Thankfully the hard work of getting to Alberdi paid off as Julie proved a great hostess, showing me around and introducing me to plenty of people. She’s been in Alberdi for almost a year and so has a bit of a firmer idea of what she’s doing than Nora. She had made lots of amazing connections, and I was shown around to lots of them and got to hear about life in what somehow feels a little less isolated when you’re actually there, just because of it’s access across the river
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
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
Arzúa – Mondoñedo – Soto de Luiña
I got my water bottle filled with milk before leaving the farm. Even though they’d not gone to bed until past midnight, they’d been up before 6am and had delivered a calf while I’d been sleeping. I set out and had a relaxing day with several stops to drink the bottle of wine that I’d been given the night before.
Other than the wine, the highlight of the day was meeting Dani,
Aracaju – Indiaroba
Staying in Aracaju was a good time. We went to the beach on the weekend, and then I hung out at Lourenço’s bike shop on both the Monday and Tuesday. There were a couple of small colonial-era towns a bus ride away, but neither Lourenço nor Fabiana, his cleaner, thought they were worth visiting, so I skipped that option. I also managed to meet up with Felippe, a Warmshowers member, who had done a year-long tour around Brazil and was planning