Enduro riding in the Serra da Mantiqueira, Brazil

On Nov 26, 2010, Maryel and me set out to explore a dirt road, leading east from Campos do Jordão to the Br-459. I had been wanting to check out this road for a long time, so I was glad we finally found some time to do it. Since we had no idea what to expect, we took our dirt bikes, and that turned out to be the right call, because the trail is not really an easy one, but for anyone who would like to do a +/- 90km enduro ride, it’s perfect. As a special bonus, the views of the surrounding Serra da Mantiqueira were sometimes breathtaking.

The starting point of our ride, was on the Br-459, 16 km north-west of Piquete, some 160km from Volta Redonda, my home town, so we left early in the morning, taking the Br-166 in the direction of Sao Paulo.

A photo taken from the moving car… The Serra da Mantiqueira early in the morning, all misty after a night of heavy rain. We were expecting to get rain today as well, but luckily it stayed dry all day.

The BR116, one of the finest highways in Brazil, but also one of the most expensive ones, especially once you enter the state of São Paulo.

After unloading the bikes… Maryel’s Yamaha 250 competition cross bike and my KTM 450EXC… That van is pretty handy if you ask me…

This photo was taken a few minutes after we both hit the ground on a very slippery part of the track. Wet red hard soil covered with slimy moss or something is like riding on ice… On the way back I slipped on the exact same spot and went down again. Maryel managed to stay upright this time. Afterwards he told me that my tires were inflated way too hard. I guess so… I’m only an amateur

Here’s where the track ends and the nice road to the city of Campos do Jordão (also known as Suiça Brasileira – Brazilian Switzerland) starts. We had to head back.

On the way back to Piquete, Maryel wanted to see if he could ride up this slope… Is this guy for real? I have seen him do some pretty amazing stuff on that bike, but if you ask me, this is a little over the top…

Riding a relatively easy stretch… We didn’t take a lot of pictures, since I don’t have one of those small camera’s that fit in a back pocket (actually I didn’t even have a back pocket :o), and the conditions were pretty muddy at times… also, stopping every 5 minutes to take the camera out of the backpack would slow us down significantly…

Back at the starting point, after almost 100km of enduro riding. We did an extra 6km after taking a wrong turn and getting kind of lost for a while…

I saved the route (one way – without the “getting lost” part)- in the GPS… Here’s the map and profile. anyone who’s interested in the .gpx file can email me on raphael@mirantes-mototravel.com

the Routemap of the trip (one way – without the “getting lost” part)

the GPS altitude profile – one way. The altitude varied from 1400m to almost 1850m

Hope you enjoyed it.
As always, comments welcome…

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About Raf Kiss

Belgian Expat in Brazil since January 2009. Motorcycle and outdoors enthusiast, tour guide, adventure seeker, musician and newbie blogger... Dropped out of school at age 17, had jobs in a saw mill, a car body shop and a few restaurant kitchens, meanwhile studying at night for an accountancy degree, which landed me a job in the Venture Capital industry, administrating venture capital funds... Moved to Brazil to start a new life and explore the biggest country in South America. I love riding bikes, both motor- and mountain bike, swimming, motocross, hiking, trekking, Kayaking, rappel and rock climbing... I also play guitar and harmonica and enjoy reading a book once in a while. I'm also 95% Vegan, don't smoke and not a fan of alcohol, which makes me a lousy Brazilian, but will keep me healthy for a few more years. I hope that through reading my posts, people will be inspired to visit Brazil and discover this magnificent country.