After the Maracana visit I cycled out of Rio, via a slightly convoluted route since my Garmin wanted me to turn right a couple of times where a Metro track was blocking the way! Once on the flat highway I sped along heading inland, knowing that ahead lay a very big climb up into the mountains, but not knowing that the road I’d chosen to make the ascent on was in fact cobbles not tarmac, but nevertheless it was an epic climb that I quite enjoyed!
The next day I continued north towards Juiz de Fora.
In JdF I was fortunate enough (thanks to Jose in Sampa for the connection) to stay with Kico Zaninetti who knows a thing or two about cycle touring after spending nearly 3 years on the road during his Nova Origem adventure! It was fascinating to learn from his experience and brilliant to be looked after by someone who truly understands the strains of cycle touring. For example, he offered me advice about healthy eating/drinking and tips for my route, plus gave me the impetus to finally (been meaning to do this for a while) remove some unneeded kit from my pannier bags to reduce the weight that I’m lugging about. It was great to meet his brother and father too, thanks guys!
Today’s destination was Barbacena (where on my way into town the bad thing happened) and on arrival my host Thiago had to come and find me as the city has two streets with almost the same name and my GPS took me to the wrong one! But once at his home I received a warm welcome from his parents and had a nice stress-free evening. Thiago’s a photographer for http://www.pedal.com.br so in the morning I answered some questions for him edit into an article along with some photos that he took as we cycled to the highway.
Next up was Conselheiro Lafaiete which has some steeeep roads, I know because I had to push Dinly up some of them! I’d been invited to stay with Daniela (and her mother & uncle) via a comment that she left on this blog – the first time that’s happened! It turns out she knows Marina who I met all the way back in Porto Alegre since she works at the British Consulate there. So thanks ladies, and also to Marina’s brother Daluan who I’m currently staying with in Ouro Preto!
And then I headed towards Ouro Preto, but that ride deserves its own post.