Searching for a Centenary Fig Tree

in Pinmapplelast year

Heeeyho Readers! Little cycling missions are the best!

You are one ride away from a good mood — Sarah Bentley, British cyclist.

Not every cycling mission aims for outstanding objectives, like crossing Europe during the winter. Most often, I just ride away to the peacefulness of a gravel road up the mountains in search of a waterfall or to self-challenge in a sinuous path. Cycling has this superpower of stressing our muscles at the same time as mental stress drips in the form of sweat.

A family gathering brought me to the city of Venâncio Aires, in southern Brazil. I've been there before, so knew beforehand that taking along the bicycle would be epic.

Searching for a Centenary Fig Tree

Journey starts just as the birds scream for food in their nest — the sign in front of the barbecue grill at our AirBnb host says "bird's nest inside, do not use". We didn't. Bicycle training has this positive aura and waking up to lively natural noises add to a perfect summer day.



City center is quiet, so I take the time to visit the main church. The Igreja Matriz de São Sebastião Mártir was envisioned in 1927 by the German architect Simão Gramlich. This monumental construction is not particularly ancient, although is considered the largest neo-Gothic Catholic temple in Latin America.



Getting back to training after a flu is never easy. I pick a 55 kilometer route with aprox. 800m of elevation, up to a local lookout — great option to stretch the lungs. Unfortunately I don't stop much when training, but a sign does make me laugh. It reads: "Invaders will be shot; survivors will be shot again". Well... message clearly sent.


Sign in a local farm


At the lookout

Beating all our personal bests when training feels good. I recall suffering to cycle this same road in 2018, when I'd just started cycling. Fours years later and I'm able to crush it without fainting. The extra time allowed me to visit a centenary fig tree market on the gps.


Centenary fig tree in Venancio Aires, Brazil

Do you see the bicycle next to the tree? That's the sheer size of this ancient tree. There are 755 species of fig trees in the world, according to Wikipedia. As a southern Brazilian, I've always called these the 'figueirão', without distinguishing one from another. Fig trees take hundreds of years to get to such a size and people say that 'those who plant a fig tree will never enjoy its shade'. Thankfully someone planted this one a hundred years ago.

I hope you've enjoyed this ride. Happy 2023!


Did you know that I have a book out? Check this!

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Disclaimer: The author of this post is a convict broke backpacker, who has travelled more than 10.000 km hitchhiking and more than 5.000 km cycling. Following him may cause severe problems of wanderlust and inquietud. You've been warned.

I'm Arthur. I blog about Adventure Stories, Brazil, Travel, Camping, & Life Experiences.

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Good you went right back to training after being sick.
That tree is massive. Wow so beautiful…

Scary sign 🪧 though.
Have a great week further 👋🏻😊

Good you went right back to training after being sick.

Cannot lose that cardio xD hard to gain, easy to lose

Isn't it awesome? I bet that tree is going to outlive me

Yep, know all about it hehehe 🤭 keep going.

Yes, it probably will outlive us all. 😊 wonderful!

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Super awesome! I'm gonna check right now

Upvoted by the Cycling Community

Thank you for the push!

Oh boy that´s one gigantic tree right there! Wow, I cannot stop looking at it. I love big trees, they make us feel so tiny and insignificant :D When being around such an old and massive tree, I always wonder what it had to witness throughout the centuries... Fascinating :)

I always wonder what it had to witness throughout the centuries...

Right? 100 years ago was 1922, Brazil became a Republic in 1889... that tree might have been planted when Brazil was a monarchy 😱 and I bet it's going to outlive us.

I´m not a dendrologist but looking at the tree, I would say it´s much older than just one hundred years. A couple of centuries at least...

Dentrologist? That's a new word for me. So, i did some research and they believed the tree was 300 yo, but a study estimated in 482. Holy shit!

You probably know the word botanist, that´s an expert in plants. Dendrologist is the same but with trees ;) So almost five centuries? Yeah, no surprise for me :) A 100 year old tree is actually not that old and big yet... Your fig tree was obviously much older and bigger than that. Amazing specimen.

Yup, five centuries. Brazil is 522 years old 🤣

So the tree is basically as old as your country :D

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