Monday, 22 September 2014

Chapada Diamantina To Itacare .... A Trip In Itself

Leaving the National Park happy campers after being served up mum natures best eye candy caves, waterfalls ... and tree branches we hit it to Itacare.

The plan was to ride the road from Lencios south beside the park, we started out with the road turning into a dirt track as expected and as we progressed in got narrower into a 4 x 4 only width with sandpits and obstacles.

P1190789 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

P1190825 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Approaching a river it was clear it was getting a little harder, a digger was busy making the crossing easier but that was no use to us. and we took an alternate crossing which was easier but still sloppy with slimy stuff so crossing it was hard wok as my original chosen line was taken out of my hands pretty quick.

P1190791 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

P1190796 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

The exit was sandy and very very soft making it interesting.

P1190823 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

More small creeks with grease to make it interesting

P1190800 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Having completed that we continued on and it progressively got worse, after a section of about 300 meters of sandpits we dropped into a sandy creek bed and were confronted with what appeared to be more soft sand. I took an investigatory look to find out how soft it was, there was also lots of it, actually for as far as I could see which would have been 300 - 400 meters easy….hmmm degree of difficulty getting beyond fun. (Metal Jockey sand two up)

A stone stepped section which was welcome traction .... amazing what you think is great when things get bad

P1190818 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

P1190819 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

P1190817 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

After thinking it was improving it started to get a little soft

P1190804 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Then the deal breaker

P1190810 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Making a trackside executive decision to turn back at this point and wanting to make some ground today this track was not going to cut it.

Stinking hot, we were wet with sweat and the weather was turning bad so time to put tail between legs and turn around 8-( … you don’t want to be caught mid track on the red clay as it is like riding on soap.

Suddenly this looked like a motorway and we were happy to be on it

P1190812 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Retracing our steps back to town we nearly made it back to cobbled street before the rain struck and it came down in buckets, all through town and to the petrol station we got washed.

Tanking up we continued head on into heavy rain, the good thing here is it comes in fast and usually goes away fast, today was similar but it did hang round a bit longer washing Maya and us, at least it was not cold.

Deciding to bust our near 500 km ride to Itacare into two days we took the back way away from the truck laden main drag, of the 350 km we did that day nearly 200 km was on clay roads and sandy tracks and very harsh rock surfaces … a little more than we wanted but we had time up our sleeve so no worries.

Anyway lost some potholes cos we found em

P1190827 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Then a couple hundred km of this,

P1190830 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

This

P1190846 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

..and this, sandpits now and then to keep us awake

P1190851 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

The following day was the leg down to Itacare to meet up with Gail again, easy ride down on tar until we took a shortcut on a neat wee dirt road.

When we started on that section it was sunny and hot, 15 km into the 30 km road it got dark then the clouds popped … this time we were mid ship on a red clay track …. our worst nightmare.

Dropping the pace on the paste was in order and Maya was squirreling around and a handful to keep upright, continuing on slowly we made steady progress in and out of pot holes, and water flowing across the road, it actually became easier with the heavy rain turning the road to slush rather than hard top clay with a greasy surface (Soap).

Eventually we made it back to the BR101 and tar which was a relief having made it without dumping us or the bike, a quick scoot down the 101 and out to Itacare to find Gail.

Itacare next, very nice place and a catchup with fello hooligan and RTW traveler Gail