October 1, 2004 - Guarapuava 142k, 88m*

Today was our first day of good weather but another day of nothing but very big hills through farmlands. Nothing here is flat or straight for more than a kilometer or so. We just rode up and down hills (very, very big hills) and took breaks. Watch. Here’s our morning break, after about 25 miles.

That’s Dalton riding up on of the hills. These hills average about 400 feet in vertical elevation over a kilometer or two. It takes 15 minutes or more to ride up, and then you fly down for maybe 3 more minutes. Nothing more than this until…

Our lunch break was at a little roadside stand. We didn’t buy any food. The guy who owned/ran it was across the street using some huge bladed thing to cut grass and brush. He gave Eduardo permission for us to use his table. The stove had things cooking.

After this break we were told to expect a really big hill, Just after BZ373 joined our ‘highway’ BZ277, that hill appeared. The guy in the toll both at the bottom looked at us like he had never seen a bike on this stretch of road before. We started the climb at 2,300 feet, went up to the 3,500 foot level 12 kilometers down the road and back into rolling hills.

The accomplishment of the climb, beautiful weather and the first scenic vistas of the trip put us in a fairly good mood. Eduardo was waiting ahead for a break and suggested that we pile the bikes in the car for a few miles to get past a dirty, congested construction zone. It turned out to be a 12 mile break, but we made it into Guarapuava. (If you do this ride, it’s 12 miles longer than indicated above.) Guarapuava a 58,000 person regional agricultural town. Fairly neat and clean. Here’s our hotel and the view from the 5th floor.

We’re staying at the Kustner Hotel. It’s full of elderly, out of shape, French tourists on a bus rid back from Foz Do Iguacu, the great waterfall a day or two ahead of us. There’s no reason to come back here, but we were comfortable with everything about the place. We we’re too tired to explore the town, and just had a nice dinner at the hotel.

We’re on schedule, under control, doing OK.

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