The first kilometers of this long distance adventure are a fact and slowly we start to realise our dream is real now and that the road ahead is long and empty; we have embarked on a new and exciting life!
Here we are, with our Santos bicycles in Santos. On the left we have the Atlantic Ocean, on the right high rise buildings and ahead of us the unknown. Even though we’ve done many previous cycling trips, we feel wobbly when we first start to pedal, but that disappears quickly once we feel the wind through our hair. South it is!
On September 7 we go to bed early, tomorrow is the day we start our trip! For one last time Storm is allowed to sleep between us and despite the excitement we both fall asleep quickly at the Kronemeijer residence. At 4 AM the next morning the alarm goes of, the boys are still asleep, but soon the family wakes and with a lump in my throat I try to eat something… Youri silently hugs me… and Storm is all nervous, he knows something strange is happening… my dearest dog. Kirsten, my zennsistah, and Martijn are here too. Martijn is going back home to their kids, but Kirsten will come to Schiphol with us. One last look at Storm, he’s looking at me with those droopy eyes… God, I’m gonna miss him!
Quietly we drive to Schiphol on our last ride in the blue KLM-van! And now we wait… Seconds are ticking away, everyone is giggling nervously. It’s time. It’s time to say goodbye to those we love and tears roll down my cheek. We’ll miss them! But a new life is waiting for us! Goodbye friends and family, see you soon! X
And here we are now, pedalling our first few kilometers down the Brasilian road..
Cycling in Brasil
Because of the help from Mirjam and Jules we have a really good start in Sao Paulo! They let us stay in their apartment, arranged a driver to pick us up from the airport and a lift from Sao Paulo to Santos! How incredibly friendly! And what better day to start cycling than Friday the 13th, our lucky number 13!
We stay at the coast for a while and then turn inland, it’s hot and humid and very little traffic so far. We hear tropical birds and eat fruit at roadside restaurants, so far the Brasilians are very friendly to us and wave a lot. The rolling hills are something different.. and pretty tough! But there always seems to be at least one shoulder, so we keep switching sides to stay safe, because no matter what, we have to cycle on the highway. At night we often camp at gas stations and during the day we drink free coffee at toll booths on the BR-277. In the mean time the weather has changed, temperature dropped to 15 degrees and it’s raining! For lunch we eat at buffet livres; for less than 4 euro all you can eat and we can eat a lot!
So, after almost 1000 kilometers we are starting to feel like real world cyclists! And it feels good!