Rio Grande Travel Blog› entry 32 of 86 › view all entries
We´ve been on the road for over 6 month now, since Rio de Janeiro we´ve ridden over 2000 km with only 5 days of, from Torres we raced south -450 km in 4 days- and just before carneval we clocked up 10000 km. At times it´s difficult for me to combine being a long distance cyclist with my aim of being a nice girlfriend; Exhaustion is wicked, It sneaks up on us and we don´t know it was the cause until after we´ve argued! So, just as well that this, most southern state of Brazil is flat! The beaches are endless and the countryside consists of equally endless fields; very much wide sky country...
We cycled from beachtown to beachtown until our road ran out, then we just cycled on the beach. It was supposed to be a shortcut but a wrong turn added 50 km to our day.
Rio Grande maches this tranquil world: It is a city that seems to have forgotten it´s purpose and the peacefullness of the surroundings appears to have sneaked in and turned all city noises off.
However rumour had it that 20 km further south, on the worlds longest beach, carnival would be happening in a small town called Casino. We rested up in hotel Paris -a colonial building with endless corridors and magnificent breakfast, before continuing our search for a good carnival. On arrival we found there was no accomodation left and stayed on a campsite which was more like a family festival site. Jampacked, families going about their daily buisness, seemingly merging to one big family as they all chated over cooking, dishes, in showerques etc.... I had high hopes as I have only been to one carnival before.
As i crashlanded the following day we were resqued by Beatrice and her family and Junior and his family and their friends. They invited us to lunch and then promtley adopted us. "You must eat all your meals with us" Junior proclaimed. So lunch extended to a daytrip: The camping and party atmosphere is extended to the beach as people drive on the beach, park the cars cars for shade and music and are bbq-ing and chilling out everywhere. We drove 14 km along, all packed in the back of an open pickup, to an old shipwreck were we sunbathed and played football and then headed back for supper and carnival. The next day we had breakfast together followed by a fabulous bbq. As the families were leaving Juniors mother in law, Clara, and her daugther, Magelli, got tearfull and we were given hats as presents. When i told Junor how at home they had made us feel he explaned the philosophy that they so truely lived by. "We are al the same, all one and we must teach the children this." Most of us claim to believe in equality and kindness, or our religion claims it for us but these people actualy actively act on this belief with their whole heart and thereby create a more beautifull life. One to learn for me...