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March 8th, 2012 | Brazil

My Mind Wanders… (Limeira to Campo Mourao…)

We made another long ride today, covering 670 km to get as close to Foz Iguazu as possible before the weekend…

"How the hell does he hold this thing up...??"... Roger contemplates the fully loaded Big Fella, as we prepare to leave our hotel in Limeira......

After yesterday’s great ride through mountains and the south-central highlands of Brazil, I had hoped we would have more of the same today…

Instead, all we saw was massive fields of sugar cane and citrus plantations… Hundreds of kilometres of them…!! If you can imagine what an ant must see while crossing a rugby field, then you will have a pretty good idea of the scenery we rode through today….

Brazilian highways are in very good condition, and conducive to high speed...

For the most part I rode in a bit of a daze, with nothing to keep my mind interested in the surroundings… We were on highway for the entire time, and must have encountered at least a dozen toll gates, most of which we had to pay for the pleasure of riding through…

We met these two guys who were on their way to collect another bike in Sao Paulo... Although they spoke no English, we were all able to make ourselves understood somehow...!!

My mind drifted away to mull over other subjects that had been bothering me for a while…

I fretted again about the short time I had to cover the almost 45 000 km before I got back to New York… And I had to be there by September…!!And there were a few very important arrangements to be made before I reached that particular spot…!!

I began ticking off the things I wanted to see before I left South America…

Iguazu Falls, which was only a few hours ride away now; crossing the Andes to get to the Atacama Desert in northern Chile; Lake Titicaca and La Paz in Bolivia; Cuzco and Machu Pichu in Peru; the highlands of Colombia…

I began rejecting many other places I had wanted to see, and roads I specifically wanted to ride on… There was just not enough time to do it all in…

This was both annoying and disappointing, but time waited for no man, and I could not think of any time in the past two years that I would honestly consider as “wasted”…

I was just running out of time… Pure and simple…!!

By late August, the road to Dead Horse in northern Alaska could begin receiving it’s first sprinkling of snow, and I had to be out of there well before then… The thought of not making it in time put me into a bit of a funk…

We got to Maringa and decided to push on even further... Also the first roadsign we came across to show that our destination was close at hand...

I hardly noticed the countryside we were riding through, only “woke up” when we got to a toll gate, or passed through a small town where traffic lights broke the monotony of the ride… On two occasions I rode right past the turnoffs we were meant to take and had to double back many kilometres to get back onto the route… This happened because I had stopped checking the GPS every now and again as I always do…

I had been riding point for most of the time, ever since leaving Rio, with Roger content to ride “shotgun” behind me, so each time I messed up and indicated that we had to turn around and go back, I had to wave my apologies and indicate with a tap on my helmet, that my head just wasn’t where it should be today…

He took it all in good humour and just grinned at me… Later he admitted that he was day-dreaming too… It was that kind of ride, the type when all you want to do is swallow up the miles to get from where you started out to where you planned on going…

Nothing in between really mattered… I knew that if Roger had not been with me, I would have set my sights on reaching Foz Iguazu today, even though it would mean a ride that would take me into a fatigue induced stupor… On a number of occasions in the past, when the countryside I was riding though was as boring as this one, I would shut down most of my senses and just ride like the wind to put as many miles on the clock as I could…

Perhaps it was also a mixture of the heat and humidity; perhaps it was the some of the songs that were blasting through my earphones that completely took my mind off what I was doing and sent it skittering far away from the conveyor belt like ride we were on…

The words of one song in particular stayed with me for ages… It was by Bryan Adams, and begins with a haunting flute solo that often sends pangs of melancholy through me… The words reminded me of all the people I love and miss so much; the friends and family that I am so far away from, and often feel disconnected from…

Their faces flashed before, sometimes smiling and laughing, sometimes sad and crying… A kaleidoscope that blocked out every other thing around me, except the constant vibration of the Big Fella underneath me, and the words and music in my ears….

“When you love someone, you’ll do anything…

You’ll do all the crazy things that you can’t explain…

You’ll shoot the moon, put out the sun…

When you love someone…

You’ll deny the truth, believe a lie,

There will be times that you believe you can really fly…

And your lonely nights have just begun,

When you love someone…

You’ll feel it deep inside,

And nothing else will ever change your mind…

When you love someone,

You will sacrifice, give it everything you’ve got,

And you won’t think twice,

You’ll risk it all, no matter what may come…

When you love someone…”

It’s one of those haunting, BIG songs, that never fail to take me by the throat and hold me there until the last note fades…

In my mind’s eye I saw again the recent times I spent with Patricia; saw her smiling face as clear as a bell, and felt a deep longing to be with her again soon…

This guy chased us all day but never quite managed to overtake...

We stopped twice to refuel, once at Pedemeiros, and again at Apucarana… On both occasions I again came perilously close to running out of fuel, which had Roger shaking his head in disbelief at the chances I took…

“Roger, remember what I have been telling you since we met…!! There is always fuel at the furtherest range of the Big Fella’s tank…!!”

We had rodden much further than we planned to, which meant tomorrow we would have just a three hour run to Foz do Iguazu, one of the greatest natural wonders in the world...

When we left Limeira, we had set our sights on reaching Londrina, but got there at 3.oo pm… We decided to head further west to Maringa, and when we got there, agreed to push even further to Campo Mourao… It was that kind of day, when everything around you became a bit of a blur, and all you wanted to do was ride yourself out of it…

On the edge of town I stopped and asked Roger if he wanted to go on…

“We could ride to Cascavel you know…!! It’s only 178 km from here and we could be there by 8 o’clock tonight…!!”

He gave me a withering look, and then in typical Roger style, said…

“If you want to, we can… No problem…!!” and then followed this up with, “No, let’s stay here… Enough is enough for f**k’s sake…!!”

We struck it lucky at the first hotel we stopped at...

We had ridden almost 1 500 km in the two days since leaving Rio, and covered over 4 400 km since meeting on the ferry to Uruguay… We had proved to each other that we could make the big rides and then get up the next day and do it all over again…!!

We cruised down the centre of Campo Mourao, and did not see a single hotel… We doubled back on a road parallel to the main road and came across a hotel that offered everything we needed at a price that was extremely reasonable for a change…!!

We went looking for something to eat and found a place just a block away that made burgers… We were more than surprised when the girl flipping the burgers added boiled peas and corn to our burgers…!!

“I’ve never seen that before…!!” exclaimed Roger, dubiously fingering his beard while he looked on in alarm…

We needed some beer to wash it all down with, and despite it being the worst burger we had tasted in a long time, the two young girls behind the counter laughed and tried to make conversation with us, and this took our minds off the “fodder” that we were struggling to swallow…

Tomorrow we have just a short ride (for a change…!!) to Foz do Iguazu, which form the border between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay…

After today’s mind-numbing ride, I am in desperate need of something to ignite my interest again… I am pretty sure that the falls will do it for me…!!

©GBWT 2012

 

7 comments to My Mind Wanders… (Limeira to Campo Mourao…)

  • Slow Down

    “…another long ride today, covering 670 km…“We could ride to Cascavel you know…!! It’s only 178 MORE km ”

    Slow Down

  • Mark Behr

    Great distances travelled. Good to see you do them with intention. Follow your rainbow my friend!

  • Patricia

    I love you Baby..thinking of you..hang in there!

  • Steve Knight

    Hey: don’t forget that you have to spend a month or two on Saltspring! Mayber we’ll have to pass the hat and have Patricia here when you get here!?!
    I had a quick BS with Trevor the other day and he mentioned the posse heading for Alaska. You ride too many miles in a day for me but I might be tricked into catching you for a beer somewhere along the way!
    Ride safe.
    Steve.
    PS: I’ve got a friend down in Chile right now trying for a world record. Check out AndesMotoExtreme.com and keep you eyes peeled for Sherri Jo Wilkins (google Because I Can World Tour) She stopped in here to Saltspring on her way through and she was a hoot! Say hi if your paths cross.
    Cheers,
    Steve
    The Local Pub
    Saltspring

  • Steve…!! Ha, having P there would be great… She has already made a similar suggestion…!! A month or two in Saltspring, huh…?? Np pressure then… I’ll just skip a few countries and get straight up there, shall I…!! Take care and look forward to meeting you…eventually…!! R.

  • Hanging in Babe… Hanging in…!!

  • Charmz

    Have you noticed how the next day gets better again…we all have days where we daydream and travel far away in our minds, it’s allowed you know. Stay safe, we thinking of you and miss you so much.
    Love Mom, Dad and me xx

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