Chris' 1994  R100GS/PDChris' new bike, a 1996 F650ULTIMATE JOURNEY Erin's 1997  F650
Living a Dream . . . 2 Live-N-Ride

Nov 20, 2001 -- exactly 2.5 years from the day we started, and 60,000 miles

Credit to Moto-meet

-- Story by Erin --

Wednesday, November 14th, there’s a costume party at Moto Café. Chris goes as a motorcycle mechanic (surprise!), Richard goes as a Canadian (surprise!), and Tania (the only creative one!) goes as a witch. I wasn’t feeling well that night and stayed home. Chris met Gau, a now famous Brazilian who rode the Americas from Ushuaia to Alaska up the West Coast, across Canada, and back down to Ushuaia via the East Coast. He also had to ride 6,000km down to Ushuaia to begin, and is currently on his way home (another 6,000km) from the finish line in Ushuaia. He left Brazil at the end of April with 14,000km on his 2001 F650GS, took 6 months for the U-A-U leg, and today registers over 88,000kms on his odometer! He said he averaged 3-500km of actual riding per day -- WOW!  With Gau was one of his Sponsors, Marcelo, who rode his R1100GS down to Ushuaia to meet him for his epic arrival. Marcelo has ridden 11,000kms in 10 days – that’s 690 miles/day!!! These guys are crazy!

Thursday we left Porto Alegre and arrived at Torres, about 200 kilometers up the coast. Jabá of BM Point in Porto Alegre arranged a contact for us when we arrived in Torres. Reni & Zolin of the local moto-club very kindly arranged a hotel for us for R$30/night (US$12), normally R$110/nt, including breakfast, garage and pool. That night we watched motos doing burnout doughnuts and got showered with burning pieces of rubber.

Since the moto-meet wouldn't get into full swing until Friday night, we decided to take a ride on Friday to visit Itaimbazinho, a beautiful canyon in the mountains. The road up the mountain was very technical with steep, sharp switchbacks and lots of big loose stones. Rocks that aren’t loose and slippery on the surface are imbedded in the earth and stick out like pointy elbows, just waiting to kick your tire up and send you sideways. Itaimbazinho canyon is just as beautiful as people say. We could see 2 big waterfalls as we walked the 1.3 km track along the rim. After about an hour there our next destination was Fortaleeza (which we never found) heading west, then north, and then back down again. The road was bad gravel the rest of the way back to the highway, but the views coming down out of the mountains were spectacular. We were lucky to have good weather that day and clear views out to the sea.   On the ride back, my odometer clicked past 66,750 miles, nudging us past the 60,000 mile mark on our trip.

We returned back to Torres in the afternoon and drove down to the moto meeting site, where we met Richard and Tania. Reni came over with what looked like the MC of the event and interviewed Chris over the loud speaker system. Exchanging stickers is a big thing here and we ended up with stickers all over our bikes from different Brazilian m/c clubs. Our bikes now look like mobile billboards, so people felt free to add theirs to our collection. One more sticker here and there doesn’t get noticed anymore.

That night we watched a wheelie demonstration----very impressive. Lots of stoppies and tricks with multiple riders of the bikes. One rider mounted a half-moon shaped tire to the top of his bike and did a stoppie and kept going all the way around (like a forward flip). On Saturday we wandered around the activities and watched the bike show in the afternoon again. In the evening we attended the dinner (complimentary tickets) and everyone made us feel very welcome. We hung out until the end with Reni and his family, and had a pretty late farewell.

Sunday, Nov 17th:  We left mid-morning and made a stop up at the lighthouse on the way out of town. Nice views of the different beaches and big headlands that stick out into the sea. The ride up BR101 was full of traffic and crazy local drivers. One guy on a small motorbike pretended to be superman (laying on the seat with his legs flailing off the back) and drafted off us for awhile. Taking the advice of several riders we drove up Serra do Rio do Rastro to Bom Jardim do Serra, a steep and twisty road up the valley of a mountain. Lots of turnouts to stop and take pictures. We stayed the night in São Joaquim, the highest town in southern Brazil. Not much to see in town but, as always in Brazil, the people were very friendly.


Gau's 2001 F650GS with 88,000km

Chris & Gau pose for a few "Happy Snaps"

The road to Itaimbazinho

...and the road down

The Moto-Meet in Torres

Reni (funny hat/fake hair) watches while Chris is interviewed

Burnout demos by the locals

Wait, STOP -- It's the professionals

And they put on a good show!

Road to São Joaquim


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