Since I last posted on the blog, I have been cycling through the states of Santa Catarina, Parana and some of Sao Paulo state. It has been a really good ride and here are a few words and photos from the ride.
After leaving Rio Grande do Sul, I headed to the Santa Catarina state, where I went past some very nice little picturesque fishing villages, as I was moving towards Florianopolis. Just before Florianopolis, I hit a stretch of road with a lot of road works and and heavy traffic, going up over a small mountain. It was so bad, that I decided to walk the bike for 6 kilometers, as I thought it was too narrow to cycle there safely. It was only 6 kilometers though and once I was past that, things were great again.
I had heard a lot of good things about Florianopolis before I went there and I can see why it is so popular. It’s located on an island with some very nice beaches and the city itself has a nice water front with cool promenades and Florianopolis is in many ways a small scale of Rio de Janeiro, where things are not as hectic, but still really cool. Meeting up there with my old friend Suzane, whom I met in Albania last year, only made the stay better.
Moving north, I passed the town Joinville, that has many German emigrants and a few houses that pretends to look german. Best thing about this town though, is that they brew some really good beer there and it’s a bit of a center for brazilian micro brewing these days. After Joinville, I cycled out towards the coast again and stopped at the pretty provincial town of Paranagua, which is one of the oldest towns in Brazil. There I spoke to a brazilian tour cyclist, who told me that I would not be able to cycle on the big highway that connects Curitiba with Sao Paulo and the traffic police confirmed that to me, so I took the bus for a little stretch, as there were not really any alternatives to the big road. Looking at the road from the bus window, I could see why it is forbidden to cycle there, as there are some very narrow bridges on the road, with no shoulder for soft traffic and there is an enormous amount of trucks on the BR116 as the forbidden road is called. But once I got past that with my bike on the bus I was riding happily again and hit the coast of the Sao Paulo state at the small pleasant town called Peruibe. From Peruibe to Santos I cycled mostly on bicycle paths and it is really nice to see that bicycle paths are starting to make their way to Brazil, so that more people can enjoy cycling and stay safe at the same time.
The state of Sao Paulo is so much more than mega city Sao Paulo. The coastline is incredibly beautiful in this state with one pristine beach after the other, that you have most likely never heard of. And the big city Santos, that serves as the port city for Sao Paulo, is a really pleasant city with a nice old town center, that has been the center of the worlds coffee industry for as long as coffee has been a global business. Santos itself has really nice beaches too and is a center for surfers as there is a really good surf here and I am just about to head to a surfer party, so I will be back later.
Having a great time in Santos.