Miles of gorgeous coastline in Brazil
I got up slightly earlier than usual and went with Giovanna in the car when she took Pedro to school. After dropping him off, we made a quick stop at the local panaderia for bread, some for breakfast and some for me to take with me, and then headed back to the house. After the usual filling breakfast and great coffee that Giovanna makes each morning, I said my goodbyes and set off down the road at about 9 am. I had enjoyed 8 wonderful days with Mauro, Giovanna, Leticia and Pedro – They could not have made me more welcome in their home. And it has enabled me to get a real feel for southern Brazil – a place not unlike Queensland in so many ways. But it was time to start heading back to Montevideo to catch my ship to Europe, and while I have plenty of time to get there, I want to leave some spare time up my sleeve in case I find somewhere nice to stop for a few days – Or even in case something untoward delays me !!
I passed the big Fisherman statue in the roundabout as I headed out of Ubatuba, and from then on, for the next 3 or more hours, it was slow slow driving down a twisty coast road with beaches on the left, and hotels and resorts and accommodation on the right, This whole region between Rio and Sao Paulo is primarily beach resorts, with a lot of world class surf beaches, as well as many quieter family beaches. The sign as I left Ubatuba Province says it all – designed to look like surf and sun it just says “Thank You Ubatuba” ! And the next province, Caraguatatuba offers similar – Beach resorts, parks, photogenic views, and hang gliding ! But with all the crowds and traffic building quickly for the Easter weekend holiday, it was slow going, not helped by the HUNDREDS of Policia Muerte (Dead, or silent, policemen) speed bumps – I think this part of Brazil rivals Mexico and some of the Central American countries for the sheer number of speed bumps everywhere – Even at times on duel carriageways ! If they want you to slow down, they put in a Or else they put in Toll Booths and charge you for using the road ! Fairly frequent toll booths are keeping me fit – Leaning across to the LH side to wind down the window, pay the toll, and then wind it up again, are always an effort, and it was fortunate that the tolls down here are not high – Usually 2 Reals, which is only about $0.80 cents.
So it was some 4 hours before I got to the highly industrial area south of Sao Paulo – Around Cubatao and Santos. Luckily there was a reasonably ring road around it all, but this is a very busy part of the country. Once past Cubatao it was on towards Peruibe which Mauro had suggested would be a good overnight stopping place, however when I got there at about 3 pm it didn’t ring my chimes, and after looking at the beach I decided to head a bit further down the road. By about 5.30 pm, I found a superb Petrobras Fuel stop which had excellent facilities and wifi, as well as a good parking area away from the truck area, and I set up camp in a corner there. Later, I big truck motorhome with maps of the world on its sides pulled in, and when I checked the registration to see where it was from, it was from Paraguay ! I found the owners later, and they are a Brazilian couple from Rio and they have just bought this brand new camper today from a dealer and are driving it home. Lovely couple, Tulio and Eloise (I am not sure of the spelling !) and we had a chat abut life on the road. He has just retired and their plans are to go north eventually all the way to the US and Canada, although they intend to do a few local trips first to get used to their new toy ! I am sure they will have a great time. They are heading south at the moment, down to a place called Gramado, and since I also intend to go there because Mauro suggested it was worth a visit I may bump into them again there.
I settled in early as I was pretty weary after a fairly long first day back on the road for a while !