During our cycle ride around South America, we used our stove to cook most of our meals. Initially, we had the MSR Whisperlite but changed to the Primus Omnistove after the former developed an ‘unfixable’ fault in Colombia (and the resulting fireball almost burnt down the hostel we were staying in), when we were roughly halfway through the 15 month trip.
Both are multi-fuel stoves – meaning that they work with a number of both liquid and gas fuels – yet we for the vast majority of the time used ours with unleaded fuel as it was easy, reliable and relatively cheap to come by. (more…)
The taxi driver eyed me quizzically. We were heading towards Rio de Janeiro Airport for our flight home and he didn’t seem to believe my English/Portuguese account of our 14-month, cycle ride around South America. Suddenly, a look of recognition washed over his face as he said, ‘You were on TV’.
He wasn’t the only one to recognise us after our appearance on Brazilian national TV which showed us returning to the start point of our trip on Ipanema Beach. We were spotted on the metro and congratulated by a passing motorist in the centre of town, an odd feeling but an amusing three minutes of fame. (more…)
So here we are, quite literally at the end of the road for our cycle tour of South America. Not for the first time, we’re in a seedy, Brazilian hotel sat on a plastic mattress preparing to cook our tomato sauce and pasta supper. We’re one block back from the ferry terminal in Niteroi, the city on the opposite of the bay from Rio de Janeiro. Tomorrow morning we’ll take a boat across the water and then pedal 15km along cycle lanes to the point on Ipanema Beach where we started our adventure 14 months and 12 days ago.
My emotions are all over the place. I’d expected to be excited by the first sight of the city which holds such significance to us, but as we headed towards the coast this afternoon I held my breath at each curved mountain we saw, desperate for there not to be a recognisable monument perched on top. Of course, it finally appeared; a tiny, white figure, arms aloft in the city haze watching over the people below. (more…)
From having little to see whilst cycling through Brazil’s interior, we’ve been spoilt for choice riding down the coast from Salvador to Vitoria. Almost every 40km there is a perfect beach that needs exploring and we’ve found the temptation to stop has been too strong. It’s meant that our progress towards Rio de Janeiro has been slow, but we’re too busy enjoying ourselves and testing the local cocktails to worry.
It all started when Paddy discovered that instead of leaving Salvador the same way we’d cycled in we could take a catamaran along the coast to the island of Morro do Sao Paulo, a popular tourist spot known for its beaches and sandy streets. After we’d recovered from the choppy, two-hour crossing we settled into a pousada that it would take several days to drag ourselves away from. The hot, fried cheese sold by vendors pushing improvised wheelbarrows along the sand was too delicious to leave, and it’s never a good idea to cycle the day after drinking a caiparinha or two. (more…)