Travelreport No. 40, Brazil  21.7. - 25.9.2010   From Rio to Jericoacoara

Rio de Janeiro - Macae - Vitoria - Guriri - Cumuruxatiba - Trancoso - Salvador - Aracaju - Maceio - Recife -Natal - Fortaleza - Jericoacoara

The report about Brazil could fill a whole book. No surprise, it is the largest tropical country in the world and therefore offers great diversity in culture and nature. We limit the report to some details. 

A weekend visit in Teresopolis, with the family of our host, is the icing on the cake of the Rio stay. And while enjoying the last dinner with Pablo and Leandro we realize that we are going to miss the new friends. 

The route along the coast leads us northwards, and whenever possible, we choose low-traffic roads, often sand and ripio roads.  Because there is one thing we do not like about the Brazilians, it is the way they drive - fast, agressive and never willing to use the brakes only because of a bike rider! Through varied landscapes - often rolling hills - past eucalyptus forests, pastures, pineapple- and sugarcane-plantations, almost untouched jungle, further north then shrubland, barren cactus-covered land, palm trees, sand dunes, secluded beaches, tourist resorts and cobbled and colorful colonial cities. Cycling along the beaches was not always easy. At low tide on the concrete-hard sand track
 with tailwind it is great fun, but  kilometers of pushing the loaded bikes through deep sand or carry everything over rocks or sand dunes, is a sudatory adventure. A listener would have heard some swissgerman swear words. 

For the night we usually put up our tent, there is always a nice place - often on the land of a hospitable farmer, or just somewhere in the bush or at almost pristine beaches, occasionally at Postos (petrol stations) where we enjoy the luxury of a  shower. In Vitoria, we are fortunate to be able to spend a comfortable night again at a friend of Leandro - with Carlos and his lovely family. In Natal we are allowed to stay with the amiable Samuel, a host of Warmshowers. 

As beautiful as the landscapes in Brazil are, but it gets topped by the people. The Brazilians are open, with a big heart, hospitable - we just do love them. There are countless examples; the farmers 
bring uscoconuts when we camp on their land, a truck driver gives us cold water when we make a break, another donates us a better road map, or asking for a camping site, they organized a free accommodation in the training room of the police. And where else but in Brazil you would be allowed to put up the tent without paying in the garden of a hostel or beside a 5 star hotel on nice lawn direct at the beach? 

Finally, in the northeast, in Jericoacoara, the long-awaited meeting with Nicole and Beat. Beach, sun, white sand dunes and turquoise sea, hammock, Capoeira, caipirinhas and lots of wind for the water sports - the Brazilian paradise. 

Nicole and Beat have to return
 back home to Switzerland, the time flies much too fast. Pius and I are going to continue in the same style. Along the beach on sand and secundary roads to Sao Luis and Belem, and finally cruise up the Amazon for 2 weeks to Manaus and Leticia.