As the sun moves along the landscape, it shows details. It makes you change perspective.
I have never been aware of the moral boost the sun can give to us, earth-dwelling primates with gadgets. However, the last weeks here in Florianópolis have been of rain, so much rain the sky was always gray with clouds and the air was thick and humid (a lot more than usual) all the time, with the freezing wind cutting your face with droplets of water.
July 2Florianópolis, 11972.9
- Alfredo Wagner : 107.2Km 5.106L R$13.02
- Lages : 121.7Km 6.28L R$17.54
- Vacaria : 107.3Km 6.7L R$19.50
- Lagoa Vermelha : 81.9Km 4.22L R$15.00
- Passo Fundo : 98.8Km 4.64L R$13.45
What a day, what a day. When leaving Florianópolis I saw the same fucked up truck from the day before. On my way to Lages I put some real bad fuel and the motorcycle didn’t move with all the power it used to. Also, my hands almost froze on the way from Lagoa Vermelha to Passo Fundo because the rain soaked my gloves. July 3 Passo Fundo, 12488.3
- Saldanha Marinho (?) : 100.9Km 5.9L R$16.00
- Cruz Alta : 102.2Km 7.4L $20.00
- Santa Maria : 95Km 5.95L R$16.60
- Rosário do Sul : 127.1Km 7.92L R$20.99
- Santana do Livramento : 110Km (?) R$25.00 4 litres of oil! When I woke up at Passo Fundo I was really worried about the weird noises Assassina I was making, and I realized it was because it was running low on oil. After fighting against the cold, and ending my depression when seeing a sunny day outside, I found out the motor was really fucked.
After running around, I could get the oil changed (the 200ml that were in it) in Passo Fundo, and I hit the road checking the oil on every stop, and seeing it go lower and lower.
The road was granting a beautiful landscape, especially in Santa Maria, with the bridge over Menino Deus Valley.
After a long road I arrived in Santana do Livramento, where I was warned the bike was smoking. Great.
One journey to find an hotel and I fixed myself a place. Now, tomorrow, I’m going to find out how fucked I am. July 4 The day satarts with our hero taking his motorcycle to the shop and getting some bad news from the mechanic. Then he goes have breakfast, finds a really useful map of the surroundings, and goes back to the hotel to get some sleep. After waking up, he finds out his lens bag went clusterfuck while on the road, and that his Fujian 35mm f/1.7 is history (at least it was cheap …), also, his attempt to fix it only make it worse.
Then, on the shop again, where the motor is not as FUBAR as he thought. He goes on an buy some “parallel” parts, since Honda doesn’t have them since 2008 (it’s a really old model).
Two of the items were sold wrong, so the next day he’ll have to exchange them (best case). Now, let him have a Polar beer, since it’s a sin coming to Rio Grande do Sul and not drinking one. July 5 I wake up, had breakfast, and ran and ran and ran after parts. Luckily I found all I needed. However, the mechanic that was working on my motorcycle was assigned to the “express service”, and couldn’t touch it. So I went to the uruguayan customs office to check-in to the country. After the lady terrified me because of my ID card that I left in Florianópolis, my passaport lost its virginity (finally!). July 6 I did, like, nothing. After breakfast, I went to Rivera to get some shots (photographically speaking). I also tried to buy whisky, but, fuck, damn free shops won’t accept a credit card without the ID.
Wait, are the people here, at the hot dog cart where I’m writing this, talking about Paula Fernandes? July 7 Santana do Livramento, 13042.4
- Tacuarembo : 112.9Km 5.9L UY$200 I’ve been waiting for too long. So long that I spent the entire morning (and afternoon too) watching the mechanics work. All in all, minimal detais. It was almost 17:00 when it was ready to hit the road. I exchanged cash, and left under a darkening sky and advice from the man at the gas station. In Tacuarembo, I found nice, friendly people who showed me all (the three) hotels in the city. However, only one of them (and what a deceiving place) had a room, but at least it had a (crowded) parking lot. I went for a “gourmet” chivito, two Patricias, and I’m ready to call it a night.
By the way, what a pretty motogirl the bar has. July 8 Tacuarembo, 13161.0
- Paso de Los Toros : 151.4Km, 9.7L UY$ 325.9 I went for a shooting stroll in Tacuarembo, and took off into the road. Ruta 5 was crowded with men at work, so there was a lot of caution needed, then I stopped at Paso de Los Toros, and I believe that in less than two hours I saw almost everything in the city (I couldn’t find the beach).
Durazno is the kind of city I fell in love with the moment I set foot here. I went all navigator to find an hotel, but I believe I was seeing things when I saw a “Panaderia Sorocabana”. I got a guided tour of “Casa de Rivera”, and with it came a valuable class on uruguayan history.
I walked all downtown Durazno on a quest to find a bar, but I couldn’t. The girl at the hotel told me of a nice one, where I had a nice chivito. Also, the place was fun.
There is also a girl that will sure as fuck haunt me : she had the looks of a backpacker, the equipment of a backpacker, even the backpack of a backpacker. I followed her, but one sharp corner and she was gone.
“I’m just a damn stalker,
I don’t have what it takes,
I keep making myself bitter,
The bitter taste of my mistakes.”
(Yeah, I was so shocked by the experience I started writing a blues song) July 9 Durazno, (I didn’t remember to write down the mileage) - Sarandi Grande : 126Km 7.57L UY$254
- Canelones : 109Km 5.95L UY$200.29
- Ecilda Paullier : 86.2Km 5.961L UY$200.29 First thing in the morning : to the “Correo Uruguayo” send a postcard. Then off to Durazno Zoo, and what a zoo, I stood less than a meter from a tiger (with the fence between us, of course), and I shot a lot, I mean a lot. What a beautiful place, also, with lots and lots of animals, only some of them (like the bear and the lone monkey) looked real sad.
Almost noon, I took off with an exact destiny, and I ended up on Florida. The nice girl from the tourist information gave me a map and suggested some restaurants, only I didn’t eat anything. Quick tour and shooting spree, and off to the road again.
I didn’t stop much, asides getting lost in Canelones, and in Ecilda Paullier a man was really impressed by Assassina I. When I finally arrived in Colonia del Sacramento, I came across a hotel booking service and got a room for two days. I found a place without Patricia, but with Pilsen (which isn’t bad!). Now, tmorrow, I’ll walk around Colonia, and the day after, Buenos Aires US$0.25 a day! July 10 The day ends with me on a dark, cold street corner drinking a pilsen on a plastic cup and seeing a creepy cat lurking in the darkness. Cool.
It all started when I went for my morning stroll, and I stopped by the port and bought my ticket to Buenos Aires. Sincerely, I don’t know exactly what I can do there with all the (lack of) money I got, but, still, I am looking for adventure, ain’t I?
I had lunch at a fun place where I had my jazz fix. Also, I discovered this beautiful beer Zillertal, which is pretty much the best in Uruguay.
After lunch I slept (or, had a “siesta”, as they say around here), and, man, I got addicted to this little shut-eye too. I also shaved my beard, to lose that hoimeless look.
In “Acuario de Colonia” I explored the ISO 6400 and the f/2.8 on my Pentacon and got pretty acceptable results. Still, I need an 85mm (maybe an 50mm) f/1.4, for this kind of situation.
I also bought a souvenir I was asked for, and I hope I can get this fragile thing to Brazil intact.
I had dinner at the same place as yesterday, and I found out a “milanesa” (deep fried meat) is usually chicken, not beef, and that that a “chorizo” is not necessarily rare meat, that would be a “bife de chorizo”, plain chorizo is a god damn sausage.
I read the “El Pais” newspaper, and here I am writing this and seeing if work in Uruguay pays well. From July 11 to July 14
(my stay in Argentina) I woke up and I got an agreement with the lady on the hotel : I would leave my motorcycle in the garage until I came back. Things were looking good, because I also filled a reservation for when I come back. At the migrations in the port, ta-da, I was fined when “entering” Argentina. The reason was I didn’t get a Mercosul tourist card when leaving Brazil and entering Uruguay in Rivera, so, UY$700 less for poor, poor me.
The crossing went well, except I didn’t expect the fact that I couldn’t get to the ship deck.
Arriving in Argentina, I was wondering how fucked I was for not having booked an hotel in advance. Then, I went to the ferry sales office to buy my ticket back and what was my surprise when I picked up a magazine and saw they also offered a variety of other services, including hotel booking. Right then and there I bought with my credit card the ticket back, three days at an hotel (the cheapest available, of course, but still kind of expensive at US$72 a night) and a city tour for the next day.
I cabbed to the hotel, and saw that not only the taxi driver was friendly, it is really cheap in there, with AR$14 from Puerto Madero to the hotel. This hotel wasn’t bad, even with the bathroom paint peeling off at the ceiling, and the bathtub missing the cap, but it was too small for me, anyway.
I went for a stroll downtown, and in Puerto Madero, and what a beautiful city Buenos Aires is : book sellers and candy stores in every corner (if I didn’t diabetes eating all the “alfajores” in there then I got pretty close to it). I met an uruguayan couple who asked me to take their picture, altough I was too dazzled to engage in a conversation. Also, “Copa America” was all the rage, so the city was more than alive.
- Honda Sahara NX 350 (339 cmÂ³ displacement)
- Olympus Pen E-PL2
- Olympus Zuiko 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 (kit lens), m4/3
- Pentacon 29mm f/2.8, M42 mount, with an adapter
- Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6, Canon EOS mount, with an adapter
- Fujian 35mm f/1.7, C mount, with an adapter, broken on the road
- Wanderlust Pinwide
- Three batteries Tools and mechanical supplies:
- Adjustable wrench
- Extra spark plug
- Instant tire repair
- Butane torch
- Standard toolkit from Honda
- Two litres of motor oil Clothing:
- Cordura jacket
- Nylon raincoat
- Two pairs of pants
- Six pairs of socks
- Six pairs of underwear
- Three black t-shirts
- One motocross jersey
- Waterproof leather boots
- Two glasses, one with “transitions” and one with “night drive” Items:
- GPS navigator
- A pack of trash bags
- A Rescue Tool by Victorinox
- My trusty swiss army knife
- An assortment of pens
- A logbook
- Spanish conversation guide
- Personal hygiene kit
So, it’s Carnival in Brazil. I, like so many others, hate this time of year, so much as to put myself through a challenge: Run away from all the mess the big city will be.In essence, I looked at Google Maps for somewhere to go. And I chose this 5000-inhabitants city in Santa Catarina, 70Km away from Florianópolis. People coming straight from a lineage of german families who settled themselves in the middle of nowhere, and endure the day-to-day living of a rural town, was what I thought. And pretty much what I found.
And, man, as Sax Gordon would say : That little town rocks.
On my way there through SC-407, a road paved with stones (probably from the beginning of the previous century), I stopped at São Pedro de Alcântara to snap some shots of its cathedral.
Things started to get way more fun when SC-407 turned from a road paved with ‘stones slippery as fuck’ to a road with no pavement at all along a hill so steep if you fell down you’d be so fucked up you wouldn’t be able to come up again in one piece. Challenge number two is : Fuck yeah motocross.
Out of the blue I see Angelina downhill, and I keep descending and cautiously braking when WHAM, my front wheel gets stuck in a slit in the road, and I kiss the ground. The only thing hurt is my pride, and my motorcycle right rearview mirror, which I was able to buy another one later that day.
Arriving in the city I go to the gas station (pay attention to the ‘the’, not an ‘a’ or ‘one of the’), and I stay right there talking with everyone drinking their afternoon beer.
Challenge #3 is to find an hotel. The place actually had three of them: the one right in the city square was closed (!), the second one was full because of all the people who went to spend the carnival there (!), and the third one, Blumengartenhaus, where I stayed, was a hotel within a convent. But not that kind of convent that immediately comes to mind with nuns in black walking down the halls, we’re talking about sisters in faith maintaining an establishment. And the place was awesome too, hearty meals, german architecture, nature … only thing is there is a church with a mass twice a day. With the musicians playing something close to jazz (full instrumental) in the meantime.
Oh, and I went to the ground again arriving at the hotel. While I was stopped, I slipped in a wet spot and I wasn’t able to hold all the weight of the motorcycle.The next day, the level of the challenges went up.
First, my primary lens (a Canon 28-90mm IS f/4) was not getting the f-number right, so every picture I took was with a wrong exposure. The only lens I had left was a Sigma 70-300mm f/5.6, but, since this isn’t the kind of occasion you want to go telephoto, I had to find a fix for this. So after some hacking …
… I fixed myself with the ghetto solution : an SLR pinhole. It was an experiment I had already tried but failed miserably, however, since it was my only chance …
2010 foi um ano de novas descobertas, encontrar pessoas novas, superar
E qual ano não tem disso?
para nos localizarmos ao olhar para trás? Para fazer mais significativos os
momentos da vida? Ou para tirar o seu significado, e simplesmente enlatá-los
sob quatro dígitos para uma agregação posterior na qual nos baseamos
para tomar nossas próximas decisões? Still, feliz 2011. Ou, sendo mais específico : tenha realizações positivas
nesta nova volta que você irá dar em torno do sol.
- Clarissa’s indifference : you can’t say how sad is she, given that she is so pissed off about everything her cranky expression just won’t let any feelings show that easily. The fact that in the entire comic she doesn’t say a word adds up to this, you can only count on her facial expressions, which are basically close to nothing, and don’t show half a sign of happiness. The feeling you can see in her eyes is when her father comes by is neither fright nor hate, but just disgust.
- Her mother’s ‘pulled up’ face : She is hiding something. By trying to create an illusion of control of the situation, her hopes for Clarissa to just go through it become somehow clear, only it is also evident that she was never through anything like that. Also, I’m pretty sure whatever her drink was, it wasn’t anything close to a ‘soft’ drink.
- Her contact with new friends : As someone permanently damaged, she not only have miles of personal space around her, but to go through it takes lots of effort and time to build up trust to get into her social circle. Yet once inside, when someone learns about the dark secret motivating all the anti-social behavior, they just feel the need to drift away, or stay to a lifetime of pity. In her case, everyone left, dead, on a pit. Dead to her because they just couldn’t keep up. Either keeping the secret for themselves, or keeping themselves from looking past it into a friendship.