Sunday, May 1, 2016

There are nice places to hike near the town of Lençois Brazil. Down to the Ribeiro de Maio with it’s boulders to hop down:

Or through the historic town itself:

But the nice trails are far away in the heart of the huge national park. So the next day I was accompanied on my motorcycle with my new Ukrainian cosmonaut friend for more hiking…..

Lençois Brazil is a quaint town with cobbled streets, colorful historic buildings and charming outdoor cafès.

Lençois started out as a diamond mining town but is now a base for trekking in the Chapada Diamantina:

There was still smoke on the horizon from the fires in the National Park.

Tetiana invited me to go hiking down to the river. She told me later she was being polite and hoped I would say no. The owner of the guesthouse gave us a ride to the trailhead and soon we emerged from the trees and saw this giant rock water slide:

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

There was no way to know that the Chapada Diamantina National Park in Brazil had been on fire for two months. It wasn’t being reported in the media. The park is the size of Belgium and it turned out the government had only sent one helicopter and was hiding the news about the huge fire so most Brazilians didn’t know about the tragedy.

So it was a complete surprise as i made the turn on the long entrance road to see flames roaring next to the road. And the hills in the distance glowing red.

In spots there was thick smoke blowing across the road as i continued on to the town of Lençois at the edge of the park. As I rode into town I stopped to ask a nice looking person walking down the road if she spoke English and that is how I met Tetiana. Not only did she speak excellent English, but she showed me the way to a guest house to spend the night. it was dark by now and it was only in the morning that I realized what a charming place i had arrived at:

where they served a complimentary breakfast in the common area:

After breakfast i learned that the local people from lençois and other small towns had to fight the fire with whatever equipment they could find. Those who had cars gave rides to get local people to the epicenter of the fire to allow them to dig fire lines and do whatever they could to save the park from further damage. Tetiana told me that the locals were not too enthusiastic about her contacting her journalist friends in other countries to get the word out and attract more attention to this disaster as they were worried it would scare away the tourists which is the main income of the area.

After breakfast we made juice from frozen concentrate and put it in containters to take to the firefighters…..

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Brazil is an amazing country. The only thing i knew about Brazil before going there last year was what i had read in newspapers. And of course the sensational is what gets reported, which is why it is better to see a country for yourself. i didn’t find the slums of Rio dangerous. i found them colorful and alive. And the people are warm and inviting. Especially when you get out of the big cities and into the countryside. Which is what i was doing back in the middle of December.

Leaving the sleepy village of Itacaré on the coast at dawn:

I headed inland towards a national park that had been recommended to me. I had never heard of Chapada Diamantina National Park so I had no idea what to expect. The weather was quite nice riding down the straight roads of interior Brazil:

i hadn’t seen a flaming orange tropical Royal Poinciana tree since i lived in Hawaii years ago. It was beautiful weather in the central Brazillian state of Bahia. Blue sky, warm weather and little traffic. There were quite a few brush fires along the way:

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Once you realize that you can't see everything in life no matter how fast you travel, you tend to slow down, relax and enjoy the places you find enjoyable and move on from places that you don't enjoy. That was exactly what i was doing in Brazil during the month of December last year. Brazil is HUGE! I had been enjoying riding slowly up from Uruguay for a month and I was barely half way up the coast.

As I was motorcycle camping at the time I had a live report going back then with marginal photographs before I met Tetiana in Brazil. That report is over at

The nice thing about up to the minute travel reports on the internet is that people contact you and invite you over to their house or give you great ideas on places to go that you have never heard of. And that was exactly what happened on December 14th the day I met Tetiana.

I had enjoyed Rio and little beach towns that I camped near further up the coast. Places like Porto Seguro:

I am not the world’s best photographer and what is a travel report without beautiful pictures? So this chapter begins with the chance meeting of the staff photographer for this website.

I met Tetiana several months ago by chance as she was walking down the street late at night in the middle of Brazil in the small town of Lençois which is on the edge of the Chapada Diamantina National Park. As i was riding into town on my motorcycle I coasted to a stop and asked her if she spoke English. Although she is from the Ukraine, she speaks perfect English and was able to direct me to a nice posada where she had a room as well. Little did I know then what an important part she would play in my travels off and on over the next 4 months!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to just take off somewhere exotic for a few months? Meet interesting people. See the amazing variety of natural beauty the world has to offer. Smell pungent spices in open air markets. Maybe attend jazz festivals in the south of France. Or ride a motorcycle to South America. Go trekking in Nepal. Or maybe hitchhike across New Zealand. This is the continuing story of two travelers who do just that and more......