan Am highway was boring well try 4000kms of that. Damn dead straight roads with boring scenery and HOT as HELL. I did make good time though since it was a Sunday and there was no traffic. I found a cheap but pleasant hotel and just crashed straight to bed, as I was still trying to get over this cold. The one great thing was all the MX bikes I saw coming into town. It turns out there was a huge race just outside the city but sadly I arrived too late to see the last race, that would have been fun.
On Monday I headed off to Araguaina a 550km journey. The road and scenery did not change but unfortunately the traffic did. This route is used mostly by huge transport trucks that don’t give a damn about bikes. Most of them travel at just under 100kms/hr but there are some when not loaded that do easily 120, and my average is 100 to 110. These buggers ride right up your ass and then they overtake barely go into the second late, I had a couple of near misses 😦 but am still here to tell the tale.
I stopped at a shopping centre for lunch and this time had my camera with me which meant I could finally get a picture of these little mechanical cars. I just get such a kick out of them the ids ride them around the shopping centre. It is just a pity that I am too heavy as I could see myself riding a pink panther 🙂
Another boring day doing 385kms to Palmas. Palmas is the hottest city in Brazil and I just happened to be there during the hottest month L however it is a really nice city I think one of the nicest in Brazil.
I had directions to get to where I was meeting Osmar, a friend of Alex (from Belem) who I was staying with. As I get into the city this biker pulls up next to me and said ”hey Lorraine are you going to Posto Primavera follow me” So I did the only thing I could and followed this total stranger, I knew from his Facebook photo this was not Osmar. It turns out Roberto is a Prospect in the bike club that Osmar is the president of. He had a meeting with Osmar as he is being patched in in a couple of days and had seen a photo of my bike on Face book and just coincidentally rode past me, recognized me and that is why he pulled me over 🙂 how fortunate.
Osmar, or as he is better known Frajola (Sylvester from Sylvester the cat) is the president of the Asquerosos MC in Palmas. His wife Wannessa who is stunning is also in the club and they have the cutest biker chick 6 year old daughter Julia. Wow what a fantastic family, they welcomed me into their home and I just had the best time ever. Roberto speaks very good English and so he did a lot of translating. After heading to the flat and just chilling for a couple of hours another friend of their arrived Moura and we went to see Palmas. I had had enough of riding for the day so rode pillion on Frajolas bike and it was just too much fun to ride through the city with this group and I got a good look of it. We then went to have dinner at a friend of their street restaurant. Gucho(Jorge) is the VP of the Guardioes Do Tocantins MC. He owns a street restaurant and does all the buffet cooking and it is sooooooooo good, he also has a couple of staff members help him and they do the BBQ. No matter how much I argued he would not let me pay for my meal, these Brazilians are honestly extremely generous and hospitable.
We had such an awesome night I felt so good and had such a good time I had to force myself to leave at 1am as I knew I needed some sleep before my long trip the next day. Not all club members could be there but there were quite a few and every one of them was great. I spent a lot of the evening speaking to Nula, who taught herself English and speaks perfect English. We had a great conversation about Brazil, politics, economics and the environment. I really learned a lot about Brazil that night. I wish I could have stayed longer in Palmas but sadly I only had one very memorable night.
The next day I got up late but before I headed out Frajola returned to tell me that Wannesa had had a bike accident and inured her back and was in hospital. I could not believe it, what a lovely lady on such an awesome bike. The accident was not very bad and she is okay and will go see a back specialist in a couple of days, but still it was a shocker.