October 2002

ihana.com - big trip - diary - brasil - october 2002


On the way to Lencois...

...we met Sjaak on his R1

Friday 25 - Tuesday 29 October

Lencois is 400kms almost directly west inland from Salvador, and is the centre for exploring the beautiful National park Chapada de Diamantina which has some of the largest mountains in Brasil, plus the highest waterfall. Pulling out from a truckstop after lunch along came mad dutch guy Sjaak Lucassen on his Yamaha R1, with which he is touring the world for the second time. Check out a few of his crazy pics he gave us here.

After a quick chat we decided to travel together the rest of the way to Lencois, the landy easily outpacing the 150hp superbike, until he started the engine at least. Sjaak even thought the landy was petrol powered as it doesn't smoke at all since we re-did the head in Guyana. We found a campsite and proceeded into town to find out the full story of each others journeys. 13 beers later we had a fair idea. Sjaak hit the hay whilst T+B went to see if anyone was in the local nightclub. T feeling a bit ill called it a night whilst B set himself up for a couple of days of oil changes.


...small town...

...colonial style




Next day we spent checking out Sjaaks pics and videos of his epic journey across the roadless Congo with the ubiquitous civil war going on around him. In the afternoon we made the 3 km walk to Ribeirão do Meio for a relaxing swim, nobody feeling like trying out the bumpy looking natural rock slide.

Rocky river

Big rocks

Sunday we said our various goodbyes and headed south again, first climbing Morro do Pai for great views of the valley, leaving the overweight guide far behind on the 10 minute climb to the top. Then we took a bit of a detour to visit Poço Encantado of which we had seen some great pics of a shaft of light illuminating the natural rock pool which is otherwise in darkness. Unfortunately this only occurs in the mornings and we didn't have time to wait until the next day. The massive potholes on the way to Poço Encantado caused the crossthreaded bolt on the old rear shock absorber to shear, making for a crazy rollercoaster ride for a couple of hours, landy bouncing madly just on the spring. Luckily we passed a workshop with welding gear, the mechanic happening to be standing outside and happy to help even though it was 5pm on Sunday. He welded a bolt on the end of the stripped OME shaft which was good enough to get us on our way again with just normal kangarooing along on the oilless shocks.

Mad potholes shake a shock loose

As much as you can eat for less than $2

Coco turns to cana with this mad doris

The paved road disappeared and we were back on dirt tracks again. After going the wrong way despite asking loads of people for directions in every dark little village, nobody could quite agree which was the best way and we ended up back on the main road only about 100kms further south than we had been before our detour to Poço Encantado earlier that afternoon. Tired but pleased to be back on track we stopped at a petrol station to sleep. Monday saw another full day of driving cover 600kms. We retightened the rear drivers side wheel bearing which was leaking a bit and slept at another service area, before a further 500kms on Tuesday brought the last weeks of mad travelling to a close as we came down into the famous city of Rio de Janiero. T's doris is waiting for him here plus B's mother is arriving tomorrow as part of her tour of Brasil.

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