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Travel --> 2013 --> March 11 March 2013  
 

My day started at 6am. I was pretty much packed. Julio, Valaria, Theo, and Livia came and left about 6:30am. and I left shortly there after.

The ride, with my trailer, to the airport was uneventful. It was about 7:30 when I arrived there. Then my tribulations started.

The green rental car place was not National. After a bit, I found out that the one next to it, Unidas, was. But of course they did not have my reservation and wanted me to start a new one. Not a good idea. Finally we got it all sorted out, with a little help translating from the nice woman at the green place. Well finally, was about 9AM. And one good thing, I got and air conditioning upgrade because they had no non air cars. The only truly fortunate thing all day.

I packed my bike into its case while everything was getting sorted out. I'm getting pretty good at that.

I had to wait a bit for the rental car bus to show up. I could have gone straight to the rental car lot, but oh well. This was usual, too, in that there was some checking in to do and car inspection.

I spent quite a while familiarizing myself with the car and the GPS. I was on the road by 10, for the 7 hour drive, so the GPS said.

But the GPS started leading me around in circles. WTF? I did this a lot! Eventually, I was pointed in the right direction and all was going smoothly, or so I thought.

100 km's to my first real turn. The map was not up to date in the GPS and said I should make a left turn when there was a clover leaf. But my map was saying I should have turned much before Feira de Santana With a right turn a U-turn another U-turn and and a right turn and finally another right onto the ramp I was on my way again.

Sort of. This was a wrong road. but parallel, sort of to the road I should have been on. (116 instead of 101) There was a huge backup due to road construction. Huge. Fortunately for me, It wasn't too long before I got going again. The other direction was backed up for at least 10km!

I didn't want to arrive after dark and the GPS started to tell me lots of different things. Mostly, after dark. Sunset is about 6, and that's about the time it's dark, too, as the sun goes down behind the mountains.

My breakfast was light, though I had an acai smoothie at the airport. I ran out of water, so it was time to stop, despite that fact I would arrive after dark. I had a great meal of chicken, rice, beans, tomatoes, "poi stuff" (like poi, but made from a local root and fish oil. go easy on it as it can really send the tenderfoot's stomach a churning.) There was some meat, too, of which I more than sampled.

Parnelli Jones was back on the road. I hit about 140kph a couple of times trying to make up some time. But this was futile because you always caught up with a big truck or two and had to pass without fear.

I suspected something was wrong with the GPS as It kept showing I was up to a kilometer off the road.

Jequie was where I needed to turn towards Itacare. It was about 5pm when I started trying to find my way through there. And that's when the GPS shut off!

I have my handheld GPS (with no maps). On my cell phone, which needs internet connection for navigating, has maps that are pretty had to use because they're free maps. On the later of these maps I saw the name of a town on my route past Jequie, Ipiau. I saw a sign for this. I'll head that way.

The car GPS started functioning again when I jiggled the power cable. I started to use that. It lead me who knows where. Well, I do know where, you can look at my web page, http://greggferry.com/travel/2013/03/11 and see all of my frustrating go arounds. (Well, when I get it uploaded, the internet connection here is almost non functional.)

Yes, where is "here"? The GPS was showing me going down a non-existent road in a very wrong direction. I tried to retrace my steps and it only got worse. The GPS and the roads I was traveling were not the same. Julio advised me not to drive at night because gangs were known to stop cars and rob them, especially the rental cars.

I headed back into Jequie a went to the first hotel I could find. And that is where "here" is.

I've spent a lot of time here trying to figure out what is so wrong with the GPS. I think I have an understanding of what the problem is. The maps! Not only the car GPS map, but Google maps, too. This place, the Itajuba Hotel is about 500m, yes! a half kilometer, from the place where Google maps says it is. The car GPS and Google Maps seem to concur. I found this out when I found the hotel using Google Satellite, then flipped back and forth between the map and satellite. It's worse than just an offset, it appears to be skewed, too.

So when I leave here tomorrow, I'm going to just follow the signs to Ipiau.

I can hear the Smother's Brother's singing now ... "Oh will he ever return, no he'll never return and his fate is still unknown. ..."

 
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