From 17 february upto 20 february 2014: 90km
Bella Union – Barra do Qarrai – Uruguaiana
Brazil should only be a short intermezzo of 80km, so we even don´t get a stamp in our passports, the employee at the border looks for 5 sec at them and we´re free to go. We fill up on water for 2 days (a considerable weight of 10kg added to our packs) and start cycling the Ruta BR-472 in direction of Uruguaiana, where we plan to go back to Argentina the next day. The road is nicely paved and very quite, easy cycling despite the heat and sometimes with curious company 🙂
Siesta and lunch is as very often at a bus stop. They are one of the rare possibilities to get out of the sun during the hottest hours of the day and we use them fairly often 🙂
In the afternoon we stumble upon a pleasant surprise: a small roadside shop where we can enjoy an ice-cold Guarana-lemonade and some sweets and continue the last hours of the day with renewed energy 🙂
Our campsite this evening is again next to the road, the first flat place we find which isn´t fenced. Only about an hour asleep, we are awoken by flashlights and footsteps approaching the tent. After the first shock we realize it´s a police control and relax a little bit.
They want to know who we are, what our purpose in Brazil is, where we crossed the border and where and when we will leave the country, but everything else is ok – even though conversation is hard as they only speak Portugese, and we don´t.
Around noon the next day we reach Uruguaiana and immediately like the town.
Despite its not really “beautiful” it has a friendly atmosphere, is lively but not too busy and what we liked most, it has a lot of foodsellers wandering the streets and “Lancherias”, the local snack-bars.
It´s a big range of cheap but good food and for us a welcome change to our “bread with something”- and “pasta with sauce”- diet 😉
So the first thing we do on our way to the centre is to try one of the “Lancherias” and have a Carrocho, the local big version of a Hot-dog.
Filled up and happy we decide to stay in town and luckily we find the Pousada La Campeira. The rooms are a little bit too expensive for us, but the owner tells us, that if we want to we can camp in the garden at a reasonable price and use the bathroom and kitchen as the other guests can: an offer we can´t refuse.
We spend two days in Uruguaiana wandering the streets, trying a lot of different food besides Carrocho in the “Lancherias”, having milkshakes and ice cream, visiting the local market and relaxing in our Pousada, where we enjoy the comfort of a big shady garden with chairs and tables.
The second evening brings rain, but this time it doesn´t matter for us. We spend the time with cooking a delicious meal of steak with potatoes and vegetables and savouring it on the rain-sheltered patio 🙂
The next morning it´s time to move again, we pack our stuff and cross the bridge to Argentina.
Halfway through we see a “Bicycles forbidden”-sign but decide to ignore it and go on. A good decision, the consequences are not too bad, just a few words of the brasilian custom employee, even not very unfriendly. Then we are out of Brazil, since we didn´t get an entrance stamp, we don´t need to pass their border control here neither – easy.
The Argentinian side is less easy: apparently we forgot to check out of Argentina when we passed from Concordia (Argentina) to Salto (Uruguay) some 10 days ago, so for the Argentinian border control we are still in Argentina.After some discussions and explications, the (very friendly) employee checks with his bosses and we get a new entrance stamp with the additive mention that next time we leave the country we have to check out 🙂