ruthbeach2-1280

10 August – 9 September 2013

Countries 3 (Brazil, Argentina & Paraguay)
Distance 1,346.93km (total 1,939.12km)
Climb 13,533m (total 19,059m)
Longest day 132.48km, Bairro Itapocu to São José in Brazil
Top speed 62kmh
Punctures 4 (total 5; Will leads 3-2)
Broken spokes 1 (Will)
Boats taken 9 (total 16)
Horses ridden 1 each
Dead snakes found on the road 4
Monstrous replicas of the Statue of Liberty bypassed 5; there seems to be one outside every branch of Havan, a chain of exquisitely vulgar department stores
Best breakfast The ridiculous spread (Key lime pie!) offered each morning at Serra Bela in Urubici is a candidate for the all-time Hotel Breakfast Hall of Fame
Worst hill The four steeply cobbled kilometres we endured just outside Santo Amaro da Imperatriz as darkness fell at the end of a long day were memorably bleak
Jettisoned en route A denim skirt and a Phillips screwdriver
Lost in transit A pannier clip, a headphone case, a bike light and a bungee net
Biggest mystery The Brazilian economy
Biggest surprise It’s possible to ride a bike at speeds in excess of 30kmh on a beach

from Urussanga, Brazil