Now on the road for 12 days, the girls start noticing the first signs of fatigue. Their skin and hair reflect the permanent exposure to wind, sun and rain. Despite this, they leave Brasilia for a 150 km ride to Pirenópolis...
A group of Parisian women, called ‘l’équipée’ girls, who all have a love of vintage motorbikes, are off on an adventure to find out what beauty means around the world. On this leg of their journey, they’ll be spending three weeks riding through Brazil. On their way they’ll meet women from other cultures to discover what beauty really means.
Win £100 with Marie Claire – just complete our quick and easy survey.
Being constantly on the road for 12 days, the girls start noticing the first signs of fatigue. Their skin and hair reflect the permanent exposure to wind, sun and rain. This time, they leave Brasilia for a 150 km ride to Pirenópolis, a charming little town in Serra dos Pirineus known for its waterfalls. Dubbed ‘Piri’ by its inhabitants, the town was founded in the 18th century along the mining trail, developed in the center of the country.
Today, Pirenopolis is a place of leisure for Brazilia’s inhabitants. During the weekend, they share the city with the hippie communes who have been there for several decades. Life is quiet during the week, largely because tourists are yet to arrive, and traditional customs particular to the region are still practiced. For example: the death of a loved resident announced from a car by loudspeakers.
Beauty Secret From The Midwest
This kind of peace is exactly what Cindy, Louise B, Louise D, Pauline and Cecile needed to combat their tired bodies and take care of themselves. They first planned to relax and go swimming in the waterfalls but because of the rain they had to change plans…
Luckily in Brazil, there are beauty salons everywhere – even in the smallest village – and they find Ana Paula Diniz’s a modest (and very effective!) one. Here, they learn about a valuable beauty secret from the Midwest: the buri, a typical local seed that tastes like peanuts.
‘The buri is considered Savannah’s gold. It acts like an antioxidant on the skin, as it is rich in omega 3, 6 and 9, and becomes a great activator when mixed with vitamin C. It also fights bad cholesterol if ingested,’ the beautician says.
To treat the girls’ skin, Ana Paula uses baru flour: mixed with the seed’s own oil, it is used as an exfoliator. She then applies pequi pulp and adds a soothing mint lotion.
On Pauline’s oiler skin, she swaps the pequi for green clay: ‘Pequi is very oily, so it is not suitable for her,’ the beautician tells the girls. The use of regional fruits as a facial mask is a habit that has been practiced for generations.
‘As we didn’t have manufactured cosmetics, we had to use what was around,’ she explains. The treatment finishes with a device that emits an electrical current to stimulate the skin’s healing. Though any Brazilian who has had a facial would be familiar with the device, Pauline is surprised by it : ‘I’ve had facials in France before, but I had never seen this.’
Best Holistic Massage EVER
After having their hair treated too, they go to EPS Buddhi – owned by massage therapist Cristiane de Goes – where they are treated to different massages and receive some precious advice:
‘If you are motor biking for so long, you should stretch before and after each trip. A correct posture, a balanced diet and a minimum 8-hour sleep are also essential,’ says Holistic Therapist, Elizabeth Senese, who massages Cecile after she complains of leg pain.
‘Her sciatic nerve is inflamed, she needs some rest,’ she warns. The girls decide to spend one more night in Pirenópolis so that Cecile can rest up and recover.
Louise D is almost levitating after a session with Cristiane: ‘It was not only good for my body, but also for my soul. It feels like I had been to the best doctor ever.’
Women Ride To Freedom (With A Few Flat Tires Along The Way)
Before the end of the day, the girls visit the Rodas do Tempo Museum: a MUST visit for women like them. While parking in front of the museum, they have the opportunity to meet an enthusiastic woman. An old lady (around 80 years old), passionate about motorcycles, is so amazed by the five young women riders she spontaneously approaches them and expresses her whole-hearted admiration.
The museum comprises of a historical collection of two-wheeled vehicle models: from their origins to the present time. Everything started with the invention of the bicycle which, when combined with an engine, evolved into a motorcycle.
The bicycle played a key role in women’s emancipation in the 20th century: ‘When the bicycle was invented in the late 19th century, it enabled women to experience a social autonomy that they had never had before, as they could leave home without depending on anyone. This allowed them to, for example, socialize with other men away from their family,’ wrote Sue Macy, author of ‘Wheels of Change – How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom the (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way)’.
It also forced them to adopt more comfortable clothes, it was responsible for women’s first massive involvement in physical activity (strengthening their legs and lungs), and it awoke the sense of adventure and courage that was essential in the 20th century. The L’Equipee girls are the living proof of the results!
Tune in Monday when…
L’Équipée girls will get ready to enter one of the country’s wildest region…