Chapter 25
Guido hits Babeland

Guido hits Babeland

Look good, feel great and smell... baaaaad


Chrissy, say it ain´t so!

´Fraid so; It’s true. I look good, feel great and smell........ baaaaad. Why? Because it is hottttttttttt, which is fine if you’re on a beach flexing your bronzed muscles, but not wearing full bike gear (that is black helmet, black jacket, black trousers: we won’t mention the boots!) in the heat of the midday sun (who said something about crazy canines and Pommies...). Maybe I could send you a sample of my armpit odour via an attachment? It is strange to remember that 10 weeks ago I was riding through a snowstorm over a 4500m pass, trying not to get hypothermia in Bolivia.

Have covered maybe 5000km in the last month, which ain't bad, but over 3000 of that was bobbing up and down in a variety of boats down the Amazon. Here are a few random thoughts. As usual, nothing coherent: am waiting again for my 'Aunt' Tini to say I sound a little ´spacey´. No fraid not: totally sober.

A few final comments on Peru. I forgot to mention in the last report: Finally got a speeding ticket, or rather paid 12 bucks not to get a 60 dollar ticket. I tried my hardest to talk my way out of it, but to no avail. The copper chased me on a Harley Davidson !!!!! :-( I was doing 95 km/h in a 35 zone. Nearly ran him over has he tried to flag me down. C´est la vie.

Great watching them being thrown overboard


The road from Tarapoto to Yurimaguas was singularly the worst in the whole world. And it was dry. A day later it chucked it down, so was might lucky there. From Yurimaguas to Iquitos, shared the boat with 40 odd cattle. Great watching them being thrown overboard at the end. Am still removing bits from the bike after driving through where they were camped out on the foredeck for 3 days.

Iquitos, a city only served by air and water was great fun. Too hot for my tender disposition though.


Took several boats for the 3000km odyssey to Belem on the Atlantic coast of Brazil, including a dug out canoe. I have seen it all now. The bike has been dragged, winched, carried and a couple of times even driven on and off boats. Spending 2 weeks in a hammock is something everybody should try once. It was OK when the boat was moving, but stopping every couple of hours turned up the heat.

Had everything short of (a pun there?) electrodes attached to extreme parts of my anatomy one night at a police stop. They were searching for narcotics. They found my bike. Kind of hard to hide really. My bike paperwork was not in order.... Oh what joy. Made it through after the boss’s boss told the boss not to annoy tourists.

In cleared customs in Manaus. Since then I haven´t seen too many boys in blue. Maybe they are all down the beach eyeing up the talent. I would be too.

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A few first thoughts on Brazil:


Women (a.k.a talent): No one wears much and it is at least one size too small. Which is great a lot of the time, but with some samples it would be appropriate for them to wear clothing 5 sizes to big and a bag over their head. Mostly it is good though.

Men/drivers: They are generally friendly and helpful (not that I can understand a word they say: I try to smile a lot and give them the thumbs up) when not in or on a motor. When they are on a bike or behind the wheel, good night (I am regularly tempted to display another hand gesture, other than the thumbs up). Absolute and utter animals. In Africa they say 'Life is cheap': It is the same on a Brazilian road.


Roads: Maybe because of the above, they are deliberately in an African standard and have lots of speed bumps too.

Food and Lodging: Since the devaluation of the Real, Brazil is good value. 2 years ago it was 1 to 1 with the US$, now it is 2.7 to the greenback.

Fuel: Expensive and substandard.

Beaches: Ahhh yes; large and plentiful sandy affairs with lots of views.

Football: Today Brazil is mourning: Last night they lost 3-1 to Bolivia and might not qualify for the World Cup next year.


In Peru and Bolivia everybody reckoned I was German. Here I have been asked whether I’m Bolivian (!!!!!), Argentinean and at least 5 time whether I’m Italian. Do I look a Luigi or a Guido? Seriously, please. Thanks to our own Tone Blair, they have heard of ´Inglaterra´. Since I discussed the goat’s shock absorber with Tone, it works fine too.

The old goat is now hotwired. Why? The ignition key fell out while driving (OK, yet more dirt and corrugation) and was gone. The bike did not stop, so it could have happened anywhere in the previous 30km. No problem, you think: use the spare. I would if it would fit!!!!!!!!!!! After 2 hours on the side of the road in the midday heat, Goaty now has 2 (or 5 if you include the wires to make the lights work) suspicious looking wires coming out of my instrument display. The steering lock and my big chains still work, and the wires are actually well hidden, so I hope nobody nicks it.


Reading about all those poor overlanders doing a detour round Pakistan, I feel very lucky that I returned to South America rather than doing the London-Kathmandu that I had envisaged. It seems to be the safest place on the planet at present. I hope, wherever you are, that you, your family and friends are safe.

Guido, Goati and Normano

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