Goooood afternoon, readers! How are you? We continued cycling on the rain, got sick and had lots of mishaps.
Note: Sorry for leaving you hanging on the comments, readers. I was sick in bed and this post will address what happened. Hopefully we'll be back to the normal posting rate soon.
Hey, lovely readers. On my last cycling blog, I took you, and my friend André, on a small 40 km bicycle ride in the rain , he spent the weekend here for a visit, so chosing the weather was not an option.
I wouldn't imagine that, If there's one clear sign from the God's to not cycle, that weekend vibe was possibly it. Rain, rain and a little bit more rain. If you've read my last posts you've noticed how frustrating that was. However, André was still motivated - shower on arrival, shower on his second day, what's next?
As for me, it was all good, I'm used to put myself on all sorts of discomfort zones all over this world; I've endured rain, heavy winds, hours of hiking trails. Unless my friend would say that he didn't want to cycle, I wouldn't force anyone to follow my craziness. So, we continued.
- I think it won't rain tomorrow. - André said.
- Let's see... tomorrow is another day, good night. - I said, while going to my bedroom.
July 8th, 2018. After three days of non-stop rain, that Sunday dawned with a perfect blue sky, althogh it was chilly outside, humidity was running down the living room window. It was the perfect day to explore the waterfalls. André was preparing his equipment; I was trying to fix my camera's SD card; the coffee was starting to release that glorious morning smell.
Preparations began quite early; breakfast consisted of Tapioca with eggs and various fillings, black coffee and fruits; Sadly I looked to the window and a gray mass was forming outside, coming from South-West.
- It's gonna rain. - I said.
- Looks like, but let's do it anyway, it'll stabilize. - André said.
At that time I gave up working on the SD card. If it was going to rain, there was no point into taking the DSLR, I didn't want to break it on the frist use (sorry readers, no quality photos this time yet). We quickly grabbed everything, strapped panniers to the bikes, opened up Strava and off we go!
- Are you prepared for the mountains? - I asked.
- Yeah, I'll go on my rhythm. - André said, while we were leaving my flat.
Our initial plans were to cycle to the Imigrante waterfall (42 km from my house), then we'd camp there, the other day we'd explore the neighboor waterfalls and the hidden tunel. Sounded easy, didn't work.
Cycling to Cascata is not a joke, from Pelotas it's goes up quite a lot, a constant road of ups and downs. André isn't, by any means, a beginner cyclist, however, I was worried I wouldn't be able to keep my normal pace. On a normal day I'm able to cycle 100 km a day, I was hopping to do that again and come back to sleep at home.
I continued on the lead and keeping an eye on my partner, the road going up and up. After 23km we reached Cascatinha, where I generally eat a Pastel - This time it wasn't different. Our lunch consisted of two big size Pastels each, perfect for giving a little extra energy. We didn't know yet, but we'd thank the gods we ate those Pastels.
The Holy Pastel
I promise I'll teach you how to make these on a post.
- Oi, are you cycling on this weather? - An old man asked.
- Yeah, sure! - I said.
- In the rain? Gotta be crazy... - the old man said.
- Rain? - I asked while standing up to check the restaurant's window.
Yes, it was raining... again... We knew there was the possibility of sudden showers, but come on, not now. What would we do at this stage.
- It's raining, dude... do you want to go back home now, that we're close to home; or you want to continue further inside the rural zone? - I asked André.
- Neh... it's just rain... let's keep on going until the camping, there we take a hot shower. - He said.
If the crazy man says to continue, the other crazy man agrees. With a small adjustment on the plans we've decided to enter the locality called Cascatinha, just to follow some rural roads up until a city called Morro Redondo, there, we'd camp in a cool ranch called Sítio Amoreza. Now... of course we could've gone to Morro Redondo using the asphalted road, but what's the fun of that?
Rain was unleashing all it's power once more. Rain gear on, and let's go. I'll let a few pictures tell a bit of the story.
I love my bicycle.
We continued following muddy uphill roads, trying to find the Sítio Amoreza. At every crossroads we looked the map to make sure we were right.
Crossroad, time to check the map.
At every climb I'd focus, downshift and go. I could hear André mumbling behind me.
- F&*# this climbs, where have I put myself into!!! - He mumbled.
- When I think it's over, it climbs more!! - He continued.
It was all fun for me, but again, I'm used to cycling there, I needed to respect my friend's misery.
- Dude, you've got to use the gears! - I shouted.
This was the so called Cemetery climb; when you think it's over, you climb more. Until you finish and can die in peace at the cemetery on top.
André accepting defeat.
Rest in peace my friend.
I have so many rural cemetery pictures that I could start a series. Anyways.
For cyclists going on trails the gears are everything, we have 24 gears on our bikes, better use them all. Downshift before entering the uphilld, downshift more if you feel you need more. Release pressure on the pedals while doing so, that way you'll relief tension on the chain. You'll have to pedal more, but you'll apply a lot less strength, that's called mechanical advantage. Use it.
After 45 km of pure wetness, mumbling and mud, we finally found the camping site...not without getting lost a couple of times I must add.
The owners Peu and Maria Flor were kinda surprised to see two wet cyclists on a Sunday afternoon standing on their door. The two young couple were organizing everything after coming back from the city - Later we'd discover that Peu's grandfather had passed away that week, that's why they were working and tidying everything.
Even though they were re-starting their week after their loss, Peu and Flor were incredibly welcoming. Seeing that, the rain was not going to stop and that no one else was coming to the ranch that day, they let us sleep on the the common area of the camping; there we had books to read, a kitchen and cozy sofas to sleep on. Perfect!
What else could we do on rainy Sunday? Well, nothing much. I took some weird pictures for distraction. Pardon the bad quality.
Found some books to distract.
This place had a good vibe.
Don't ask me.
What the heck was I going?
July 9th, 2018. Rainy Monday morning, plans to explore the waterfalls aborted.
- This freakin rain, dude! - I said while sipping my coffee by the window.
- There's no way I'm going to the waterfalls... - André said.
- Yup, maybe next time... - I agreed.
After finishing our breakfast we've decided to head back home, there was no way we'd stay there one more day, doing nothing, just to discover that the rain wouldn't stop. It's sad, but it happens. We gave our goodbyes to the hosts, I gave them my promise to go back there as soon as we have a semi-better weather.
Our rain gear had dryed overnight, making the cold less freezing; bikes full of mud and prepared. Luckly as soon as we crossed the gates, rain stopped. At least the Gods decided to give us a little break.
- I swear... if there's more uphills... - André mumbled.
- There will be, my friend... - I said laughing.
We took some advices from Peu, who said that following the internal rural roads, instead of going to Morro Redondo again, would save us 15 km. We'd need to cycle more on the mud, but it would be shorter and less hilly.
Our moods were not all that great for photos, which translates quite perfecly into the bad quality of the photos on this post, however, we were giving our best.
I took this picture below, this is called in Rio Grande do Sul a Tapera, which translates into an old abandonned house. I've seen many houses abandonned like this, only took one picture though.
An old abandonned house.
After a few kilometers we've found the main road where we were supposed to cycle back to Pelotas, quite a pleasing path I'd say. That road felt smooth and constant on its decline, I was able to use high gears the whole time and my bicycle felt light.
The only problem about road cycling in Brazil are the cars; you do need to keep an eye open especially on bridge crossings, if there are cars coming behind you - Stop and Wait! That's what we did, we stopped and I took the time to pee and eat some Bananinhas.. They are candys made of Banana, great for trails, I afraid though, you'll only find those in Brazil.
Candys made of banana called Mariola or Bananinha.
When it was time to leave, Pshhhhhh... flat tire on Andrés bike. Bring the tools, it's time to work. As if being we wasn't enough.
We couldn't complain when we got back home, we absolutely knew it was going to rain a lot. Options were made, consequences suffered. Despite all the mumbling from my beloved friend, both of us agreed that the trails were a lot of fun. Peu and Flor were amazing for giving us some place to sleep. I've learned a lot of stuff that I'll need to fix for my next big trip.
But the misery hasn't stopped!
Monday night everything felt normal. As I had to work on Tuesday, I went to bed early. The other day the Gods remembered about my existence - I woke up feeling dizzy, weak, with a 39°C fever and with a splitting headache. André was feeling the same, could barely eat anything without running to the bathroom. We still don't know what caused our problem, but it was possibly caused by a decrease in immunity from cycling 90 km on the rain, combined with some inappropriate water ingestion. Who knows...
As I write this post I'm still feeling a little weak, but I can't stop working if I want to achieve my goals.
To conclude my penitence, today I had to find strength to deal with some bureaucratic stuff at a notary public; getting there I realised I had forgotten my wallet at home, double trip to conclude the task. With that out of the way I just needed to go to the post office and then home - Not without a flat tire on my bike. God dammit!!
I don't know what I have done, I just hope it's over Haha. I just wanted to add that, that way outsiders won't think that a travellers life is always full of beautiful photos and moments. Albeit, if you've been reading my travel stories, you may have noticed that I usually live on the edge of discomfort, Hah!
That's is for today's post, dear readers. I hope it wasn't too much reading and too less photos. Now I have a DSLR camera, so I'll try to improve my photography quality. See you next time. Bye.[//]:# (!steemitworldmap -31.645753 lat -52.638045 long Sítio Amoreza - A great sustainable camping site. d3scr)
Juicy info for bike Geeks
I'm sorry for the decline in quality on my posts, it'll be better soon. By the way, are you still curious to see the waterfalls?
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. Following him may cause severe problems of wanderlust and inquietud. You've been warned.