It happens to all of us. We plan something, and sometimes we´ve even planned it for years, but some minor detail that we overlook comes and gets us. That´s what happened to me at the Policia Federal in Curitiba yesterday. After 4000 kilometers, 240 days of cycling, adventures, near death encounters, romantic entanglements, interesting people, numerous publicity events, talks, interviews, and TV shows, I finally arrived at what I presumed would be my destination, Curitiba. One more day and 100 km later, I´d be on the coast, in Antonina, Brazil. But before doing that, I wanted to check in with the Brazilian authorities to extend my Visa, and put into motion the plan to stay in Curitiba, study portugese and get certified. Now, I knew Brazil wasn´t fond of americans, but I had no idea how much of a bear the brazilian beauracracy was. Unfortunately, I made a mistake in applying for the tourist VISA, back in La Paz, Bolivia. It´s the most limited VISA out there, with regards to Brazil. Unfortunately, applying for and receiving the cultural, scientific, or athletic VISAS is also incredibly limited when you don´t have an official sponsor. I am self sponsored.
So, as a seasoned adventurer, I did what I did best. Fall back on plan B. Any good adventurer and explorer always has a plan B… and a plan C, and D. So here´s plan B, to finish what I originally started back in 2001. In 2001, my original trip was to cross through the southern cone, from Lima, Peru, to Buenos Aires, Argentina. A long term romance in Bolivia guaranteed the abort in that attempt, and I went on to bicycle all of Central America and part of Mexico. Ironically, thanks to the Brazilian beauracracy, I am now, officially, going to finish that first attempt. The route from Curitiba to Buenos Aires is roughly 1600 to 1800 kilometers, passing through two possible routes. The pretty, nice, and easy one, is along the coast through Porto Alegre, Uruguay, and on via ferry to Buenos Aires. The rough, dirty, and tough one is through South America´s greatest geographical wonder, The Iguazu Falls.
Given that for the bulk of this trip I´ve chosen little known dirt paths and tracks through remote places, it´s obvious which route I´ve chosen. So, the adventure continues! Look for the map in the tabs section.