370km, 9km of climbing, 9km of descending and far too much dirt road, the Estrada Real was a definite challenge. According to the official numbers, 46% of the time is climbing and 43% descending, leaving very little time for anything to be flat. The official documents also say “It’s not necessary to be an athlete to travel the Estrada Real, because the difficulty is not that high, but it is necessary to be in good shape and used to spending several hours in a row cycling, walking or riding
Diamantina is the start of the Caminho dos Diamantes (Road of the Diamonds) and a UNESCO world heritage site. This means that it’s maintained, although this includes things like the horrible cobbles that make you feel like you’re in an earthquake when you drive over them. They also do a fair number on the suspension of most cars. The steep, narrow streets are very pretty, but driving there as a non-local must be horrible, as you need to be constantly aware and ready to reverse to get
Montes Claros – Posto Seabra
I’d stayed in Montes Claros so Neto could ride with me and, as he managed to re-arrange the classes he needed to teach, on Monday morning he was ready. He didn’t have a touring bike, or racks, and the furthest he had ridden in a day was 60km, but he had the 3 most important things – time, desire and a bicycle. He was going to use a backpack to carry the minimal amount that he’d bring (little more than couple of pairs of underwear, off-the-bike
Neto, my Couchsurfing host, had to leave Montes Claros just a couple of hours before I arrived, but I was left in the hands of his brother João. After taking me out on the Wednesday night, after I arrived, he took me out riding on the Thursday as he had the afternoon free from work. I’m not always thrilled by riding on my day’s off, but this was mountain biking – something I’d not done before – and sounded intriguing. I got to use Neto’s bike, which other than
Even with the offer from Rodrigo and family to stay much longer in Guanambi, I had to move on. If it weren’t for the 6 month visa limit, I could definitely have seen myself staying longer, not only in Guanambi but in other places too. The people here are constantly saying I should stay a few days more, so much so that if I accepted them all I’d probably barely get to Rio by the Olympics, nevermind the World Cup.
From Guanambi to Montes Claros, there was the best part of 400km, with