READER REPORT:

The road to Brazil

ROB MUMFORD
Last updated 10:21 23/06/2014
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CROSSING OVER: Rob Mumford heads into Brazil.

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Kiwi Rob Mumford and Aussie Paul Pallett are driving a 1971 Ford Torino from Buenos Aires, Argentina to southern Brazil for the 2014 football World Cup. 

Mumford has been living in Buenos Aires for the last 15 years after first visiting as a backpacker and falling in love with Argentina's stunning landscapes and passionate people.

Buenos Aires to Porto Alegre 

It's 1200km from Buenos Aires to the southern Brazilian city of Porto Alegre, and this is our destination as we head for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

It's a glorious winter morning and the roads are clear as  we head north for an hour before crossing the mighty Parana River via the Zarate bridge.

In the distance far below we see cargo ships cruising the Parana's dark brown waters.

Our route takes us through the Argentine provinces of Entre Rios and Corrientes and all the while the terrain is almost totally flat and landscapes change only slowly as the kilometers tick over.

We stay overnight at Concordia on the edge of the Uruguay River and catch the England Vs Italy game in a bar with a bunch of locals who are naturally supporting the Italians.

Back on the road, it's symbolic that Argentine route 14 is the one leading us to the 2014 World Cup.

The road is again mostly flat and straight but there are a few curves as we pass the towns of New Scotland and New Germany.

At a service station we meet a group of Chilean fans who enjoy the photo opportunity with Paul after Chile's 3-1 win over the Socceroos on Friday!

The border post at Paso de los Libres is pretty quiet and after stamps and document checks we cross the well worn bridge into Brazil and the city of Uruguiana. Bem Vindo a Brasil!

Brazil being Brazil it was not long until we saw a football field, an uneven dirt pitch surrounded by rubbish and makeshift houses, the same type of pitch that many Brazilian stars learned their skills on.

The next field we come across is a perfectly manicured private pitch out the front of an impressive estancia, Brazil's contrasts are sadly evident for all too see.

Brazilian route 218 goes through the heart of the state of Rio Grande do Sul and is mainly farms and grain plantations and is inhabited by Gaucho cowboys. It has a tropical feel to it with palm trees and thick vegetation.

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With Argentina playing Bosnia this evening we decide to watch the game in a diner at the rural town of Sao Gabriel.

Argentina play solidly and win with the help of an own goal and the brilliance of Lionel Messi.

It is surprising to hear shouts from the bar cheering on Messi but we later find out that these "locals" were in fact a group of travelling Argentines.

The following morning we complete the drive to Porto Alegre and enter the city via the magnificent bridges that cross 
over the huge Lagoa dos Patos lagoon.

Next stop Santa Catarina Island.

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