Brazil 1


Although this page is labeled Brazil 1, there are a few final pictures of Argentina (but not enough to do another Argentina page).

On the 27th of March it is time to say goodbye to Iguaçu Falls and start heading towards Brazil.  But before we leave Argentina I wanted to take Sandy 200 miles south to meet the friends I had met in Posadas, Argentina.


Checking out of our hotel in Iguaçu Falls. 

This will be Sandy's first day of riding since her return to South America. 

Notice the new pannier with no decals, which were all well earned.



About 50 miles south of Iguaçu Falls on our way to Posadas we come across this LARGE motorcycle!



I think the weld broke on the motorcycles side stand!



We stopped for a quick lunch in Sao Ignacio, Argentina.



Two hundred miles later, we are in Posadas, Argentina, with friends for dinner overlooking the Rio Parana.

Yep, another Pepper Steak!



It was very hard to leave all the friends we have made in Argentina, but we can't stay here forever.

We may have scared them when we said we would return someday!



The following day (the 28th of March), we have lunch at the castle.  Hey, Sandy had to see the place!



Then we got together for dinner at their home in Posadas.  Does it look like all we have been doing is eating?

Sandy and I agreed that this was the BEST pizza either of us have ever had! 



We wake up and get ready to leave Argentina with heavy hearts. 

 

We will always have a warm spot for Argentina and the friends we made during our travels through the country.


Approaching the border of Brazil.  The beginning of another adventure!



We arrived at the border near Santo Tome, Argentina and Sao Borja, Brazil and Sandy samples Mate..

They seemed very surprised at the fact that we came all the way from California.

I asked how often they see visitors from the United States, at this border crossing.

I suggested maybe 1 or 2 Gringos per week?

He laughed and said, he had worked at this crossing for 8 months, and we were the first citizens from the United State to cross at this point!


We ride through Sao Borja, Brazil looking for a place to eat.  And what we find is a place where the waiter stops by your table every 3 minutes with a skewer with hot meat, which is carved directly to your plate.  Brazil may be a cardiac nightmare!



From the border to Porto Alegre is about 450 miles.  The road we took was BR285, which happened to be "Rota Missoes".  Every 30 to 50 miles there was a mission (Missoes), much like the chain of Missions in California.  The gentleman at the border suggested that we stay in Sao Miguel, which we did!



The Missoes at Sao Miguel.



The riding through this part of Brazil was relaxing and pretty.  Traffic was very light, and the road was in nice shape.  This is the hotel (Hotel Wilson Park) in Sao Miguel.  Yes, we are really roughing it!



For 300 miles it was gentle rolling farm lands. 

Are we in Iowa?


So far, Brazil has been VERY clean, neat and orderly!



Then, during the last 100 miles prior to Porto Alegre, we are riding through beautiful mountains which range from 2,000 to 3,000 feet.




 

Are we actually in Brazil?

Every few miles you could see a church, in the distance, on the next rolling hill!



It is the 31st of March and we are in Porto Alegre, Brazil.  We are staying at the "City Hotel", right in the center of town.  We have walked to nearly 20 banks, none of which will accept our ATM card.  And we are down to our last $50.00 of cash.  It is Saturday, and we are afraid to spend any money for cabs or meals, so we charge our meals at the hotel and walk around town.



Walking around town, we ran across this truck which was stuck in this intersection.  The front bumper was against a fire hydrant and when he tried to backup, all he did was burn the clutch up.  Hey, when you are out of cash, this was cheap entertainment for 20 minutes!



Porto Alegre city scene....

There are not a lot of tourists in Porto Alegre, which is the 4th largest city in Brazil, but the city is not even listed in the guide book which we are using?????  The lack of tourists is a plus for us.  We enjoy walking around and just watching the daily life of those in another country...........



The view from our 8th floor room at the "City Hotel".

We finally found a bank which will honor our ATM card.  We can eat again!  It is Sunday, the 1st of April.  We walk around Porto Alegre, which was having a big party in a park near our hotel.  How strange it is to be in Brazil, where I expected to hear Bossa Nova's, not the "Beer Barrel Polka"!


Is that a German accordion player!

Yep!

I was a little embarrassed when this cute Brazilian girl made eyes at me.

Maybe it was the beer!


Now this seemed a little more like a Brazilian "Carnival".


 


I was not exactly sure what was going on here.

 

It looked like he was performing a sub-miniature poppet show for the kids!

Kids are kids, no matter where you are on the planet!

We sure miss our grandkids every time we see kids like this.


On April 2nd, we leave Porto Alegre to start our trip up the coast of Brazil.  It is funny that Brazil was the country that first motivated me to want to travel in South America, and here it is, almost 2 years after our trip began, and we are finally seeing Brazil.  The attractions of Brazil, for me, are the music, the jungles of the Amazon and the people.  The cultural diversity of Brazil will make this part of our journey very interesting!


It is about 60 miles from Porto Alegre to the Atlantic coast.  We take RS-040 to Pinhal and then head north to Tramandai.  We had to visit Tramandai because the friends we made in Posadas Argentina have a home there, and we had to say one last goodbye.  (picture below is of the sand dunes near Pinhal)


 


This is Karina and Luis from Posadas.  They are building another home behind the home in this picture. 

We will miss them dearly and will remember them for years to come!


 


We arrive in Passo de Torres and spot a Yamaha dealer.

Sandy came from Los Angeles with a new oil filter for the BMW.

The cases are packed so tightly, I decided to change the oil so that we could use the oil filter, creating another 6 cubic inches of space!

Oil Change complete!

Sandy is truly enjoying Brazil!


 In Passo de Torres we find a room right on the beach.  We had the sound of surf and thunder through the night.  I have never slept so well.  This is the view from our room.  I am not a "sit around and enjoy the view" kind of guy, but Sandy and I sat on the balcony as the sun set, and we watched the lightning for 2 hours.  Hey --- maybe I am finally getting into the "retirement" mode!


 


I have not made many statements regarding the motorcycle and service issues (except the last oil change and the welds breaking).  But, keeping the motorcycle running with a high level of reliability does require effort, as those of you who have ridden on longer rides (over 15,000 miles) can appreciate.  It can be tough to find something as simple as a headlight.  The BMW R100GS originally had a single headlamp.  One of the few modifications I made was the TouraTech double headlight assembly.  On trips like this, all the lights have a short life span.  Each head light has a standard beam and a high beam.  Four filaments in all.  I was down to one high beam filament left, so it was time to find and replace the 2 head lights.


He thought the old guy was having problems replacing the headlight, so he offered to help.

After 30 minutes he gave up.

I finally got my fat hands into the cramped space and replaced the blubs.


We leave Passo de Torres for our 240 mile ride up the coast to Florianopolis.  We stopped for lunch at Garopaba, Brazil



We loved our lunch, BUT it was not very healthy!  We still can not read the menus, so when we saw Brochette on the menu, we thought that would be safe.  What we got was breaded and fried Shrimp and hunks of cheese on a stick.  Tasted great!


 


The bike sits patiently waiting for us!

 One last shot of the village of Garopaba, Brazil........



On the 3rd of April we arrive in Florianopolis, which is fantastic.  Pictures will be on the next page (Brazil 2).  Please check back, as Florianopolis is on an island, and it is like heaven!


For "Argentina 19"  hit the "Back Button".....       For "Brazil 2"  hit the "Next Button".....


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