When they left Araguainha, the L’Equipee girls still had 50km of dirt road ahead of them before they could hit the BR-363 to Rio Verde. Now they face every possible kind of weather condition.
When they left Araguainha, the L’Equipee girls still had 50km of dirt road ahead of them before they could hit the BR-363 to Rio Verde. Now they face every possible kind of weather condition: heat, cold, rain and wind, as well as endless stops to add – and shed – layers of clothing. Finally, the sun starts hitting strong and it’s time for the sunscreen! But as the temperature rises, the dust and wind starts to dry out their throats, and their backs and legs begin to feel heavy. In addition to the adverse conditions, a trip like this presents a huge physical and mental challenge, but overcoming the obstacles is what the girls like best. The tougher things get, the stronger they feel.
Bold But Careful
The idea yesterday was to continue to Rio Verde along the BR-363 after a lunchtime nap. However, at the petrol station, the girls found out that the heavy rains from the past few days had almost destroyed the road. It was time for a change of plan (always essential on this kind of trip), and they decide to take the BR-163 towards Campo Grande instead, before continuing towards Pantanal. But while the new itinerary provides a solution, it turns out to be far more challenging than the girls expected: a large amount of trucks on the road have added to the damage of the torrential downpour, turning this stretch of the trip into the most difficult so far. ‘It was quite stressful,’ says Louise B. ‘When the wind and heavy rain came, our waterproof clothes inflated, and we literally turned into balloons. It was really intense.’
Near Rondonopolis, the sun finally comes out, revealing a Brazilian landscape that’s completely different to anything they have seen so far. The red earth is typical of the Cerrado region, and contrasts beautifully against the azure blue of the rain-washed sky. Having just overcome their biggest road challenge to date, they make the most of the moment and stop to explore the scenery, before stumbling across a stunning waterfall. With a seven-tiered cascade, it’s too good an opportunity to miss, and the girls decide to take a break from the bikes for a couple of hours to experience another typical savannah pleasure: dipping in its chilled, fresh, clear waters. Another unique day to add to the diary.
Tune In Tomorrow When…
the girls finally enter the Pantanal wilderness!