No Lencois, Itacare then Salvador
After leaving Uberlandia I put down a pretty big day over 600km Well a big day to me but no to the Brazilian riders I talk to. 1000km(600miles) is not uncommon for them. I was over 100km short of the goal Gilberto suggested but it was getting late and I was done. I need to be in Salvador on a certain date and was feeling like my time in Lencois would be rushed. So I changed my mind and decided to head to the coast and take a look before heading to Salvador. Itacare was the goal to be specific. It was beach town that I had read about and been referred to by people I’ve met along my travels. I sent a text to Mirko and Claudia to see where they were and if they made it to the coast. Claudia said they were in Itacare. Decision is set now. I will surprise them by showing up for a couple of nights. Maybe they would be excited to see me? Haha I am like a bad penny, very hard to get rid of!!
I was setting myself up for just under an 800km day but thought no problem these guys here do more all the time. First 400km went pretty fast even though I started to see some intermittent rain after 200km. At 400km the rain started to be steady and was hurting my time some. I was still doing ok for time and getting to Itacre before dark until the last about 150-200km. The rain was from steady to heavy downpour on more secondary roads with some twists and turns. I questioned the GPS at one major intersection but then thought it was probably right. The GPS seems to be much more accurate here in Brazil than some other South American countries. I should have gone with my gut on this because I got sent a really convoluted way. At certain intersections that I knew the GPS was wrong, I would take a different road, the right road and the km’s started to increase. It was getting close to sunset I was tired and getting irritated.
Finally turning down the road to Itacare right around sunset I thought that I could make it. Then the heavy downpour started and it got dark fast. I decided I would take the next place to sleep that I could find. Well since it was now dark and almost all of the hotels or hostels don’t have lights on their signs so finding something was easier said than done. I think I was about 60 km that took me about an hour and a half in the pouring rain and pitch black. I don’t ride at night because not only is it a bad idea but I just truly don’t enjoy it at all. I was going very slow and not having any fun for most of that hour and half. I did finally make it to Itacare exhausted from the over 830 km, 13 hours riding and total mental focus especially the last two hours. For the first time since Bolivia I was cold, very cold. All because I had been wet for hours. My Klim gear did its job but after hours and hours of heavy off and on rain I was wet! Very wet. The water was getting in by running down my neck and the crotch of my pants can only be a puddle for so many hours before they give in.
I took zero pictures this day for obvious reasons. As soon as I arrived in Itacare I took the first hostal(pousada is the word in Portuguese) that I asked the price. They had good parking and a hot shower. I had basically zero requirements after that. Next jumped in the shower as fast as I could then off to see Claudia and Mirko for a beer!
I spent 3 nights in Itacare and had a proper send off with the Germans on the second night. We went to a nice restaurant/bar called Marley’s owned by a Belgium family (Kevin, Valentine and Francoise).
Check them out. They have amazing food and are right down on the waterfront. Outside seating too with a nice view of the ocean. More good times to come with Kevin and Valentine!
A nice day ride to Salvador via the ferry to explore the city, look for more surf and see how far north I really want to go.
The winter weather of Brazil in this area is very unpredictable. Really heavy rain showers come roaring through several times a day. I thought maybe it was worse in Itacare than Salvador, but I was wrong. The week I was in Salvador consisted of mostly heavy rains off and on throughout the day. Gave me an opportunity to go get a little culture.
The weather-VIDEO click to play I hope…
Some cool street art
Then off to a museum that is the only place in the world with tiles like these. Each change in the color blue is a separate baking process. Can’t even imagine how painstaking this was. Different artists were assigned different sections. There is also a “gold room” where all the wall and decorative religious art is covered in gold leaf. It is cool but I have seen more impressive work in other churches. That not to say that its not worth checking out. It was also in a part of the city I hadn’t seen yet so that was nice.
The gold museum Salvador
Gold Church in Salvador
Tiles. Do NOT touch them!!
Just joking around
After exploring some of the beaches of Salvador and getting a little culture it was time for me to head north. To find a proper surf town as I was pretty unimpressed with Salvador as a whole except for some of the food. To me it appeared that Salvador is a city struggling and on the decline. The BMW shop is now out of business so I couldn’t get done what I wanted and I could only find street tires for big motos. That is really of no use to me. My two cents is that Salvador could be passed by entirely. Its not bad but there is also no real appeal.
I took a short ride north to Praia do Forte to get a least a couple of days of waves. There was a noticeable lack of swell but I still got a few waves and that was good enough to get the itch back. Praia do Forte is a nice town and well done but totally touristy and headed very much toward rich tourist. Conscious of my budget and knowing that Itacare was more my scene I rolled out of Praia do Forte and headed for Lencois in the state of Bahia, with the plan to return to Itacare after. Praia do Forte is beautiful but I cant seem to find the three pictures I took. Oh well.
In total I will ride about 2500 more km to Rio de Janinero. My tires are constantly in the back of my mind at this point.
The cracks make me more nervous than lack of tread
Actually makes it appear like there is more tread than there is.
Any wagers on if the rear tire makes it? ~2000 more km to go from the above pics
So much I considered not going to Lencois at all. What a mistake it would have been. I absolutely loved Lencois. Such a beautiful area.
Lencois teaser pic!