Monday, June 29, 2009

The Road to Rio - June 28 - 29

Sunday 6/28 - The road to Rio

This is it... I'm officially in the same league with Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Dorothy Lamour!
That is: I'm on the Road to Rio. (for you young`uns out there this might not make sense. Go study history!)

OK, maybe I can't sing, dance, or act, but I never saw any of them on a motorcycle either.
It was more rain and drizzle today. I'm getting sick of this weather! I tried to get all the way to Rio today, but it had been recommended that I take the scenic route. It would have been more scenic had I been able to see it through the weather, but at least there were less trucks. However, there were many more beach towns, and each one seems to try to outdo the others in the number of speed bumps it can put down. So it was very slow going.

After checking the Lonely Planet (an occasionally good resource, and sometimes even accurate... except for the prices which stem from the early 50s) I decided to stop in Parati for the night. This was described as an old colonial town with quaint cobblestone streets.

For the most part that is accurate. The buildings in the central district have been restored, and no motor vehicles are allowed. It is pretty much a tourist town, with tourist prices. I found a nice "pousada" ($30) just outside the historic center and went exploring.

Every once in a while you hit Kismet. In this case, it was a rehearsal for a street play that was to be put on the following week during an important literary festival. There were singers, dancers, musicians, and anyone else who wanted to join in. The play was about a famous Brazilian writer, Euclides, and his experiences during the war for Bahia earlier in the 20th century.

It was a real happening, and a lot of fun. I'm sorry that I won't be here for the actual performance.

Monday 6/29 - Into Rio de Janeiro

I left Parati with 29,875 miles showing on the odometer and continued up the coast. The weather was (Wait... you won't believe this) BEAUTIFUL. Sunny, warm, white puffy clouds. The kind of day that was made for riding. Aside from the overabundance of speed bumps, the drive was along a beautiful coastline.

Then I hit Rio de Janeiro, and the normal big city traffic. I finally found a hostel in Ipanema, a block from the beach. The hostel itself was nice, with a good common area, bar, and swimming pool. However, the prices here are unbelievable! US$23 for a bed in a nine bed dorm!

A double room (there are no singles) was $70... a definite budget killer. And this was for a plain room with no bathroom. I decided I could sleep with eight of my closest friends for a few nights, but was not too thrilled. Actually, everything was very high priced in Rio. It's a beautiful city, but next time I want to be on someone else's expense account.

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