So what does these pictures have to do with Esbens birthday?
We were on the road towards Campo Grande, not a very exciting birthday for Esben. We did make a rule though. Esben was allowed to buy all the snacks he wanted all day. Also all the truckers were back on the road after the strike, a good sign for us.
Esbens first birthday present form the local gas station, where we stopped to fill up gas. The Brazilians are welcoming, friendly and very helpful, they are an amazing people
Esben had found an ostrich farm “STRUT” on www.ioverlander.com, so in hope of finding a few more snacks we stopped. I turned out that they were selling everything from ostrich eggs to cowboy booths made of ostrich skin.
To Esben luck, they also sold ostrich burgers!
We also got a small tour, where we got the meet a few ostrich’s
They are quite funny and very easy to trick. Not the smartest animal, but who can blame they, when their brain is the size of a hens egg (40 grams). It is the only bird in the that only have to toes. The Ostrich stands about 2.2 meters tall, of which the neck is about 1 meter. It weights 100-130 kg. With its long legs it can run about 70km/h, but speeds up to 97km/h have been reported (Source: http://www.highgate.co.za/ostrich-facts/).
Esben bought his own birthday present, a black wallet made of ostrich, and at the time we had finished the visit the sun was setting. It was time to find another gas station for the night. This time we were not that lucky with the gas station. There was a lot of trucks making noise all night. Esben got the last snack of the day, while we were watching a football match from the world championship.
The next morning we drove the last piece to Campo Grande. We had to find a place, where Lance could get new tires. His front tires looked really bad! We still have about 10,000 km ahead for us before we are back in Chile, so why not buy new tires now, so we get to enjoy them while driving in Paraguay, Bolivia and Peru.
First we stopped was a carwash to get the worst mud of Lance He really needed a shower. We negotiated the price from 40 Reales to 30 Reales (50 DDK or 8 USD). We thought, that the two men was “just” gonna wash our van, but no, the they took of the tarp around the bicycle, cleaned the bicycle and the tarp. Esben got to use the water hose, and washed Lance underneath, and made sure that the radiator was clean. After that, they started to clean the interior of the drivers cabin. Two men working for 30-40 minutes! They did such a good job, that we just tipped them the last 10 Reales, and paid 40 Reales in total (10,5 USD or 67 DDK).
After asking at a few gas stations, two of them had recommended a Pirelli tire workshop. Our only challenge was now to find the store, but after two circles in the neighborhood, we found the place. Off course there was coffee and football on the television, while we were waiting.
Also at the ostrich farm Esben just had to buy an ostrich egg. He really had this dream about making a huge fried egg, but unfortunately the yoke was broken. It s quite difficult to crack an egg in this size. The average size egg is 13cm x 16cm and the weight ranges between 1.1 and 1.9kg. The shell is about 2-4mm thick, and is able to bear a weight of 120kg of the ostrich. One ostrich egg has the mass of approx. 25 hen’s eggs, and weigh about 1 kg (source: http://www.highgate.co.za/-ostrich-eggs/).
How did the egg taste Esben? I think his face tells everything there is to say…
After spending half a day in Campo Grande we would not make it all the way to Bonito today. After our last noisy night at a as station, we turned right on a gravel road, to find a place for the night to camp. After a few kilometers we came to an area with several smaller campgrounds. They were all closed because it is winter here. We stopped and talk to an elderly couple, who owned one of the campground, and they let us camp for free, since there was no hot water or other services available. All the small campgrounds had changed the flow of the river, so it would flow through their campgrounds creating swimming pools. Now the pools are empty, but from December to March they are filled with natural flowing water from the river.
We went for a small walk to the small town, Cachoeirão. It had been a stop on the rail road from Bauru to Corumba on the Northwest Railway of Brazil. The railroad covered 1622 km. The construction of the railroad started in 1904, and the first par from Bauru was inaugurated in 1906, but it was not until 1952 that the train could drive all the way to Corumba. The railroad had its greatness in the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s. From 1996 to 2009 it was only operated as a freight train. Through an agreement between the State of Mato Grosso do Sul and the Federal Railway Network, a passenger line was created between Campo Grande and Miranda, primarily tourism, officially called the Pantanal Express, with a stop in Cachoeirão. In 2011 the Pantanal Express should have gone all the way to Corumba, but it never happened (Source: https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estrada_de_Ferro_Noroeste_do_Brasil). Today in 2018, the locals in Cachoeirão told us, that no train have been running on the tracks for several years.
The colorful local church
Early next morning we were back on the road
There was almost no traffic, so we killed some kilometers until we decided to take a small detour in the lookout for some free camping and swimming holes. A local had told us about a least five natural swimming holes that were free. It was almost to good to be true… and it was, because we never found them. We were just really happy that the two gates we met on the detour were not locked.
We were back on the pavement and almost in Bonito!
What were our plans in Bonito? Check out the next post.