READER REPORT:

Long road to Brazil football glory

ROB MUMFORD
Last updated 05:00 24/06/2014
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ON THE ROAD AGAIN: The Torino at Torres

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CITY SIGHTS: Downtown Porto Alegre.

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Who will win the World Cup? The road to Brazil

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

In part two of the journey, the guys head from Porto Alegre to Florianopolis, and join in Brazil's fever pitch hopes for Cup glory.

We headed north towards Curitiba, to attend the Ecuador vs Honduras game. On the way, we took some time to explore the beautiful beaches and coastline of the Santa Catarina province.

It was a misty and drizzly Porto Alegre morning as we climbed the entry ramp on to the motorway and looked for the signs to Florianopolis.

The costal highway is a magnificent one as it runs alongside the coast, over and between mist shrouded hills, and sweeps around the stunning natural geography.

The road is in excellent condition and the bridges and tunnels make the route even more spectacular.

The vegetation is tropical, with palm trees and thick grasses, and the settlements we passed had pretty wooden houses painted with pastel shades of lime, peach, lemon, lilac, and mint.

The Brazilians are a colourful people and they express this with their houses.

We also saw a purple library, blue town hall, and many multi-coloured churches.

After 150km, we pulled off the road at a town called Torres, a delightful spot with a sandy beach, steep rocky cliff at one end, and smart beachfront apartments and houses.

Down at the beach we walked along a path at the base of the cliff and soaked up the sound and smell of the sea.

There were herons and oystercatchers, as well as surfers and fishermen.

When I walked off the path, I was accompanied by orange butterflies and a song from a pretty yellow and black bird.

We enjoyed the beach and the blue sky that had appeared, before heading north again.

Our aim was to get to Florianopolis on the Island of Santa Caterina by 4pm so that we could watch the Brazil vs Mexico game, but our plan hit a snag when we came to a halt behind a long line of stationary vehicles and people standing beside their cars.

We got out and saw that the police were attending an accident that had blocked the road. After 20 minutes, a helicopter took off with the injured and a damaged SUV was towed away.

We continued on with kickoff only an hour away.

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Luckily, 2km later, the toll both operator waved us through, saying "no charge today". I imagine they didn't want to delay the locals, who like us, wanted to get to their destination and watch Brazil in action. 

As we got closer to Florianopolis, traffic got thick and we had to turn on our radios as the game got underway.

It was cool to hear the Portuguese commentary, and as we crossed the spectacular bridge from the mainland to Santa Catarina Island, our ears and eyes filled with excitement.

Florianopolis was way bigger that we anticipated and we had no idea where we were going, so we followed the signs leading to the southern part of the Island.

Traffic was still heavy and it was close to half time when we pulled in at a small bar and sat outside with a bunch of locals.

It wasn't a great performance by Brazil and the frustration was clearly expressed in the bar as the match ended in a scoreless draw, with the Mexican goalie undoubtedly man of the match.

Brazil have a huge weight of expectation on them and they will need to improve to have a chance of meeting a nation's hopes and dreams.

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