Thursday, 22 November 2012

Brasil III Curitiba, TLC time for the bike.

Sunsetting over Curitiba
Leaving Florianapolis finally on the 13th, the journey was to be the definiton of stupidity.  Its not a hard route of just over 300kms, but just before leaving I tightened some of the bolts as part of regular maintenance and one on the bottom end of the engine lost its thread.  It meant I was loosing a bit of oil and with the engine heating up it could possibly lose a lot as the engine expanded during the journey.  I tried to find a mechanic but none could really help, maybe more my fault - despite what everyone says, to me Portuguese sounds nothing like Spanish.  I decided to make a run for it instead and carry a litre of oil to top up as I went.  

It was a risk but not an all out risk as I was going to stay with Isabella (who I met in Mendoza along with Bia) and her family so I figured I had an emergency contact if I made it close to Curitiba.  Anyone would be able to find me easily enough as there would be a nice oil slick to follow along the route.  I also had my tent and a packet of supernoodles so if I really became stranded I would survive night with the food of kings. 

Bizarre Statue of Liberty replica just outside Floripa, found out later there's loads of them in Brazil
The journey turned out to be ok, albeit a bit cold, I again didn’t know there were mountains to cross to get there, but it was not the coldest I have been.  It was a fun section too as there were loads of twisties to get up and then down the mountains.  Playing cat and mouse with the thousands of lorries was not so fun though.  Still my bike and I made it alright, so another small obstacle completed.  I’m beginning to love my oil leaking little Chinese plastic moto.  

Parana Pine tree, the symbol of the state
Like Isabella, her family are great and made me feel at home straight away.  They live in a really nice house close to the city centre and having a real bed in a real house after so long was a godsend.  Her mum Irene is a great cook and her Dad Paulo was a champion motorbike racer and now runs a racing school as well as supply many motorbike businesses in the area with bike equipment.  I couldn’t have really fallen on my feet better!  Within a day he arranged to get my bike fixed (for free as well) and within 2 days I think I met most of the bikers in Curitiba, all of which are seriously friendly.  Everyone wants to talk to you, invite you into their home and meet their family.  I lost count the number of people I met and how many drinks I shared with people.  It was my birthday while I stayed there and even though pretty much everyone I know was on the other side of the world, being in Curitiba was easily a good alternative.  

The guys at Gueno Motos, the whole faily wanted to fix the bike.  Great people

Impromptu BBQ at Ulisses, Woody, woody woody!
My shadowy face ruins another picture, with Isa's famliy and Bia
Curitiba itself is a great city and everything works from the banks to supermarkets.  You only have to look around to see that the country is booming.  Manufacturing is everywhere you look, roads being built, houses, businesses, everything and so large it dwarfs anything in Europe.  

Combi vans everywhere - all the councils and governments use them

I really enjoyed my time in Curitiba can’t thank Isa and her family enough.  I met all of Isa’s and Bia’s friends and we went out several times - If only I could remember more I might have written about it here, probably not though as this blog is for my mum.  Everyone has been great and even as I was leaving Paulo managed to get me some new gloves and waterproof trousers.  Thank you everyone.  It was soo difficult to leave, but I have to get down to the south if I am ever going to make it to Patagonia.

Despite appearances for some reason I was have a great night.
Loving Bia's smile

This was the moment we returned the wrong car to the car park in the small hours after the attendant gave us it.  It wasn't until we left and drove around the block that Bia's mate realised it wasn't his car.  Random.
Goodbye holey ski pants, hello real motrorbike waterproofs.  Thanks Paulo!

1 comment:

  1. As I told you once, you are a very BRAVE man!
    To cross south america with such a small bike! Amazing and a buddist exercise of patience!
    These pants are made in Brazil by HLX and the gloves are from Lookwell, a dutch company.
    Araucária is the name of the pines and the strange "eye" is a museum designed by Niemeyer, same guy who designed the famous buidings of Brasília.
    The copy of the statue of Liberty is one of those stupid ideas of a brazilian shop?!?
    David, you're always welcome here!
    Have a wonderful trip!!
    Paulo and Irene.