The balance is impressive: 11,640km. This was the distance cycled by Benhur Luiz Maieron in the first half of this year. Retired military, the 59-year-old candango literally crossed the country from Oiapoque (AP) to Chuí (RS), leaving Brasilia and returning to the federal capital. In the house where he lives, in Cruzeiro Velho, he shows the crumpled map of the trip and recalls the perrengues lived during the greatest adventure of his life.
Born in Sobradinho (RS), Benhur chose to spend the holidays at the end of the year. On December 11 last year, he said goodbye to his wife and children and pedaled along roads full of cars and trucks. The adventure only ended on June 5, after 177 days of pedal under rain and sun. In the solitary route, the military witnessed many contrasts of the interior of Brazil.
Benhur preferred to begin the journey by climbing the map from Brasilia to Oiapoque. On the way, he crossed cities of Tocantins, Maranhão and Pará until finally arriving at Amapá.”I went through beautiful places, met fantastic people, but when I arrived in Oiapoque I was disappointed by the ugliness and the filth. It’s a big periphery, “says the athlete. He remembers the stone monument where it was written: “Here begins Brazil.” “I was happy to have reached the edge of the country. Part of my purpose was already fulfilled.”
It was time, therefore, to move on, since the military man was only at the beginning of the cycle tour. Passed to Pará, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Paraná and Santa Catarina, Benhur reached the extreme south of Brazil. The small Chuí adds 5.9 thousand inhabitants and is bordered by the Paraguayan city of Chuy. Although he fulfilled an important stage of the adventure, the candango faced a sad reality. “Ugly houses, trash scattered everywhere, bumpy and unkempt streets, many of them unpaved,” he laments.”A faded and faded billboard marked the southern tip of Brazil. So different from the natural beauty I’ve come to get there.”
Despite the disappointment, the experience gave Benhur a new vision of the country.”It is worth knowing Brazil. In technical terms, it was difficult to beat roads with poor asphalt, without a shoulder. But living Brazilian culture from north to south is incredible,”he says.He highlighted differences in the behavior of the population of each region.”The North is very welcoming. You spend an hour talking to people and you already feel like family.Everywhere I pedaled, everyone gave me strength, supported me. The human factor was very important on this trip.”