September 28, 2004 - Registro, BZ 144k, 90m **

For a good start, start early. Our wake up calls failed, but Dalton, Eduardo and I all made it to the hotel restaurant for breakfast at 6:30am, when it supposedly opened. Breakfast is free here the Regent Park, as it is at most hotels in Europe. Unfortunately the best stuff, the hot food, didn’t arrive until about 20 minutes later when we were ready to leave.

You can’t rationally ride a bike through and out of Sao Paulo, and we wanted to start at the south Atlantic Ocean anyway, so Dalton, Eduardo and I packed up and left the hotel at 7am. Two hours later we made it to the beach just west of Praia Grande.

Dalton and Eduardo started to unpack – but wait, we had to do the ocean first.

As you can see, I chose to put my feet in the water while Dalton was a bit more enthusiastic. He swam for a bit, but by 9:30a we were packed up heading along the beach road. We took a bunch of pictures of ourselves on this beach in the South Atlantic. Then it was back to business. Here’s the first riding photo.

A few blocks down the beachfront road I saw a fisherman’s stand. He had just rolled his boat out of the water and displayed his catch of the morning. It wasn’t a big catch but it featured good variety.

The beach road was Brazilian cobblestone (hexagonal stone pavers) and it was beating our bikes up, so after only a kilometer or so we tried the next street in from the beach. It’s the main road through the beach towns and contains all the shops, but it too was cobblestone, so we right away headed for SP55, the coastal highway, and took off WSW.

The rapid shift from desired beach travel to the highway and our good progress for the 33 beach miles along that highway caused us to lose Eduardo. Two hours later, after we turned inland and began the 20-mile climb to the interior main highway (BZ116), he caught up. At this point the day had gone sunny and into the mid-90’s. We had to give the bikes a break.

At the top of the hill we turned southwest and rode along the main highway another 40 miles into Registro. The steady stream of trucks sucking us along probably added 2 mph to our pace. I can still hear them from my room as I type this at 10pm at the Hotel Villa sole.

This place is supposed to be the nicest hotel in town. It probably is, if you like hospital style decorating, white and stark, and full of business people. The fitting close for the day was dinner at a little Japanese restaurant in town, supposedly the nicest restaurant in Registro, a medium sized (a couple hundred thousand people) town. No wine though.

We’re riding well. Maybe tomorrow will be more interesting.

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