I left Brasília early morning, prepared for a long ride. Going out of the city was quite easy, despite the maze of highways, express ways and streets.
Until now Brazilian drivers proved to be very civilised, and the ones in Brasília were even more than the rest.

I left the city going East on an express way. Maybe because of the long break, everything was hurting – especially my left knee was in so much pain I could barely use it. Apart from this, I could not reach a normal rhytm, as the road was going slightly upwards and a strong wind was blowing straight in my face. I was thinking something is wrong with the bike or maybe I got “soft” during the break when this happened:

I change the tube, mess up some things, loose 40 minutes, and continue. Everything was going so slow, I am sure something must be wrong with the bicycle (it was not). Anyway, I think it is because of the front tyre which I changed completely in Porto Velho (as they did not have a touring tyre I got a thicker mountain bike one). So I change the whole front tyre, tube included. I loose 40 more minutes but at least I am not so concerned with the bike. Placebo works and I finally make it to Cabeceiras after more than 11 hours.

P.S. Talking to my friend Mircea some days later he asked if I saw jungle on the way. I said no, jungle is long gone from this area. There is jungle still in the North, but mainly in nature reserve and Terras indígenas (the last ones alone covering 13% of the country’s territory). The rest of the country faces a lot of deforestation, situation which is severe in the states of Para, Rondônia and Mato Grosso. For example, only in the state of Mato Grosso 56,277 square kilometers of forest were clearcut from 2001 to 2009 to give way to cattle ranches and crop fields.

This is what I just saw today:
Corn as far as the eye can see

and soy