If you’ve been following the escapades of Geets and Wanderer on the CMG Soapbox since their meeting up in Brazil, then here’s a piece submitted by Wanderer about a recent moto-meet that they both attended. At the end is a link to a Brazil photos section page, as we have been sent too many to include in just this one piece.
I know both Geets and Wanderer look forward to hearing from anybody with an interest in the motorcycling scene in Brazil. If you want to get hold of them, just put a posting in the CMG Soapbox, or forward your email to us and we’ll be sure to pass it on.
For now, turn up the thermostat to 40 degrees, slap on yer best thong, grab a Cerveja beer and prepare to Samba ….
Cheers, Editor ‘arris
P.S. Don’t forget to check out the photos link at the end of the article!
|Wanderer and Geets with their CB450s|
We’re back safe in our home base of Canoas, Brazil, after a four-day, 1,160Km ride up the South Atlantic seaboard. It’s a good time to reminisce about our adventures at a moto-meet in the small coastal town of Icara, in the State of Santa Catarina.
We left Canoas on the Friday evening, just after dark, and promptly joined heavy freeway traffic. I think Geets got a bit of surprise at my Brazilian driving style; cornering, lane filtering and the wildpassing on the corners and hills. Car and truck drivers in Brazil seem to have total awareness of other traffic, and assist faster vehicles by sending passing signals when it’s safe. No zombies on the roads here! Now, we’d both have to take a safety course to curb our exuberant driving style, when (if ever), we come back to Canada.
|Tania and Wanderer|
On the freeway, we passed our friend Luis from the local biker hangout, the Moto Café. Luis has a 1200 Bandit, but prefers his 250 Majesty scooter as his favoured mode of transportation, even heavily loaded down with supplies for his family in Tramandai. I would not have believed a scoot could carry such a load: at least 50 litres of bottled water, groceries, clothes, etc., strapped into every conceivable spot and blissfully tooting along at 100 kph in heavy traffic.
Destination for tonight was Tramandai, where my namorada (we think this means girlfriend – Editor ‘arris), Tania, has a two bedroom beach condo. Brazilians and Argentines love the Atlantic beaches. I really don’t understand why, as the coastal plains are mostly made up of fine, powdery sand dunes and flat as piss on a plate.
|“I am Canadian”|
The condos are huge, military barrack style, containing 200 or more apartments, close to a beach and secured by armed guards. YUK! Just what I like to do late at night after a long days ride – trying to get past a guard who doesn’t speak English – and us in full biker dress.
We left Tramandai early the next day for the run to Icara. After a number of wrong turns, down rough cobblestone roads, sand wallows and potholes, we finally found the moto-meet at about 10am. There was not all that much happening at this hour, the vendors and dealers had some great displays, but we found out a lot of bikers (like ourselves) also got lost trying to find the place.
|“Er, excuse me, I think this is five sizes too small”|
We parked in front of an open bar and registration area and mounted our Canadian flags prominently on the bikes. This immediately provoked quite a bit of curious attention. Things started livening up quite a bit, when a steady stream of bikes, trikes, and women in bikinis filled out the place. The loud music from the open bars attracted hordes of young women, who proceeded to Samba on the street. A sight to see folks, as only a Brazilian woman can dance like this!
Brazilian women are very beautiful – tall, tanned, with a proud way of walking. Dresses and slacks are very tight and complementary of the female form. Gosh, I suppose women would appreciate the absence of Canadian style beer bellies on the men here as well. Clean and neatly dressed, no slob track pants attempting to hide obesity, with hair always neatly in place.
Brazilian beach moto-meets are a mix of the Port Dover Friday 13th and Sturgis. Being from Canada, we were objects of curiosity and were sought out by those who had some English language skills to practice.
|Rosanna, Paul, Susana, Roy|
Roy was one such person who overheard our conversations and introduced himself and his friends in his very limited English. He went on to invite us to a big beach party to take place later that night. We soon got talking to another group going by the name of the “Long distance Voyagers” who had recently completed a 10,000km trip through Argentina and Chile. One of their toughest parts was crossing the high elevations of the Andes snowfields. The elevation causes oxygen starvation for both motorcycle engine and rider! Geets returned the travelling tales with pics from his recent Canada – Mexico trip.
Shortly after, we headed back to our hotel in Ciracuma (about 20K away) to get refreshed, before heading back to the big beach party. Heading out back to the beach a torrential downpour started.
|What the ?|
Wet, tired, sunburned and hungry, we ducked into a mall, got something to eat and waited out the storm. The rain was so heavy that water started coming in through the light fixtures, and the mall began to flood! We had no option but to scrap the moto-meet and it’s beach party and head back to the safety (and dryness) of the hotel.
What a river ride we had getting back! The water was coming over the foot pegs in places, and the brakes were so wet they were useless. We made it back to the okay, in spite of underwater obstacles like curbs and speed bumps.
It’s a good thing we left when we did, as those who stayed were stranded by the heavy flooding. Apparently it was a real mess, with all the vendors’ tents and most of the merchandise being swept into the sea. There was ‘standing room only’ shelter until 6 am the next morning.
|Wanderer, Chardo and Geets.|
Thankfully the next day dawned fair and we decided to head north to Florinopolis (the State capital) situated on a large island nearby. What a mistake! The place was jammed, and after miles of stop-and-go traffic in 40C temperatures, we eventually broke out by heading towards high ground, and away from the beach.
It’s a very beautiful place, but outrageously expensive. Brazilians feel Argentine tourists cause prices to inflate, the same way that we feel American tourists do in Canada.
Tired, we headed back to Tramandai and Tania’s condo. While walking along the strip in Tramandai, I spotted a friend from the Moto-Café. Chardo (also a long distance voyager), who published a fascinating book about his 10,000 km trip on a Suzuki DR800 to Machu Picchou (the famous “Lost City of the Inca”), and his crossing of the huge Atacama Desert.
|The latest in scooter sound systems …|
We also had some interesting discussions about the possibility of setting up some motorcycle tours between Canada and Brazil. My main concern would be turning a bunch of Canadians loose on the streets here (insurance and liability concerns). I have taken several forays into Latin America, and am still a babe in the woods, in spite of clocking up over a million motorcycling kms since 1967. Just when I’m feeling like I’ve got it sussed, some Brazilian riding a 125cc Titan, dressed in shorts and wearing foam flip flop sandals, humbles me.
Riding and survival skills are much higher here than they are in North America. Brazilians would pick up a hell of a lot of traffic violations there with their lane filtering, passing on the shoulder, on-coming-traffic lane splitting or their idea of a safe load ……
|Paul and Otto|
After a pleasant dinner, we said our goodbyes to Chardo and started back to the condo. Stopping to take a look at a sharp looking bike, had the owner (Otto) came over to investigate who we were. As soon as he found out that we were Canadian, he told us to stay put and promptly tore off to get us some of his club decals, scaring the hell out of some pedestrians in the process.
Five minutes later, we could hear him returning, long before he came into sight. Otto turned out to be a very interesting man; a former racetrack competitor, who had survived a 290kph crash on the track and had the scars to prove it. A man so in love with motorcycling to the point where his wife said he could chose between riding and her.
He has now put over 48,000 km on his bike, travelling all over South America .. sans wife. He told us about his club, which has branches all over Brazil, and their interesting custom of hospitality. When visiting another club, one is not allowed to pay for anything, as you are the guest. This reciprocal hospitality makes a lot of sense, as the locals know where to get the best priced service, accommodations, food, etc. I think such a touring club would be great in North America! (I found Vancouver a bit like that – ‘arris).
We left Tramandai the next morning. Think of a clear hot day in Canada. Pretty, puffy cumulus clouds against a blue background. Getting on your bike, before the heat of the day, to ride 50K of twisty roads in the hills. Yes folks, another day in Brazil.
Ahhh… it was good to get home to Canoas after four days on the road. I can still hear and feel the sweet sound of my CB450 echoing off the rock cuts, as we laid down low and pulled hard on the revs through the corners.
Keep the rubber down folks.
Regards from Brazil,
Richard (Wanderer), Tania & Paul (Geets)