20 November, 2012

Day 136, 429km: Into Brazil!

Mixed feelings starting the day this morning. On one hand, I'm entering a country which promises to be awesome, Brazil. On the other hand, that'll be the last country I enter on this trip. Which means the end is in sight!
Bertha however never fails to put a smile on my face once we're on the road together.

Plus I have to admit that the "Fuck yeah I did it" feeling at the idea of driving into Brazil after a long way south from Canada was pretty strong.

Sheep and palm trees. Why not?
So we started by driving across Uruguay's countryside. It was nice having a riding buddy again after the lonely plains of Patagonia.
Reiner and his cool looking 1981 F800GS!
Interestingly enough (well if you're interested in motorcycles) the 1981 F800GS had a flat twin engine a.k.a. boxer and a cardan shaft. Two things that make it more reliable and require less maintenance than today's parallel-twin chain driven F800GS.

Interesting bridge in Uruguay. "The gateway to vomit" 
Leaving Uruguay
It was a short drive to the border and soon enough we had our passport stamps and were ready to enter Brazil.
There was a duty-free in between the borders and Uruguayan people told us we should definitely go there. Well I didn't have anything to buy but figured that since X'mas is coming, why not.

Naturally I looked for the only thing I care about
So they had some nice toasters. A couple 4-slices, a nice 2-slices in an anodized aluminium casing with removable breadcrumb tray. Nothing breathtaking, though. You know, the toaster that you see walking on the street and look intensely while thinking "wow", then exchange a knowing glance with another onlooker.

Bertha got slightly thirsty
I think it's the first and only picture of me refueling Bertha with my spare tank. I use it only when I missed the last gas station, or when there is simply no gas station. The above picture was taken by Reiner, I thought some of you might like it!

Uruguay-Brazil border on the Atlantic coast
A few kilometers after the duty free, I arrived (toaster-less) in Brazil, accompanied by Reiner. The paperwork was quick and easy. Thorough, though. Brazil seems to like paperwork, as far as I can see.

Stopping in the first town for lunch
Our destination was Rio Grande, around 300km north of the border.

Driving across vast swamps
The road was pretty uneventful, going across vast swamps nearing the Atlantic coastline.

Rio Grande's port
Rio Grande's old town
The old town was not really inspiring. A massive port, and a few not-so-nice looking streets. We remembered seeing signs for the beach and casino before entering the city so we headed there as it was still early in the day.

5pm, party on the beach!
Well the beach itself was basically a parking lot / party / rave. Lots of music and drinking. People enjoying their Saturday near the sea!

Found a cheap hostel, headed to a restaurant, tried to learn some Portuguese with the very patient waitresses and went to bed early, only to be devoured by mosquitoes. Back in tropical lands!

Cheers,
Guillaume

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