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Project Xl 2012

Ardo Gomes

Project Xl 2012

With 83 years on a motorcycle from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Venture!

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My motorcycle trip trough South America

Project XL 2012

With 83 years on a motorcycle from the Atlantic to the Pacific.


Ardo, Suzuki M800

Joseph, Honda Falcom 400



April - June 2012

First stage, Wednesday 22nd of February 2012 - São Sebastião to Registro, S. P.

A few days ago I of discovered that perhaps I should rather think of a motorcycle ride and not of a journey that would eventually be an event of 8,000 kilometers on congested highways. This in mind, I limited my actions and climbed on my Suzuki Boulevard M800 to find the Falcom 400 of Joseph with Silvia on the back seat.

The agreed meeting place to begin our journey was the gas station Kajihya, 1700 meters from my house. It was 10.00 clock and there we filled the tanks, discussed the first details of the progress for our first stopover. The engines started at 10:30 and roared towards the south. Sun and heat had been indicated by the weather forecast. Reason enough that I was wearing a short-sleeved shirt; the rain stuff well stored in the box of the back seat.

This route to Santos is of exceptional beauty; leads into a wavy line along the sea on an average height of about 50 meters and leaves the region of pristine Atlantic rainforest Mata Atlântica on the right gliding in front of our eyes. The island-city of Santos is surrounded by the municipality of Cubatão, from where you can reach the city of São Paulo in 50 km by the highways Imigrants and/or Anchieta. Before, we stopped in the first 150 km of at the small supermarket of a gas station to drink a coffee and exchange ideas about our first " steps " without actually something being new.

I used the time puffing my pipe a bit. Then we continued until the second stop, along the road, now in the city Itariri, 230 km from our starting point. It was 2.10 p. m., the engines filled, so we took a little time to grab a quick snack before we took the street with the name Rodovia Pe Manuel da Nobrega, which now rose in gentle curves up to 300 m until it came across the BR116 with double track, which serves as a shuttle between São Paulo and the south of the country. Here on the plateau a cloud broke at approximately 3.30 p. m. and showered us with fine hailstones. However, we were already dressed insensitive because we had stopped and changed us after we felt the first drops.

The city of Registro showed at 4.30 p. m. a beautiful sunset over the still wet road after the rain had stopped. I bought an authentic oil filter at a Suzuki dealer in this city as I had it already arranged by phone the night before. After that we registered at the Hotel Avenida, which is located right in the center. With breakfast café and parking it cost me exactly 42 Reais. We borrowed a desk top, so I could read my e-mails and messages. Then we three ate dinner in a good restaurant next to the hotel. Finally I watched the TV news in my room, before I fell asleep, thinking of waking up at 6:30 h the next day.

The bikes are perfect: mine confirmed a range of 24 km with one liter of fuel and the Falcom 400 consumes a liter on 20 km, but carries two people and not just one, like me. We got 323 kilometers far and I cannot complain about any fatigue or physical discomfort.

Silvia will make the photo coverage and video recordings, and intends to do so throughout the journey. Joseph with the GPS on the bike drives in the front to - if necessary - track the cutouts and intricacies of the streets in the cities and to unravel the intersections, while I will open the way on the streets, so they can accompany according to my speed limitations and/or my physical fitness.

Photo bottom left: my first moments, leaving São Sebastião in direction of the Pacific, with a short-sleeved shirt, as if it were a simple Sunday stroll.

Photo from refueling in Registro at 23.2. at 7.20 a. m.

Second Stage, Thursday, 23rd February 2012 - Registro city, S. P. to Gen. Carneiro, PR.

We fill up, leave Hotel Avenida and arrive at 11:00 a. m. in Araucaria PR ( Paraná) after we drive around Curitiba. Joseph on the Falcom drove ahead, testing and evaluating his GPS, prosecuting to access the road to Xisto.

In the small city Araucaria we remain until 12.40, as Joseph has a scheduled appointment and also for our snack, supplies and rest. Up to this point, we "sailed" on a dry route, warm and with normal traffic, but from here on many moments of heavy rain with some outdated urban flash floods expect us, which require appropriate clothing; one cannot help here, to mention the efficiency of normal PVC boots for only 30.00 Reais, which have now become part of my daily life because of their comfort.

Around 17.30 h we can find accommodation in the hotel N. S. Aparecida (45,00 Reais per night with breakfast coffee and parking), bordering beside the Street of Xisto, at the entrance of General Carneiro, PR, which is located 33 km from the border with the State of Santa Catarina.

Today we have almost traveled 500 km. At 7 p. m. and has sufficiently rested, I meet with Joseph and Silvia. We cross the street to enter into a good restaurant where we have dinner and come back to the hotel well fed for a well deserved rest.

Third Stage , Friday 24th February 2012 - City Gen. Carneiro, PR to Luiz Gonzada, R.G.S.


We fill the tanks of our motorcycles before we go on the road, it is 7.50 a. m. At this moment the manager of the hotel where we had stayed comes running, gasping and hands over my cell phone, which I had forgotten on the bedside table. I feel accepted by the attention and strengthened in the belief that we live mostly surrounded by good and responsible people. This episode was one of the many lessons of life in which one learns not the spread his personal things at night, but to keep everything stored safely in a single location.


Traveling we cross the State of Santa Catarina, where it is located less than 100 km from the river Uruguay, which is the border of the State of Rio Grande Do Sul. But those 100 km, where the so-called road "Trans-Brazilian Highway" was built (or better: implanted) in the mountains, is a landscape of extreme beauty, especially at its peak, where it intersects with the BR282 .


I enriched myself by the sunny dawn with a saturated panorama, however, think that white snow pictures in the cold of winter should be amazing, too.


The Uruguay River originates about 50 km east of the bridge on the border of both states and flows west to Salto Yucuma from where it descends to the southwest, drawing a dividing line between Brazil and Argentina. On the bridge over the border of two Brazilian States the Uruguay River has already reached a large size and created high riverbank with an adequate scenario for a designed restaurant there, where we will have lunch, rest and make photographs with the appropriate light/shadow conditions at ten clock in the morning.


And on it goes, now in the state of Rio Grande Do Sul, we cross Erechim and stop at 12:20 in Passo Funda to refuel after driven 278 km again and rest. Then we follow a new direction, now towards the east and without stopping we get through until Ijui before we reach the city of São Luiz Gonzaga, another 280 km, with which we complete on that day a 558 km piloting. It is still bright and the shops of the city are still active, one more reason that gives us the opportunity to step into a dealer-motorcycle repair shop of Suzuki <"Cross Moto Peças" .Rua São João 2356 >, while Joseph and Silvia laps are driving around, looking for an inn. The hotel found is called “Torre Hotel, - ao lado do terminal Rodoviário" (translated : Tower Hotel, next to the bus station), which appears to be satisfactory, but in reality it turns as an establishment of the fourth category, presumably under the control of drug dealers and not of the police teams in the city. This does not mean that you could not rest quiet and peaceful there, I would just like to say that I got frightened a certain night time by the silent movements strange individuals with apathetic faces when entering and going out, what made me think about my safety. So I stayed awake a few hours that night, until 6.40 when everything ended with the wake up-knocking by Joseph at my door.

On the other hand, the proximity of the bus terminal to the city there facilitated the way to and back for dinner, where we could also see the Jornal Nacional (news) of the TV Globo (TV station) at 20:30; containing namely the weather forecast.


Today was embellished sunny and as expected it was very hot for someone who is exposed more than eight hours to direct and indirect solar radiation on a motorcycle saddle.

Those exposure increases the protection value of a helmet (its use is mandatory in by the way), because it has an effective anti-thermal layer. During some days and moments of this trip, I have my helmet sometimes held under the tap and moisturized it before I put my head into it, this particular procedure has always been beneficial and cooling.


The already traveled region in Rio Grande do Sul showed its flourishing in a diverse expanse of cultivated fields as well as industrial buildings along the roads and highways that follow the mountainous terrain, to the city of Passo Fundo, where they slowly relaxed to Ijui.

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