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

Nov 24, 2001

Credit to

-- Story by Erin --

Monday, Nov 19th:  We drove back down the long, twisty road from São Joaquim to the main highway headed for Florianopolis and Santa Catarina Island. After a half hour visit to the nice and friendly tourist information office, we got directions to Joaquim beach on the east coast -- The sand is white and baby-powder soft. Surfers abound on this beach.

We were on our way to meet some fellow overland bikers staying here, Anne and Jason from the UK  We've been communicating via email for several months now, and were anxious to meet each other.  They have been in Latin America (started in Mexico) for a year now. Both are on their own bikes, new model BMW's. After we arrived and were standing around the bikes in the parking lot of the hotel chatting to Anne and Jason, another biker on a BMW pulls in whose name is Sterling. He's obviously a traveller like us because we recognized all the gear on the bike. Turns out he's an American guy from Long Island, about 36, who fell in love with Brazil many years ago. He keeps a bike here now in Sao Paolo and returns every year to spend about 4 months traveling around. For eight months each year he has a tree spraying business in Long Island. What luck to be in the company of kindred spirits!  We spent that night eating a great seafood stew and beer on the beach and swapping tall tales. 

Tuesday morning and we are still swapping stories over a long, delicious breakfast with our new friends, enjoying the quiet of the beach. Took a long walk down the beach with Anne and Jason while Sterling went out scouting the island. Chris and I got very sunburned! Sat around the pool on the roof of the hotel for a short while then went off to find Stoppa, the tattoo artist that Gabriel in Buenos Aires recommended to us in the small fishing village of Barra da Lagoa. Chris wants to get a tattoo from him. We met Stoppa and his wife at their beautiful home, across a little waterway used by the fishermen. The only way to get to their house is by swing bridge (which is currently being refurbished) or by little ferryboat for free. He has an old Harley Davidson motorcycle on top of his house and at night it's all lit up. Very interesting guy. That night met Stoppa, his wife Preta and their daughter for dinner in the town of Barra da Lagoa where they live. They recommended a top-notch seafood restaurant and we gorged on shrimp prepared five different ways, salad, rice and chips all for just US$4pp including beers.

On Wednesday, Anne, Jason, Chris and I decided to leave and find a campground near the resort where the upcoming BMW meeting will be held. Tourist information recommended one in particular. We found it after much effort and pitched our tents. A bit disappointing as it had little grass and big horseflies that ruthlessly bite you. At night we had to fend off the mosquitoes. During the day we pulled into the resort to make an appearance at the BMW meeting but no one was there yet. Sterling found us at the campground and shared our pasta dinner together, while he told us of his luck in meeting some great surfer-dudes who invited him to stay in their house for as long as he wants.

Thursday, Nov 22nd: Thanksgiving back home. Didn’t sleep well the night before because it was hot and humid. Also, the horseflies were at us again this morning and all through breakfast. We tossed around the idea of leaving the campground and finding a hotel. Didn’t take long for all of us to agree that was the best thing to do. Now we are sharing a nice room in a hotel right on the beach (can’t get much closer to the surf!) and near the resort where we will go to meet fellow BMW enthusiasts.

The next morning Chris and I make a run to the resort to make contact with the BMW club president and meet some of their members.  We were greeted warmly at the reception area by the president, Mr. Diogenes, and another member named Walter.  They generously gave us t-shirts, hats, and stickers for our bikes, and then Walter escorted us down to the pool to see more of the place.  The resort is huge and obviously the most posh on the island.  We arrive at the pool just in time for the aqua-aerobics session, but alas we forgot our bathing suits.  We opt instead to take cover in the shade under a thatched umbrella and watch the whole scene incognito.   Several members recognize us and come over to have a chat.  We manage pretty well speaking Spanish and understanding their Portuguese when spoken slowly.  The president's wife (Adriana) greets us with open arms (literally) and enthusiastically invites us to dinner that night.  We say we have two other English friends on BMW's with us and she says to bring them along.

Getting ourselves invited to dinner is becoming a habit now in Brazil.  We'll certainly miss it when we leave.  We all dressed up in our best clothes (which isn't saying much unfortunately!) and Anne and I dug around for some old makeup we had been carrying "just in case..."  We arrive and the president and his wife greet us like old friends.  Diogenes is in a dapper white suit and black had and she in a lovely black evening dress.  Most of the women were dressed to the nines and so were the men.  The buffet dinner was much like being at a wedding with the usual fair, but the entertainment was pure Brazilian.  The first band was a famous (so we were told) Brazilian gaucho folk band with the leader playing the squeeze box (accordion), with 3 guitar players and a drummer.  They were all dressed in typical gaucho style with the baggy pleated pants and sash around the waist----very distinctive.  The second band was a typical wedding-style band playing oldies and popular songs you can dance to.  After midnight we called it a night.

Saturday morning was the big ride around the island with the club.  At 11:00 a.m. we pulled up to the resort and met the others.  It was like being in a new model BMW motorcycle parade.  Most of the bikes were new K1200LT's, R1150GS's, R1150RT's, and few R1100RT's.  To round it out there was also an R1100R, an old BMW with sidecar, and a Harley Davidson.  The riders were fairly conservative and didn't make it into a race (like some other rides we've been on.)  Jason and Sterling were the two pranksters in the bunch popping wheelies and weaving in and out.   The ride included the BMW cars as well, with one car equipped with a built-in cameraman filming the ride through the roof of the car.  We stopped at a lookout point about three quarters of the way through the ride and had an ice-cream.  The rest of the group got on their bikes and rode off to the lunch spot (which we thought was at Joaquim Beach). We got to spend some time with Roberto and Irene, a lovely couple we first met last week in Torres.   Since we knew our way to that beach we lagged behind a few minutes more to finish our ice-creams.  When we got to the beach we found no one there so that was effectively the end of the group ride for us.  Jason, Sterling, Chris and I had lunch in Barra de Lagoa.

Chris had wanted to get a tattoo from Stoppa whilst here but unfortunately Stoppa mother had taken ill and was in the hospital.  The tattoo was just not meant to be, at least not now.  Tonight we have one last meal with Anne and Jason and take our last notes from them on where to go and what to see in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Central America and Mexico.  We'll catch them again in Argentina, and spend Xmas together in Ushuaia. Tomorrow they will go south and eventually see Richard, Tania and the Moto Café crowd in Porto Alegre.  We go inland in the direction of the Foz de Iquazu on the border with Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina.


Stoppa showed up at the campground with 2 trikes


Stoppa, Preta, and their daughter

Sterling and Adolpho outside the club meeting

A fair number of BMWs in Brazil!

Pool aerobics at the resort

The very friendly Mr & Mrs President of BMW Clube do Brasil

Anne and Jason having a go on the dance-floor

View from the room we shared in Dos Ingleses

A typical drink stand on Brazilian beaches


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