This was my first time traveling to South America. Our travel day ended up being right about 27 hours. We got on a plane in Denver –> Atlanta –> Rio de Janiero (this airport was different from a lot of other airports meaning it wasn’t like being in a mall. There was one shop and one restaurant!) –> Salvador (cumulatively, we spent a lot of hours at this airport by the end of the trip!)
The ride from the airport to the hotel was interesting. It was rush hour and a normal 10 minute drive took over an hour. The most surprising thing I saw (and I have seen this in LA, but not to this degree), was that the motorcycles were going in between the cars on the dashed lines, but in what seemed very chaotic. They’d honk and hope that was good enough not to get run over!
Pao de Quiejo – cheese bread – culture food and YUMMY
The next morning, we took a bus back to the airport and waited there for a couple hours. A large group of us got on a big bus to head to Salvador. We heard the distance was 500km, but it ended up taking… TEN HOURS!!!!! The bus almost broke down multiple times going up steep hills because the driver refused to shift. You’d hear the engine barely turning over and the bus would creep almost to a halt.
We were greeted in the town of Mucuge with fresh fruit. The site of the race venue was extremely impressive. The town was very small and simple. Cobble stone streets, colorful buildings, very mellow. If there is an opposite to a busy, loud, bustling city, it would be Mucuge.
We had a special breakfast the first morning.
I loved drinking water straight out of the coconut.
Typical Brazilian meal – rice and beans, fruits, pasta. YUMMY! This was lunch every day.
The day before the race, we pre-rode the prologue course (the only course we got to pre-ride). The Prologue will get its own post. We also went on a fun ride (oops, I accidentally rode like 3 hours the day before the stage race started!) A small group of us rode to a river. It was our first taste of Brazil riding.
We went for a little swim.
As I drifted off to sleep on Saturday night last week, I knew I’d be in for an adventure. I was nervous and excited… but I didn’t realize the adventure, extreme emotions, mechanicals, suffering, and torrential rain that was in front of me to conquer.
Stage 1 Prologue and Stage 2 post coming up tomorrow!