Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Balnearo Pinhal, Rio Grande do Sul, Mile 631, December 1, 2010
On my way out of town and back to RS-389, I passed an older guy jogging along the road; I said hello and continued along. 200 yards further, at the junction with 389, I stopped to take a few pictures and apply sun-block, and he caught up to me. It turned out he is 76 years old, and ran triathlons until about ten years ago, and still runs five miles every day. He suggested I not stop my trip in Montevideo, but continue on a few thousand more miles to Tierra del Fuego. Would that I had the time and money...
Taking my leave, I then headed south and, due to the way the land curves, west. This meant that the easterly wind blowing (strongly) helped me along, and I kept up a steady 15 MPH most of the day. About 18 miles south of Arroio do Sal, I came to the large resort of Capao da Canoa; a few miles before, I passed an enormous water park called Acqua Locos. At 10AM on a school day, the place was absolutely jumping. I continued on past a little resort town called Xangri-La, had five or six miles of country side, and then came to another large resort town called Tramandai. Tramandai is a straight shot, 60 miles, by freeway to Porto Alegre, and is very large. I rode through town, and on the west side got on to RS 786.
Since I had gone west, 786 headed back east for a bit, and I got the full affect of the wind in my face. I figured, however, that if I kept going east, I would get wet, so at some point I HAD to turn south, and, sure enough, the road did just that. I rode through five or six miles of tiny towns, came to a huge wind-mill farm that is under construction, (They will not lack for wind in this area...) and then rode along the beach in solitude for ten miles or so before coming to the town of Cidreira. I was starting to feel my time in the bike saddle, but I decided to continue on a bit more, and in another eight miles came to Balneario Pinhal.
Riding into town, I found, again, most of the hotels to be closed, since the ¨season¨ has not started yet. I found one open one, got a room, and then went out to walk the beach and get something to eat.
More will follow tomorrow.