d'Italia  
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Travel --> 2013 --> March 18 March 2013  
  Porto Seguro 17h00 34C 61rh 1021.8mm

This day went smoothly. Only in that I got here before dark.

I woke up early enough and got my things packed. I found something I thought I had lost and can't find something else. My plan was to stick around for "cafe manhe", breakfast, because it was pretty good with all of the fruits and the coffee cake.

While I was waiting for that, two women were leaving, one had a taped up foot and had a pronounced limp. They were headed for the bus station, about more than a kilometer away, so I offered them a ride. And they were going to Porto Seguro, too. I said I could give them a ride there, too. They thought about it.

My first indication that something was up was when the back wouldn't open. When I went to start the engine, absolutely nothing happened. Nada. Quickly the women decided to walk to the bus station. I went over to the gas station to see if they could give me a jump. No, but a guy down the street could. Of course, closed at this hour. In fact it had a "vende se" (for sale) sign on the gate.

At breakfast, someone suggested I push start it. Doh! Of course. It's a small car with a small engine and a stick shift. I talked one of the guys there, Conner into helping me. But we need some more muscle and enlisted a guy off the street. It was only ten meters to the top of the hill and gave it a couple of good goes at it, but nothing. and now I'm at the bottom of the little hill. Thanks Conner.

I went back to the repair place. Yes! it was open, but no one was there. A guy came from a few doors down and I believed he called the owner. Twenty minutes later a couple of young men showed up but they indicated they could help. Actually they were indicating that the owner was away. One of them called the owner and he said he'd be back in 5 minutes. I figured twenty at best and I was pretty close to right.

Alas, even with a jump it wouldn't start, but the owner went back to get a bigger battery. In the mean time, I disconnected the red cable. Yeah, I know your suppose to remove the black first, but I couldn't really get at it. The clamping nut was loose enough that I easily untightened it with the pliers on my leathertool. When the owner got back, he reconnected the red cable and touched the bigger battery to the terminals with a couple of very big wrenches. Not exactly the safest thing to do. But the car started. Yeah! And I was on my way.

The road was good, the rental car GPS was working. All was looking good. Until I got to Ilheus. The GPS map didn't match reality and it decided to take a route different that I thought I would go. I ended up on a bridge and had a really cool view of the city. Nice. It was tough trying to figure out which road I needed. I only made a few wrong turns, but things were looking good ... until a sign said, "No pavement next 18km" (Of course it said it in Portuguese.) While I was contemplating it, a none to friendly face started looking in my window. I was in a pretty sketch part of town. The face started getting more unfriendly so I drove away a few blocks to continue my contemplations. I finally decided that I could deal with 18km of dirt road and that this was the road that the GPS was trying to indicate.

There were a number of times that I thought things were going to go really bad. I'd like to say call them "showers", but that would be inadequate. Imagine each rain drop containing about a liter of water. The road got pretty slick and all of the chuck holes filled with water and the parallel ruts became streams. I back off on my speed and only slid a little here and there.

Then ... Here, look at this picture (hint, click on picture) The picture doesn't show that the 5m above the stream. "Just do it, Gregg, just drive straight across" The text would be different if something other than success occurred.

It was closer to 55km of no pavement and the GPS got to be about 2kms from reality. The GPS was useless in the town at which I arrived. My Garmin handheld GPS with only major roads was more indicative of my direction and eventually I found BR 101. This 55km probably took about two hours.

But on BR 101 I hit speeds up to 120KPH! (shoot! that's what BRA_0014 was suppose to show). The trucks are incredible. A couple of log trucks were 30 meters long. Very scary to pass. I think the most scary truck was the one that came right up behind me and tried to crunch me into the log truck in front. That was bad, but while I let him (her?) pass me and the log truck first, I went behind him and he slowed up, forcing me to back off from passing the log truck. Clearly intentional. Brazilian road rage.

The GPS was behaving nicely, until I got to Eunapolis, where it started telling me I was a kilometer from where I was. Despite the GPS, I found my turn directly. The road from there was easy and almost no traffic. Very good.

As fate would have it, I was bumbling around looking for a hotel and the first one I decided to look into was, I'm not kidding, Hotel Kalifornia. Good rate, too R$50/night.

 
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