Off road on the route of the Canyons

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Today there was 60 km of pavement to get to Sao Joaquim and then 120 km of dirt to Cambara do Sul. Christian passed us on the paved road and then flagged us down. He wanted to know if we were really from BC? He is a vet here who studied at UBC.

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The first 5 km off road was pretty bad and very rocky and we could only go about 45 km/h. The road was narrow and winding along the river and so there were nice views. The rest of the road got better and better. One section was steep with switchback up the mountain. We stopped in San Jose dos Ausentes for a snack at the bakery café at the gas station. I will say this country is very civilized.

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Pulling in to Cambara do Sul we found a cheap Posada near the square and net Roge a biker on a F650 who is from Sao Paulo. It started to really pour at about 3 pm and continued all night until about 6. By the time we got up at 8 the sun was shining again.

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Leaving Cambara do Sul we were following Roge on a tour of the Canyons. First we headed to Forteleza canyon, which is about 10 km of silky pavement and then 7 km of dirt sort of like a dry river bed. There is a 10 min walk to the canyon edge and its precipitous drop.

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From here we backtracked to the town and then headed on the dirt towards the coast. The mountain ridge here has 4 passes, 3 are dirt (one of which comes out of Urubici, but it’s closed) and one is paved “Serra Rio de Rastro”.

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This pass is only about 40 km, with the Itaimbezinho canyon at the almost half way mark. Here there is an entry fee and the park road is paved. We opted for the 40 min hike instead of the 6 km one. There are nice views of the canyon from this tail. On the way out we ran into Laurence and Frank again!

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The road east from here gets a bit worse, and the final 10 km is a switchback dirt road down the mountain. Some of the corners were very tight and very rocky. The last few km has intermittent patches of pavement.

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From here we headed 25 east to hit the 101 highway and then off it at 31 km to head towards Turvo onto the secondary road and then 96 km north to Lauro Muller. It started to rain a bit and on one particularly muddy road we got stuck behind a truck and covered in mud. We drove around a bit in Lauro Muller, but there was only 1 sketchy looking Posada and so we decided to head 26 km up the mountain and the famous Serra Rio de Rastro to Bom jardim da Serra.

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We drove up the main road and saw 5 bikes parked in front of a hotel and of course we stopped here. These were an awesome bunch of guys from the same club on an extended riding holiday. One even has a son who worked in Burnaby near our home. We had a fun night out with these great guys. Jean and Alexandra, who are from Florionopolis and Forteleza, joined us also.

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4 Responses to Off road on the route of the Canyons

  1. marg hewson says:

    Oh Dan, the shot of you sitting on the edge of the canyon gives me the same kind of shivers the photos Deb used to send me of her in similar situations! Some fantastic scenery, and off the main tourist tracks. You are meeting up with so many fellow travellers-great experiences. Hope you have an amazing Christmas. We think of you often.Best wishes on those travels. Hugs Marg and James

    • Daniel says:


      When Dan was sitting there we both said…” Deb would love this” He also wanted to stand on the small rock outcrop below, but I would not have it. I would have had a heart attack if Deb was there. See you in OZ!!! xoxo

  2. Janet says:

    Hi, sorry to have missed you in V. The causeway is luxurious compared to the one across the Mara River, Tanzania. The mountains remind me of Blyde River Canyon, S. A. Where Geoff and I spent a great week hiking the canyon. Keep the posts going, j.

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