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December 16th, 2012 - Touring Brazil on Motorcycle – Santos

Curitiba second10 250x166 Touring Brazil on Motorcycle – Santos With two useless shocks, leaking fork seals, broken swingarm bearings, and a leaky transmission; the possibilities of going further into Brazil was growing dim, but you just have to keep fixing and rolling. After a few visits to different shops with Renato, we finally located the bearings and the oil seal. The problem was that we couldn’t find the right bearings as the original bearings had built-in rubber dust caps and the ones we found didn’t. Since Renato taught a machining course at the Curitiba University, we headed to the university machine shop and we built our own. Taking off the old bearing races turned out to be a time consuming job without a welder, but nothing that a turret head milling machine couldn’t handle. Finally, we cut two aluminum caps for the bearings and it actually turned out better than the original ones.

Curitiba is a nice city, with a very cool climate. Compared to the rest of Brazil, Curitiba is rather a cold place and when the rest of South Americans were in short sleeves and shorts, we bundled up with everything we had. We had a great time with Patricia and Renato and as much as they tried to teach us some basic Portuguese, I’m afraid I’ll never be able to pronounce a word correctly. Portuguese is an easy language to read but as soon as they speak it, all hopes go out of the window. From their apartment in the middle of downtown Curitiba, you could see a large flock of Herons that had made the tall trees of the city their permanent home. It was fascinating watching the giant birds, maneuver in the air so gracefully. Three feet tall with wing span of 5 feet, Great Egrets were almost driven to extinction at the end of the 19th century so that their feathers could decorate ladies’ hats, but they’ve bounced back in numbers and now they rightfully shit on hat of others.

We visited a local fair and a cool classic car show while there and passed time drinking Chimarrão (Brazilian version of Mate) and coco water. In good company, the time flies by and by the weekend, the bike was back on the road and we had to head north again. We were all set to head out on Friday but a sudden invitation back to Renato’s friend’s Farm was too good to resist. If I thought that the first festivity was the best that Brazil could offer, I was in for a surprise. Back at the farm, we ate and drank to a level which will be hard to beat, even by South American standards. As it turned out, Anderson also made homemade liquors so a tasting session was in order. All in all, when I tried to put on my motorcycle pants on Sunday, I couldn’t button it up, no matter how hard I tried. I must have gained at least 10lb since entering Brazil. We said our farewell to our gracious friends and they sent us away with beautiful local woodwork gifts and Chimarrão for the road.

We headed north along the Atlantic coast for the coastal city of Santos in São Paulo State. Traffic started to get heavier as we got closer to São Paulo and it came to a halt 50 miles outside of the city. With 12 million souls in the city limit alone, São Paulo spreads out seemingly to no end and sheds its population on weekends to the nearby beaches. Those who have money go north or south, and the rest go straight for the beaches of Santos. Covering the last 50 miles to Santos became a Nintendo game of lane splitting between rows of cars with less than 5 inch clearance on each side.

We arrived in Santos around 8pm and found the city unnerving. With a long stretch of beaches, giant buildings, rival gangs, drunks, and drug dealers; Santos mirrors Miami in every sense except the language. Santos is a city that you could very well be killed for a nice pair of shoes if in a wrong place at a wrong time. As unnerving the city was, the people we met were extremely helpful and hospitable. Our couchsurfing host was a guy named Valmique and he bent backward and forward to make us comfortable. He arranged for the bike to be parked inside the garage, we chained it down and unloaded every piece of gear and hauled them up to his apartment on the 12th floor, and then we went to his friend’s house for a little party. It was at Shirley’s house that I remembered that it was my birthday so we doubly celebrated it. We had a great time in Santos, thanks to our new friends and we stayed another day. Lat day on the way down to the garage, a naked drunk guy walked in the elevator and rode down with us 12 floors in complete silence while staring at us. It was definitely time to leave Santos for a less happening city. Stay tuned.

There are 18 Comments

  1. December 16, 2012 at 9:19 am

    HI, Chris! The time we were at home or in Anderson’s farm was amazing. I will hope we can meet again.

  2. December 16, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Thanks for the update Chris…enjoyed it as the others.

  3. December 16, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Sounds like a Happy Birthday!

  4. December 16, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    And “Happy Birthday” Chris, I hadn’t read far enough..Many, many more…

  5. philippe
    December 18, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Hi Chris
    I am living in french guiana, do you want to pass in my country…..

    • Chris Sorbi
      March 2, 2013 at 6:28 pm

      Hi Philippe,

      I would love to. I’ll keep you posted as I get closer :)

  6. December 24, 2012 at 12:53 am

    man i enjoy reading ur adventures and stories, please keep on posting more, and please make more vidoes for us

    keep safe and see u in taiwan one day if u make it all the way out here

    ur friend homer

  7. January 29, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    can u please o please write more about brazil, how is life there, is it true that all cars there dont even use oil? just use suger power and green stuff!

    please tell us prices of foods like mcdo big mac and other stuff, is it hard to get around, make videos for us on youtube PLZ

  8. Steve
    March 2, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Hi Chis
    We found your Youtube video this afternoon and after watching it went to this website. Was pleased to see you had been Brasil. I’m English and been in Sao Paulo for two years now. I’m going home in four weeks to take my Brasilian wife around the UK by bike. We bought a BMW R1100 GS that is waiting for us when we arrive. She wants to see as much as possible. Good luck with your adventure and keep safe. Steve & Rose

    • Chris Sorbi
      March 2, 2013 at 6:25 pm

      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for stopping by. Brasil is a wonderful country and I enjoyed it very much. I haven’t posted many of the back stories from Brasil as my laptop broke down but I’ll get on that. Have a nice time up north and I’m sure Rose will like the cool weather in England.

      Cheers,

      Chris

      • September 1, 2013 at 7:50 pm

        Hi Chris

        I hope everything is ok and you are safe. I recieved an email with an update today so thought I would message you again. Rose and I did our trip around the UK. The weather was fab for the whole three time we were on the road. We did 3,500 miles in the end. Camped every night and had a great time. Rose was amazed at the sights she saw especially up in Scotland. The bike ran perfectly and its always gratifying when a plan comes together. Anyway I did a website so people could see our cheesy photos and movies. So if you are bored one night sitting in your tent and its pouring with rain its worth a look! Keep safe. Steve

  9. joe
    July 20, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    dude- ive been reading and following for quite some time.

    are you still alive????

  10. antonio bejarano
    September 27, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    You are actually doing what many of us, bikers would only dream to do. The only difference is that you have the gots to do it. Lot of luck and good memories.

  11. Dominic Mustin
    November 7, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    Hi Chris, I recently got into biking and was inspired as a young child by a talk from a teacher that went travelling from the uk to autrailia by bike. That inspiration was sat far back in my mind as I am now 35 years old but getting my first bike and reading your memoirs has awoken me to the dream. It is a shame you haven’t posted in a long while are you still travelling? Did you stop? What happened?
    Best wishes and thank you for the wonderful words and videos…..
    Dominic
    UK

  12. Jim Cooper
    December 30, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    Dec. 16 2012 , is this the last post ? Any news from anyone on Chris’ whereabouts ?

  13. Steve
    February 4, 2014 at 8:04 am

    Hi Chris.
    Just saw a new post from Santos, are you still here in Brasil. We are in Sao Paulo still.

    Steve

  14. April 19, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Thanks Chris. Very helpfull and great to hear real practical and not so heavy on all the tach stuff. Old bloke old school myself. I thought I was rhe only one carrying so many tools. Good on ya mate.

  15. July 1, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    I haven’t been to Brazil but my dad has gone a few times and he said that not only is the place beautiful but the people as well. i have always had it in my bucket list. I’ll go before my 30th birthday.

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