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Travel Story: Cycling Estrada do Inferno | Southern Brazil | Bojuru to Porto do Barquinho (Day 2)

Travel Story: Cycling Estrada do Inferno | Southern Brazil | Bojuru to Porto do Barquinho (Day 2)

February 2020 · 8 min read · Rio Grande do Sul

Hooray travel monsters! Let's continue the 380 km bicycle trip on Estrada do Inferno in southern Brazil.

On my previous post I wrote you a Prelude to Awesomeness, where I introduced my motivations for this 380 km bicycle trip in southern Brazil on a road called Estrada do Inferno - a strech of asphalt amidst a lagoon and the ocean.

There you have a detailed introduction so you can familiarize to the region, the cities I crossed, and most importantly, you'll get to know some inspiring characters I encountered on that first day of the journey. The first post on this series goes beyond the regular travel diary, I gave my best to show you the positive realities of our world in hopes of inspiring you to go out and pursue your dreams. I strongly sugest you taking a look on the first post before this one.

You can check the first post HERE

On this post we'll continue the journey (day 2) between the towns of Bojuru and a village called Porto do Barquinho, where I slept inside an abandonned wooden hut facing the lagoon and one of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen. Enjoy!.

January 28th, 2020. Inspired by the early sunrays I woke up and quickly prepared my breakfast; it consisted of oat meals cooked on milk and mixed with peanut butter followed by some banana bars and a strong black coffee to boost the whole system to endure the 90+ kilometers I needed to complete.

From Bojuru heading north I would cross the towns of Tavares and Mostardas. In between, the Parque Nacional da Lagoa do Peixe (Lagoa do Peixe National Park) was also long awaited due to its natural beauty and concentration of migratory birds and other wild animals.

After Bojuru, the farther I traveled the simpler life seemed to be and the lesser people I crossed on the road. The long and tedious flat road sometimes invited me to cycle harder, whereas sweat remembered me that I was not on a race. "Why am I speeding up?", I had to ask myself. The silence was sometimes broken by a car or truck passing by and waving.

On a bicycle trip you have the chance to experience the journey on a slower pace. It gives you the opportunity to observe things around you in a way that you wouldn't notice otherwise. Life is all around, all the time you hear animals running into the bushes; but there's also death, unfortunatelly. Seeing wild animals killed by the road hurts and makes you think if ever we'll find a way to achieve progress with minimal impact on nature.

However, thanks to the bicycle, I was able to do my part when I saved a small turtle that seemed scared inside her shell on the middle of the road. I named the turtle as Donatello, the super hero.

Donatello, the Ninja Turtle
Donatello, the Ninja Turtle

After hanging around with the Ninja Turtles for a bit, finally I got to the best moment of the day; where I get to eat one more of those gigantic brazilian meals.

In Brazil we have something that I've never seen somewhere else, it's called the Buffet - all you can eat or kilo. On these restaurants, instead of having a plate that you can choose from the menu, you have all the meals as self-service. The all you can eat option you pay a fixed price and eat as many times as you can handle; or you go for the kilo version, where you weight your plate and pay for what you served.

Since I'm a monster, whenever I weight my plate it sends me straight to the all you can eat option, as it ends up being cheaper. I went full mad and served beans, rice, fish, salsages, french fries and some salad just in case - a full and typical brazilian lunch time.

Typical brazilian meal taken from my potator phone
Typical brazilian meal taken from my potator phone

The way to Porto do Barquinho runned smooth as a hot knife on butter. I only stopped on a farm's gate to photograph something that caught my attention, as the sign said Trabalho x Felicidade (work x hapiness). Made me think of my choices and why I decided to give up a potentially profitable carrer as a mechanical engineer to go live a poorer freer life as a content creator.

work x happiness
work x happiness

All good and beautiful until I reached the final strech of that day. I had planned to camp by the lagoon, meaning I had to pedal at least 10 kilometers on a dirt road. Or should I call it the dirty road, the destroyer of butts.

On a first glance it doesn't look all that bad, until you start riding it, and your bike starts jumping on the curbs. You go too fast and all the bolts and nuts on the bicycle would snap; you go too slow and you get raped by the seat. I was not prepared to shake so much, especially after 80+ kilometers. But I had no option, it was either having my bum spanked or sleeping by the road.

The Butt Destroyer
The Butt Destroyer

I continued, shacking and swearing and stopping and continuing and changing from the left to the right. I was seriously reconsidering my plan when I spotted the first of the wooden houses that formed a small fisherman village. A sign said "Ceva Gelada" (cold beer), a mirage aparently, as the place was closed.

As priorities goes on a bicycle trip, the first thing to do was to find a place to camp. With the beer place closed I went to the next house, where there was some sertanejo (brazilian music style) playing loudly; the door was opened and the only bell they had was me clapping my hands. I clapped once, then twice... so I heard from inside "Pode entrar!!" (come in), but I though "What? Do they know I'm a stranger?".

I decided not to enter and went to the third house, where again I clapped. This time the dogs barked announcing my arrival. Then this curved skinny lady appeared.

"Hi, I'm travelling by bicycle, is there a place do camp?" - I quickly asked.
"You can camp anywhere you want..." - She said.

At this point I was thinking that it sounded weird... how can I camp anywhere... I didn't want to question much, but if things seemed so easy I could maybe try to extract more.

"I see... but I mean... I don't want to bother no one. Would you recommend a place?" - I said.

At this point I was worried, because my previous inspection showed no shades to put my tent below and the soil was mostly made of a thin sand.

"Do you see the last hut there? The one with blue windows?" - She said.
"Yeah." - I said.
"People offen use it as it's abandonned. The door is closed with a nail... just open it..." - She said.

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If things seemed weird, they were now incredibly sexy weird, but I liked it. A wooden hut with blue windows with a door facing the lagoon? Just for myself? If it sounded too good to be true I didn't care at that point.

Inside there was nothing but empty rooms and the planks of wood were there just to break the wind and the sun, anything else could pass through the spaces between them. The other houses, the ones with people living in them were not different; just simple wooden huts used by fisherman. What else does a traveller need?

The wooden hut
The wooden hut

I pitched my tent inside the hut just to avoid mosquitoes and used the kitchen counter to cook. Curiously, inside the house there was a broom, left there on purpose so whoever used the hut could leave it clean for the next user.

That tiring day was finished with one last gift, a beautiful sunset that is only possible to see from that side of the lagoon.

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Sunset in Lagoa dos Patos
Sunset in Lagoa dos Patos

It's a shame I didn't have internet connection. I know it's a bless not having technology in such a place, but if I had the option I'd have spent a few days there writing articles and enjoying the scenery even more.

The next day I'd have to say good-bye to the good 'ol hut and continue my journey to the next destination, but I left with one certainty. I will come back!

Did you like this story? Do you like this format of story telling or more pictures would be better? Leave a comment, I love talking to you all!

If you liked this post, please, consider leaving your upvote for a hot coffee.

~Love ya all

Disclaimer: The author of this post is a convict broke backpacker, who has travelled more than 10.000 km hitchhiking and more than 3.000 km cycling. Following him may cause severe problems of wanderlust and inquietud. You've been warned.

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