At the end of each month, we’ll post ten-ish photographs that might help to provide some sort of narrative arc for those of you who’d like to follow our journey. There are many more such amateurish snaps on our Flickr page. July’s photographs, sneakily backdated although we only posted them a couple of days ago, are here.

 


 

igloos-1280If you lived in a country this warm, perhaps your idea of getting away from it all would be to stay in a beachfront hotel made up entirely of small concrete igloos.
Caraguatatuba, SP, Brazil
1 August 2013

 


 

pedra-1024A quiet campsite at the northern end of Ilhabela, a delightful island off the coast of São Sebastião, offered us a pretty plum place to settle in for a couple of nights, overlooking the bay with just a blizzard of mosquitoes for company.
Ilhabela, SP, Brazil
1 August 2013

 


 

carmen-1024We both really liked the coastal city of Santos, but Will’s highlight might have been the joyous 45-minute pantomime of gestures and mangled language that constituted his first ever foreign-language haircut. At the end, Will had a very decent trim, while Carmen had learned four new English words: scissors, comb, razor and clippers.
Santos, SP, Brazil
8 August 2013

 


 

ilha-1280Ilha Comprida is a 60km-long slice of pancake-flat coastal land with a bleak seaside resort at its northern extent. As you head south, development peters out; and so, it turns out, do the roads. To reach the southern tip of the island, we learned from the owner of a local bar, you need to take the beach. So we did, for 30 ridiculously enjoyable kilometres on tightly-packed sand. And yes, coming in the opposite direction, that is a school bus.
Ilha Comprida, SP, Brazil
12 August 2013

 


 

clay-1280We don’t mind riding in wet weather. We don’t mind riding on tracks and trails. But riding on tracks and trails in wet weather isn’t always such a good idea. As we left Ilha Comprida for Guaraqueçaba, a 90km day ride on which asphalt played only a cameo role, it started to rain. We were still picking red clay from our shoes a week later.
the road to Guaraqueçaba, SP, Brazil
14 August 2013

 


 

boat-1280Rather than follow the impassable trail all the way to Guaraqueçaba, we diverted to Ariri, a tiny town connected to its neighbours chiefly by boat. Faced with a choice between waiting for the rain to drain from the Guaraqueçaba trail and taking a 75-minute boat taxi through inlets and mangrove swamps at speeds of around 50kmh, we opted for the latter. An indulgence, perhaps, but a glorious journey all the same.
between Ariri, SP & Guaraqueçaba, PR, Brazil
14 August 2013

 


 

sve-1024Apart from metro and suburban networks in a few major cities, there are only a handful of passenger rail services in Brazil. One of them is the Serra Verde Express, which runs a daily, tourist-friendly service between the cultured inland city of Curitiba and the coastal towns of Morretes and Paranaguá. Our bikes stashed in the wagon, we took it from Morretes up to Curitiba, a spectacular haul through the Mata Atlântica that gains about 900m of altitude in a three-hour, 110km trip.
between Morretes & Curitiba, PR, Brazil
15 August 2013

 


 

elis-640x1025In addition to the classes it offers, Curitiba’s Conservatório de Música Popular Brasileira stages a busy programme of concerts covering various strands of Brazilian music. We caught a tribute to poet and lyricist Vinícius de Moraes (which avoided his most famous work) and a casual choro session. All the rooms are named after key figures in Brazilian music; this photograph of the door to the Elis Regina room is really just an excuse to link to this wonderful clip.
Curitiba, PR, Brazil
18 August 2013

 


 

itaipu-1280The waterfalls of Foz do Iguaçu draw tourists in gigantic numbers, and with good reason: from both the Argentine and Brazilian sides, they’re an extraordinary sight. (Our pictures, which probably look much like most tourists’, are on Flickr.) But so, too, is the nearby Itaipu Dam, a vast and unexpectedly beautiful hydroelectric dam on the border between Brazil and Paraguay. Within the dam’s infrastructure, a daunting succession of concrete cathedrals, we’re looking down a 100m internal drop.
north of Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil/Paraguay
21 August 2013

 


 

mist-1280Climbing south from the unexpectedly Germanic town of São Bento do Sul at around 10.30am, a sunny Saturday morning quickly turned into a misty one as our altitude edged towards 1,000m and visibility dropped to the length of a cricket pitch. Here’s Ruth ploughing on towards a horizon that neither of us can see.
Serra Alta, SC, Brazil
24 August 2013

 


 

from Costa de Dentro, Ilha de Santa Catarina, Brazil