Meeting
Four exports

Four exports

Much of Colombia’s contribution to the world’s second largest single-product marketplace is cultivated in a sizeable chunk of land in the centre of the country. Hilly paisaje located at a suitable altitude (between 1,000m and 1,800m above sea level) and blessed with a temperate climate (sunny, regular rainfall, highs around 18-23°C), the region has long...
Răzvan, Cristi, Simon, Michael, Oliver, Monika, Robi, Winnie & Alfonso

Răzvan, Cristi, Simon, Michael, Oliver, Monika, Robi, Winnie & Alfonso

Our prediction that we’d run into more cycle tourists now we’re on the well-travelled Ruta 40, one of South America’s most iconic roads, is proving correct. It’s helped by the fact that while apparently every bike tourer within striking distance of Argentina is heading south for summer in Patagonia, we’re going in the opposite direction,...
Feliz Navidad

Feliz Navidad

In Argentina, they don’t hang about passively waiting for Christmas Day to arrive. The evening of Christmas Eve is when the main festivities take place; or, at least, that’s when the family that owns the posada where we’re staying choose to celebrate. On 24 December each year, they host a Christmas dinner for their family...
Tommy & Joris

Tommy & Joris

Those with long memories may remember our meeting on Brazil’s Costa Verde with delightful Swiss couple Christoph and Sonja, less than 300km into our journey. At the time, we knew that most cicloturistas in South America tend to stick to the west coast, hewing close to the Pan-American Highway. Even so, we assumed that it...
The spaces in between

The spaces in between

Most tourists crossing the border between Brazil and Uruguay do so at Chuí/Chuy, heading either to or from the apparently beautiful Uruguayan coast road that runs unbroken to Montevideo. We chose a different route. Border towns can be dusty, somewhat seedy places, but Jaguarão is thoroughly pleasant, a modest, sleepy, neatly gridded settlement dotted with...
In Porto Alegre

In Porto Alegre

The approach to Porto Alegre was not a journey we were anticipating with any great relish. The major roads, we were told, grow filthy with trucks as you near the city, while staying off the main arteries would force us through neighbourhoods we’d do well to avoid. A little research, though, revealed an alternative, a...
Bless our cotton socks, we're in the news

Bless our cotton socks, we’re in the news

Pottering around the appealing small town of Urussanga last Tuesday morning, we made our way to the tourist information office, housed in a former station. A couple of hours passed very easily in the delightful company of Henry and Hevelise, first in their office and then in the ice cream parlour opposite. Via Henry, we’ve...
Better where?

Better where?

We don’t yet know enough about the Brazilian national character, if such a thing even exists, to guess whether it’s a typically Brazilian comment or simply a classic example of grass-is-greener syndrome. But wherever we are, the locals have consistently told us that yes, it’s nice here, but it’s nicer somewhere else. In towns and...
In Curitiba

In Curitiba

An unpromising security gate opens into a wedge of a courtyard with a tower block view, a giant bicycle fashioned from drainpipes affixed to one high wall. Onwards, a labyrinth of a dozen or more rooms spreadeagles inside and out, into cellar, studio, kitchen, workshop, gallery and so on, full of space and visual surprise:...
Mend and make do

Mend and make do

We bumped into this jolly chap a few days ago while riding around Ilhabela, a postcard-perfect island just off the coast of São Sebastião. He was intrigued when we told him about our travels, but not half as fascinated as we were by the enterprising bike modifications he was very keen to demonstrate to us....
In Ubatuba

In Ubatuba

We ran into a friendly cycling club in Rio, were overtaken by various road-racer types on the hills while leaving the city, and have since seen a fair number of bicycles – cargo bikes, rickety cruisers and the occasional mountain bike – in towns along the way. However, a diversion through the pleasant coastal town...
Christoph & Sonja

Christoph & Sonja

We wondered when we’d run into another touring cyclist on the road, and it turned out to be a little sooner than we’d expected. The glowing individuals either side of Ruth in this picture, which was taken on the main road close to Picinguaba in Brazil, are Sonja and Christoph, a charming couple who left...