Clear skies, two torrential rains with fierce winds, cool morning, blistering afternoon and then another ferocious rain. And the Goose still travelled 455 miles. Running strong with no leaks. Thank you Ken and Javier!
I am now traveling north on BZ153, which essentially runs directly north and just west of Brazilia and Belem. At times the road is in excellent condition and sometimes it is in poor condition. Potholes the size of a modest bathtub. An extremely busy road, filled with semi trucks, all belching thick black diesel smoke. Bumper to bumper trucks, but they are really courteous drivers and pull to the right so that I can pass when they can. Speaking of trucks, I rarely see a U.S. manufactured truck. They are all European, mostly Mercedes, Scania, Volvos and VWs. Yes, VW makes semi tractors and concrete mixer trucks and police cars and taxis. It is amazing what I did not know before this trip. The automobiles are mostly very nice, but once again, all European and Asian. I seldom see a Ford or Chevy and never a Buick or Chrysler.
Gasoline is readily available, but expensive. I am paying about US$1.30 per liter. If I calculate correctly, that is over four bucks a gallon. And the Goose does likes to drink gasoline. I spent the equivalent of $55 today on gasoline alone.
Brazilīs economy must be in very good shape, if one can tell by the number of trucks on the road hauling product. And new construction, manufacturing plants being built, schools and high rise housing. New construction in every town, regardless of the size.
The countryside is beautiful, Rolling hills, beautiful crops, large herds of animals and green foliage everywhere you look. The countryside today reminded me of Interstate 40 between Cookeville and Monterey, TN.
I have now traveled almost 2000 miles since I left Buenos Aires Friday and a few minutes ago I saw a sign indicating Belem was 1990 KMs distant. This is one big country! I am finding my way surprisingly well, thanks to any number of great truck drivers and truck stop attendents. I keep a list of all of the cities I will be passing and just go up to someone, point to the city on the list and give my stupid look. After some confusion, they generally point in one direction or the other.
Someone asked me today if I was eating right. That is debatable. Breakfast is always included in the price of the hotel, but it is more a continental breakfast than I would like. Usually bread, sweet rolls, sliced ham and cheese, coffee con leche and sometimes a juice. For lunch I have begun stopping at large truck stops and taking advantage of Brazilīs version of a buffet. It is available from 11:00 AM until early afternoon and has every salad imaginable, many vegetables, always including pinto beans and rice, and always includes grilled chicken and some type of stewed meat. In addition today, the restaurant had a dozen or so men walking around with large skewers of meat slicing off freshly cooked unidentified meat. In fact, they were bothersome, they came so often, one after the other, and did not want to take no for an answer. My friend, Larry Hall, would love these Brazilean buffets. Cost--US$8!
I rode later tonight than normal, stopping in the small town of Cerres at about 7:00 PM. I did not know the town, and had to ride a couple of miles off of the highway to get to the village. Cerres, as nice a town as I have ever seen. Beautiful lawns, trees, flowers and very nice houses. I am in the Hotel Don Antonio, a lovely hotel at a cost of RS68 (about US$35).
Today was a good day, despite the rain!