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Written on: Wednesday December 26th, 2007

After a few stops for Peadar to buy new motorbike gloves we got on to the main road west. It was so much better than the road north along the coast which was just straight, straight straight and could have been pretty boring if it had not been for the HUNDREDS of kilometers of road works kept you on your toes. On the road west we snaked and weaved around, between and over the mountains and through the forests on long curving roads. It was real enjoyable riding, brakes, lean in, lean out, accelerate.. and so on. We had read on a free map that it was going to be 500 miles, so we knew it was going to be done in 2 days.(but of course it turned out to be much longer, 720 miles in total) The first day when we had just done 250 miles when Peadar spotted a river and we looked for somewhere to camp. There were no real random roads off the main road that we could see near the river. So we asked a man who was driving out of a property near the river could we camp somewhere on his land, he though about it for a bit and then led us to a nice spot under some tree's. It was actually part of land that belonged to the quarry he was watching and just a little bit behind a very basic small wooden house. He headed off and soon after some kids came out of the house with 2 two litres bottles of water for us. Nice people. After a swim in the river we had a group of kid over to our tents and us without any Portuguese and them without any English it soon descended into Peadar naming their best football players and them loving it. ahhhh the lingual lowest common denominator, the naming of football players. When they headed off we played some Backgammon and had some beers. We were joined by a big frog who was taking care of the slower of the insects in the area. Also, with our torches we looked into an almost ground level hole in a tree where the guy earlier had said there was a toucan living and there he was, just sleeping there. I decided it was bit too late to start blinding him with the camera flash so we left him be.
The next day we hit the road at 9am and the roads seemed to be more like great big rollercoasters or huge long sweeping downhills and contrasting soaring uphills. At about four that day we were passed by a guy on a harley looking bike (A 600cc Honda Shadow) he signaled that he wanted to talk to us and we pulled into the next garage and shared a beer with him. Ismael had great English and he wanted meet  and talk to us. He invited us to stay at his house and see his town, there was also going to be some sort of a party that night. Originally we wanted to get to Foz de Iguazu before Christmas eve, but not really for any particular reason. So off we followed him to his house to meet his family. We were made feel right at home and anything we needed was looked after, after a shower and a quick 'check of the internet' we went to see their garden where I saw peanuts on the plant, they grow underground like potatoes, weird. They had all sorts of veg growing and a tree with pecan nuts on it, and had a few wild boar pigs. After some coffee Ismael's mam washed all our clothes that needed doing as we headed off into town to start the party.
As we sat on the main street drinking beers there was a guy in a santa costume on the back of a pickup truck BLARING out what seemed like samba infused Christmas tunes and he was throwing sweets to the people on the streets. Wierd, no reindeer or sleigh, but santa had one hell of a crew... Following him all around town there were about 20 or 30 bikers belonging to a local biker club beeping their horns all at once... then add to this the three or four parked cars absolutely pumping out tunes from their deafening carboot speakers. The streets were filled with young people drinking and dancing. It was a real good town to be visiting. Later we went back to the family house where the dad was cooking up a BBQ, South american style. Huge pieces of meat cooked over the hot embers. As we were the guests we got the first cuts, amazing meat and an amazing meal. The dad made us strong caipirinha's, the most popular cocktail here in Brazil, Lime, sugar, ice and Cachaça (Alcohol made from sugar cane or beet). After dinner we went on to the next town, 4km's away where we went to a concert of the JM Singers. Interesting to see a local concert. The 'JM Singers' are like the Brazilian version of a group of Joe dolan's (I just got the news). The next day, Christmas eve after breakfast we went on a ride into town to see some of the friends from last night and say 'Ciao'. Then a big lunch was had, we said our sincerest thanks and headed on to Foz do Iguazu.