The haul back across Paraguay was made more memorable by the rain that bucketed down turning all but the one strip of tar into a red bog and then a close encounter of a truck passing head on into Gareth’s path causing him to divert into the verge wasn’t particular unusual but a huge “Jesus” emblazoned across the wind screen followed by smaller words “guides me”. Not particularly faith inspiring.
An unusual critter the size of a possum but with a rat like tail and a foxy face, and little fine pink ears was my road kill thrill for this day, I don’t know what it was, any suggestions ?
Then the big haul through traffic to the 3rd largest population area in the world, 18 million, Sao Paulo. Motorway started 400 km out of town and had more trucks than cars. Hazards included huge slips from the rain, being rear ended by a speeding Merc or going into the rear of a truck crawling along.
We did a fair share of passing on the yelllow lines as all the faster vehicles do. One of these manoeuvrings got a bit tight and I took out a couple of traffic cones getting back between trucks, and I realised I need a closer thrill to get adrenaline going these days. That did the trick and I felt a bit remorseful later when I saw a mangled bike still on the road and a truck with paint scratches on the bumper. Size matters and I must remember it.
The mainly small bikes jostle us to get a look, and one went past me lying flat out with his legs extended behind, a few inches from me, looking me in the face and beaming proudly. All at 120 kph in very dense traffic.
Death rate for small bikes is about 6 per day, downtown Sao Paulo but anyone knocking one off will be set upon by the throngs of others, so cars show a bit of respect.