Tuesday, 17 May 2011

A Trying Day - trying not to get lost, trying not to ride after dark and trying not to get shot

Being Mister Organised I got a good early start because I am fed up with arriving at my destination with only an hour or so of daylight remaining leaving no time to look around. I was hoping to make Rio Verde 484km away and across country using Google directions. Even at the start the directions I had did not seem to tie in with the situation on the ground. It was 20km further than I had expected before I found the road I was looking for. As I turned onto it I am sure I heard Daisy squeal with delight. Her first Ripio. It was not the best introduction firm under wheel but very very bumpy. The road had been churned to a mire in the rainy season and now it was baked solid. I was so busy I forgot to take a picture of the roughest bit and only remembered 1km from the end of the road where it was now in good condition.
Riding cross country on minor roads with only Google directions was proving to be a nightmare. After many wrong turns I finally reached Pires de Rio, a place that I will not easily forget. It was here that I longed for a GPS and decided to take a detour north to Goiania but it would put me on decent roads again. The problem was that I could not even find my way out of town so I had to employ the services of a friendly local to lead the way. He left me on the outskirts and I decided to readjust some of my luggage. I was just finishing when I heard a vehicle pull up smartly behind me. It was a black SUV with blacked out windows and out jumped 4 combat wearing individuals modelling those stupid baggy black berets made popular by Rambo’s Commanding Officer. These guys were properly tooled up as well. Each carried a side arm and 2 had assault rifles and they knew what they were doing. They split into 2 groups and positioned themselves so that they were 90 degrees apart and out of each others field of fire. No need to worry it said Police Militaire on the side of the vehicle so imagine my surprise when Mr T a bbmf drew his weapon and pointed it at me. Naturally I began to back away since having been shot at once in my life I did not fancy trying it again. He just said ‘tranquilo’ (be calm) it was all very well for him to say ‘tranquilo’ but it was not him that had a 9mm pistol pointing at the centre of his body mass. It then occurred to them that perhaps they should try to communicate with me rather than try to scare me half to death. The boss man tried his very best Portuguese which I answered in my very best English so clearly we were not getting very far. But I did suss out that he wanted to know where I was going so I said Goiania they then got back in the vehicle a drove off. What the f**k was that all about? Clearly in this part of Brazil they must be overrun with terrorists/drugs dealers/arms smugglers and I bet they all have blonde hair, blue eyes, pasty white skin and all ride Triumph Tigers that have UK plates. This is a picture of me for those of you that cannot remember. Do I fit their description?
So with the SWAT team disappearing over the hill I continued on my way. I reached the G place and took 2 hours to find my way through it. I must have asked for directions from 20 different people and the number of maps that were drawn for me must have doubled the deforestation of the Amazon rain forest. There were also loads of road works with numerous muddy detours so Daisy got some beauty treatment. With all of the delays it was clear that I was not going to make Rio Verde so I stopped 70km short at a place called Acreuria where I found an OK hotel where I bartered him down from 80 to 55 Reals but no doubt I was still paying Gringo prices. In Brazil nearly every restaurant is a Lanchonetta which serves a buffet of really good salad and vegetables and a BBQ of various meats which they continuously bring round to your table to carve fresh meat onto your plate. It is very cheap and very healthy and seems to be keeping MacDonalds at bay. THANK GOD!!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. holy crap...that would have scared me shitless!!!!!!!!! Glad they left you alone! :) x