Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Day 9: Carrancas to Cruzilia

Cruzilia, God bless your lanchonetes, bakeries and mercadinhos! We could not have been happier had we arrived in Manhattan or downtown London!

Day 9 was definately the hardest day we had cycled so far. Still tired from the day before we left Carrancas in the direction of Cachoeira Zilda. Our map showed a dot for Traituba in about 30km distance and the next one for Cruzilia in another 35km. Our initial destination of course was Cruzilia but we were sure to find some rest and food in Traituba. The day was sunny and hot and my knees where hurting from pushing up our heavy bikes on the steep ascent on the Serra de Carrancas. I tried to convince Flavio that it would be so much nicer to spend the night in Traituba, enjoy the sunshine, get some rest - and continue well rested and full of energy on the next day. I bundled my energies with in my mind Traituba being our destination and arrived there - only to find out that Traituba was just a historic fazenda, that some years ago had been a hotel and restaurant but now had been closed for some time. A couple of ladies were looking after it but unfortunately couldn´t prepare or sell us any food. Had we had more food with us we would have camped there but having just a sack of tangerines that we had bought from some kids on the way, we descided that we had to get to Cruzilia somehow. The ladies of the fazenda Traituba filled up our bottles with ice cold water and we prepared ourselves for the longest 35km of our lives.

If someone had offered us a lift - we would have accepted it! Actually we tried to get a lift from a pick-up, but it didn´t stop - and we cycled on, cursing the ignorant driver. About 15km from Cruzilia quite a couple of trucks and pick-ups passed by but by now we somehow had overcome our fatigue and found back our pride.

When suddenly the dirt track ended and we where on the tarmac we couldn´t believe we made it! Flavio invaded the first lanchonete, ate up all ´salgados´ that where left from the day and boosted his blod sugar by incorporating two chocolate bars. Next stop was at a bakery and finally we found our well deserved soft bed in the ´Hotel Central´, right in front of the church. The hotel serves as restaurant, corner shop and meeting point and is run by a sweet and welcoming family. Cruzilia is a much more lively little city than Carrancas and we where perfectly happy with everything it had to offer. Expecting to camp in the middle of nowhere with just a sack of tangerines makes Cruzilia look like the most distinguished and hip place to be ;-)

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