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26.7. Sun (382) Buenos Aires

The parcel that contained the necessary spare parts arrived today to Buenos Aires! That was possible to see from the DHL web page. You just need to know the airbill number and then you can track down where the packet goes. Good system. The packet came from Finland to Buenos Aires via Brussels in 48 hours.

29.7. Wed (385)

When the packet had arrived: three days later...
I could fetch the packet from the DHL office. Then I took at once the parts that Heikki had sent to me to Gaston's workshop.

31.7. Fri (387) Bs. As.

Gaston will put the new valve springs to the engine today!!! Tomorrow the Tour will continue!!! Gaston was busy, so the work went late. At 8 pm the machine was OK and running!!!

Gaston didn't want any money of the work, so I could only thank. I met his girlfriend too. I invited them to Finland, after I've finished my trip.

I did some test riding in the night of Buenos Aires. Bike worked perfectly! Tour will continue tomorrow!

1.8. Sat (388)

On the road again, today. The preparations took time anyway. I had to remove some fibre-glass from the topcase, as I had repaired it.

In the youth hostel there was a British guy who had done a world tour by a bicycle! Unfortunately his tour had ended to a serious traffic accident in China. A truck had crashed him and then escaped. A terrible story. He gave me his travel guide book of South America. Very nice, thanks!

Heading from Buenos Aires towards North, riding very carefully among the intense traffic. After one hour's ride the traffic thinned out. I arrived to a nice small town called Colon.

2.8. Sun (389) Colon towards Iguazu

Kilometres eating, there was some 1100 kms to go.

3.8. Mon (390) Santo Tome towards Iguazu

In the evening began a really bad weather: really thick mist. It was so thick mist, incredible. I could ride just some 10-20 km/h. 88 kms to go (in the dark). Then I let a truck overtake me and I started to follow it. I could see the red rear lights and I also used the truck as a 'shield' for me. We travelled then 60 km/h, safely. On the world tour all the conditions will be faced!

4.8. Tue (391) Puerto de Iguazu

It rained heavily the whole day. I was lucky, not being on the road now. During the tour maybe five rainy travel days. 13 months of sunshiny summer days! :)

5.8. Wed (392) Puerto de Iguazu

Beautiful day. Iguazu seemed to be a small and nice town. Many restaurants and cafes.

The Iguazu Falls nearby (17 kms away) was the touristic attraction. By the way, Iguazu is the place, where the borders of three countries intersect. They are: Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.

6.8. Thu (393) Argentina Brazil

Klick to hear the national anthem of Brazil
General information about Brazil.

Leaving towards the tropical Brazil, land of Samba. I spent in the border formalities only some 20 minutes, They checked just my passport. They were not interested at all about carnet or Argentinian customs document. Huh. The customs document (for the bike) was only for one month and I had spent more than two months in the country...

I rode some 350 kms and arrived to a nice small town, Campo Morãu. 18,000 inhabitants. Many people stared at me, apparently they were interested about MC things :) A motel accommodation cost only 10 Reals (2 USD).

Also international phone calls were cheap. 1.75 R$ per minute. In Argentina calls were more expensive.

7.8. Fri (394) Campo Morãu Maringa

My intention was to continue towards North in Brazil, but I didn't know how far up North. In the morning, before leaving, at a local computer shop they guided me to a office where I could read my e-mails! And I could do that for free! Very friendly! In the very beginning I could know the Brazilian hospitality.

Then further North towards new adventures!

Next city was Maringa, the capital of Parana province after 88 kms. In the center of the city I noticed a Suzuki dealer. Great! I wanted to go and ask for tyres, as the rear one was worn out.

The welcoming was the very best: they treated me like a friend from the first moments, not just like a customer!!! Wow!!

It turned so, that I didn't continue this day. The manager Jose Luiz Mouta arranged a good discount of hotel (he has many friends :)

8.8. Sat (395) Maringa

The mechanic Ika checked my bike: the front brake pads were nearly finished. I had bought new ones from Swaziland, but they were of wrong type, for the '96 model... Ordering new ones from São Paulo.

Jose, the sales manager, had arranged an press interview for me! Afternoon to the Suzuki dealer (EKY motos) came a reporter and a photographer. They were from "O Diario". That was the main newspaper of Maringa. As I could speak only a bit of Spanish (Castellano), Jose acted as a translator.

Jose invited me to stay with his family! Great! Very generous man! I met his wife Denise and daughters Harielle (10) and Monique (8). I could spend the night at their place. Denise said to me: "this is your home now". Wonderful!

9.8. Sun (396) Maringa

In the newspaper O Diario was published the article. It was some 1/5 of a page, very nice. In Maringa there are 350,000 inhabitants, so this was nice publicity. The address of this El Viaje website was also mentioned.

10.8. Mon (397) Maringa

The second interview at EKY Motos at 8 am. The journalists were from another paper, called "O Estado do Parana". It was the main paper of the Parana Province. Great! As a translator there was a teacher of English. The press took some photos.

The cable TV station (SBT) of the city of Maringa was interested of my tour! What an interesting opportunity. We started filming at the cathedral (a big touristic attraction) in the city. (The tower of it is 110 metres high.) We filmed also on the road. Unfortunately the traffic was a bit dangerous. We filmed a couple of hours. Interesting!

11.8. Tue (398) Maringa

The new brake pads came from São Paulo. It was great that the spare part support was good, although DR800 is not imported to Brazil. In the front the pads seem to last 50,000 kms, in the rear only 30,000.

An other TV channel (Globo TV) also came to make a TV document of my trip. It was the channel of Parana province. It was quite similar to the first one. We spent two hours filming.
Photo with the TV group.
Only four days in Maringa and two articles and in two TV documents... Incredible! Lots of thanks to my friend Jose Luiz Mouta!

12.8. Wed (399) Maringa

We took two Suzuki Katanas (125 cc) to a customer at Londrina. It was some 60 kms away. The people had seen the document. Hopefully my publicity also gave positive publicity for the Suzuki dealer.

At "O Estado do Parana" paper I was in front page aside with The Rolling Stones :) :) :)

13.8. Thu (400) Maringa

Douglas at EKY Motos helped me in taking care of some business. I sent the broken CDI unit to the Finnish Suzuki importer. Hopefully the guarantee covers it. Great. The personnel was more than friendly.

15.8. Sat (402) Maringa

The owner of the EKY Motos, Edison Koiji Yoshida had arranged a great lunch for all of the personnel. I was also invited. I told about my experiences in Africa. The lunch was the best and most complete :)

Afternoon to a party of an MC club Cavalleiros do Apocalipse.

17.8. Mon, Segunda-feira (404) Maringa

Still I didn't continue my trip, I noticed that the aluminium made topcase frame had three long cracks. After a while the topcase would drop on the street. I had to get it repaired.

...The mechanic, Ika got it repaired for me - for free!! "Valeu Ika!" Now the bike was ready for a trip!

18.8. Tue, Terça-feira (405) Maringa towards North Brazil

I said goodbye to the EKY Motos people. The stay at Maringa was the most memorable time for me.

I rode to Bauru, but it seemed to be so big a city, maybe one million people, that I didn't want to go there. The sceneries were like at Pampa. Real countryside-like sceneries.

The next city Jau seemed to be nice. But sometimes it is boring to arrive into an strange city knowing nothing about it. And it's not possible to get maps of every city. Searching for accommodation... People were friendly and in 15 minutes I had found a cheap but good motel. That was Hotel São Jose.

19.8. Wed, Quarta-feira (406) Jau Ubatuba

In the morning a nice journalist, Silvia came to the hotel to see me. The manager of the hotel had told her about me. She interviewed me for the local newspaper "Jornal Comercio do Jahu". Very nice. As I was continuing my trip, the manager lead me by his car outside the city. Friendly. Jau was a short but very nice experience.

I rode towards the coast. The EKY Motos personnel had told me that in Caraguatatuba there was the 6th MegaCycle bike meeting. The biggest bike meeting in Brazil. Usually 10,000-15,000 bikers. I wanted to go there.

The hotels in Caragua were full, of course. 25 kms away, in Ubatuba there were still free rooms in hotels.

20.8. Thu, Quinta-feira (407) Ubatuba

Now it was tropical place and nice beaches. Great.

21.8. Fri, Sexta-feira (408)

I decided to continue, towards Rio. But as I was told Rio is a bit dangerous place, I continued to Macae, at coast. As the rear tyre was worn-out, I had to find a new one. Soon I found myself at the local Honda Center. They changed a rear tyre of Yamaha Super Tenere (slightly bigger one) for the bike. That cost 200 USD. Expensive, but no other way to manage. They also helped in finding a cheap but good motel!

22.8. Sat, Sabado (409)

I rode some 80 kms to Cabo Frio. The name of the town means "Cold Cape". Why? The air temperature was 30 degrees. I was told that the Portuguese 'conquistadores' gave the name because of the cold sea streams. The water temperature practically never raises above 20°C. Cabo Frio is also one of the oldest towns in Brazil, founded in 1503. Those days in the area there lived many Indian tribes.

24.8. Sun, Domingo (411) Cabo Frio

The Cabo Frio Youth Hostel was a positive experience. I had with me the catalog of the Hostelling International. Okay and moderately priced accommodations.

It seemed that in Brazil it's possible to get money with VISA credit card only from Banco do Brasil. Not from others. Also the American Express card is not useful. So far (Europe, Africa and South America) there has been hundreds of times more places (shops, gas stations, banks) where VISA is accepted. But very few, where AMEX.

26.8. Wed (413) Guarapari

Small town with three nice beaches.

27.8. Thu (414) Guarapari Belo Horizonte ("Beautiful Horizon")

Long daytrip ahead. On the way the sceneries were beautiful, mountaineous. Belo Horizonte is the capital of Minas Gerais province, 2.6 million people.

When I arrived, again no clue of the big city. But no problem! I asked from a Shell station the way to the hostel and they gave good advice. In 15 minutes I was in front of it. The hostel was like a hotel with swimming pools. Night cost 7 USD.

Unluckily the films(!!!) for this update were lost!!! I had sent them in three letters from Buenos Aires to Finland, but Heikki never got the letters. I think some worker of the Buenos Aires post office had stolen them! :( Photos sent by DHL came through. I have one roll (36 pics) in paper anyway, they can be scanned, sooner or later.

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