I left Medicilandia about an hour before sunrise for two reasons: I was sleeping above a rooster and the dogs in this town like to start fighting at 4:00am.
The mornings are by far the best time to ride. It is much cooler, the sun is low and at your back, and all around it´s fairly pleasant. This morning was cool and damp with some long stretches of jungle reserve on the left side of the road.
I was hunched down laboring up a hill when two guys on a motorbike start idling beside me. This happens all the time and at this moment I was in no mood to talk so I ignored them and ground away at the peddles. Of course the typical questions come, “Where are you going, where did you come from, where do you live” etc. Then, the driver puts his hand on my back and starts gassing the bike up the hill.
Right away I am laughing my ass off and trying to keep the bike straight through all the ruts and rocks. Once we reach the top he gives me a good shove and lets me steer the downhill. Then he times it so when I start to slow on the next up hill there he is with the assist.
I have to peddle like a madman to keep the momentum up enough on the uphills to make the process work but overall this went on for 30-40min! I was exhausted from steering and peddling as fast as possible but definately made some good time.
On at least a few occasions the road made the bike and motorbike bounce together, which would have spelled a hard take down, but my bulky panniers kept the handbars from tangling and no harm was done. A fun way to roar through the countryside, if not a little dangerous!
As I said before there was about a 4 hour stretch of jungle reserve on my left side today (the otherside of the road was grazing land). I have seen so little real jungle up close it was very nice for a change. As soon as the reserve ended, marked by a sign, a cattle fazenda started, of course.
Tonight I am in Uruara, and in the next series of pics and posts to come you may see me with my new cowboy hat. I took a look at the tops of my ears in the mirror and noticed they looked almost black. Figured the proper head gear was in order considering my constant cowboy surroundings.