Hyeonjung, a Korean backpacker that had stayed at the same place in Salvador, had been talking for a good while about wanting to ride a bike in South America. She’s not exactly a cyclist, and didn’t have a bike, but we decided that we would try and ride from Curitiba to Florianópolis together. She’d accompanied me riding around São Paulo and had enjoyed it, so why not try it out?
I left São Paulo on the Saturday morning, and Hyeonjung (HJ from now on) stayed an extra day. Our
Wilson’s family lived on the outskirts of São Paulo and Hyeonjung, a Korean friend who I had met back during carnival in Salvador, was staying in the centre so I went there. As well as getting to hang out with her, it meant being much closer to the things I had to do in São Paulo, namely watch England v Uruguay, pick up my replacement hub, get said hub replaced and maybe fit in a bit of sightseeing.
The British Consulates here in Brazil hosted three events, one before each group game, which
I’d been in no rush to leave Rio, and had been planning on taking a relaxing few days to São Paulo. The Rio x Santos road, also known as Costa Verde, is deservedly known as one of the prettiest roads in Brazil as it winds past coves and up and down small hills through the Mata Atlantica (Atlantic Forest).
Leaving Rio wasn’t the most fun, with some heavy traffic. It was my fault as I’d chosen to take the shortest way out, rather than passing along Copacabana and down the beaches
I stayed in a República in Ouro Preto, basically a shared house filled with university students. They were a fun mix of geeky guys who, as well as staying up until 4am playing computer games online, enjoyed partying on the weekends. I hung out with them, and of course also got to know the historical centre of Ouro Preto (Black Gold). There are a few quite spectacular churches, but they seemed to think that being a UNESCO site it was fair to charge $5 to enter each church, and still not let you
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