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High point then, uh oh, detour

Posted by on 29/03/2014

Wednesday was probably my favourite cycling day of the #SambaCycle so far! And Thursday wasn’t too far behind, so add in Tuesday’s lovely ride to Alto Paraiso and you’ve actually got a cracking 3 day road cycling tour that I’d recommend anyone to do! Hmm, did I delete that junk email that was trying to sell me the ‘touringbrazil.com’ domain name…

After departing Camelot the road was instantly uphill as it rose up alongside the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park. Following two particularly tough, steep climbs the altitude reading on my Garmin hit 1,546m and I stopped to celebrate a new highest point of the #SambaCycle…

The sign's for a nearby peak

The sign’s for a nearby peak

…which turned out to be jumping the gun as Brenda and I reached 1,558m about 20 minutes later!

Then most of the rest of the day was flat-ish or downhill, and with so little traffic up here on top of the plateau it was a glorious ride with the road to myself whilst passing through stunning landscape.

Luciano (my Couchsurfing host from Brasilia) had told me about a waterfall near to the road at the northern end of the Chapada, so I stopped to check it out.

Nice holiday apartment location - too pricey for me!

Nice holiday apartment location – too pricey for me!

I found a great spot for lunch though

I found a great spot for lunch though

After a nice break I continued for another 10km to Teresina de Goias and found a basic hotel on the main, well pretty much only, street. The next morning I left town at rush hour…

Horse!

Horse!

…and expected to turn east, but found that the road looked like this:

Er, where's the tarmac?!

Er, where’s the tarmac?!

I was slightly tempted to go for it, but the tyres I’m using are for tarmac so would slip and slide all over on this type of surface. So after a quick map check I decided to continue north for the day and then loop back east on another road later. It turned out to be a fine choice since, ironically, after being let down by one crappy road, it seems the Goias government had chosen to invest their tarmacing budget on this highway since it appeared to be new and so was perfectly smooth. It also followed a wide valley between two huge ridges and therefore provided more spectacular scenery to cycle through.

Again, this really doesn't do it justice

Again, this really doesn’t do it justice

Where I stopped for lunch, but all they had was fizzy drinks and crisps

Where I stopped for a healthy lunch of fizzy drinks and crisps – that’s all they had!

After a swift 80km I reached Monte Alegre, another really small town, but I really liked it since it was nestled between the hills and centred around a nice little square containing a quaint church where some kids were playing guitar and singing in the upstairs room.

Another, more thorough, map check using satellite images showed that even from here the roads going east out of Goias are all unsealed (ie. not tarmac) and so I decided (with little choice) to continue my detour north for today and tomorrow until I hit a national highway that goes east to Salvador, but which actually ends up being a more direct route! So I’m now in Combinado having crossed into Tocantins, the 10th state of my journey so far.

All praise the cow/chicken shrine

All praise the cow/chicken shrine

Still heading north, into a state I'd never heard of until yesterday!

Still heading north, into a state I’d never heard of until yesterday when I first saw it on the map!

Pothole central

Pothole central

Sack the groundsman

Sack the groundsman

Welcome to Combinado

Welcome to Combinado

Sunset from my hotel

Sunset from my hotel

 

One Response to High point then, uh oh, detour

  1. Luciano Favilla

    I’m glad you enjoyed Chapada dos Veadeiros.
    It’s indeed a very interesting and beautiful place!
    I’m already planning to be back there soon.

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