20 November, 2012

Day 137, 396km: Wir nahr Porto Alegre gehen

Reiner and I were going in the same direction, to Florianopolis, a beach resort two days north of where we stayed. So for the second day, we set-off together and started driving along Brazil's coast.

A bit of maintenance to start the day
Bertha's chain has been giving me a lot of trouble the past few weeks. She now requires constant care and will surely be changed when I reach Rio de Janeiro and do the 40,000km service.

Our idea for the day was to avoid the main road to the north and take another route, along the coast. Which meant taking a ferry to go across the mouth of the 200km long Laguna dos Patos. The day before we found the ferry's pier while driving around the city and naturally headed there, only to be told that the next ferry was leaving in 4H.

We got lucky though
Flavio, pictured on the left here, happened to drive by on his bike. Himself a motorcycle driver (he did Brazil-Canada 20 years ago!) he told us that there was another ferry, supposedly for passengers only (no vehicles) but that we should be able to fit our bikes on it.

Well he was right!
It required a bit of squeezing to fit the boat's narrow entrance but with patience and precision we eventually made it and were on our way to the coast road! It's the fourth time Bertha has been on a boat. Mexico, Guatemala, Bolivia and now Brazil. That'll probably be the last time too. She enjoyed it, I'm sure.

The coast road was pretty "meh"
It wasn't really a short drive to Porto Alegre but surely an uneventful one. Flat road across the swamps. Surely better than the main road though, as they was virtually no-one on the road. Reaching Porto Alegre, however, we found ourselves in bad traffic. The weather got hotter too! About 30 degrees C here. I doubt it will get cooler as I drive further north!

Porto Alegre's cathedral
A nice and cool park

Pretty hostel unfortunately full
After a little bit of circling around, we found a good deal to stay, a nice room in a hotel under construction, which meant good price, and a nice breakfast the next day!

Always nice to have some comfort
Walked around downtown, had dinner in the "bar" street, enjoyed the "view" from the terasse and off to bed we go.


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