It is the 26th of April, and the bike has a new battery, so it is time to explore, and try and find some "Then and Now" locations in Santos, Brazil!
I have called friends at home and told them about many of the things we have seen here in Brazil.
1) Such as the exclusive Daslu mall in Sao Paulo. They comment that "Dale - you need to see the rest of the world - there are places like that all over the world". Then I read in Forbes and Luxury Life that it is one of the most exclusive malls in the WORLD!
2) Then I mention how large Sao Paulo is. They comment that there are many large cities in the world. There are! BUT Sao Paulo is one of the largest!
3) Then we get to the port of Santos. It isn't one of the busiest ports in the world. It is the busiest port in the world!
We rode from the south side of Santos (newer), to the north side of Santos (the older section), through this neighborhood. After the lesson we learned during the next day or so, we will be much more cautious. This neighborhood might be fine, but we are not going to take any chances!
Being the busiest port in the world, you can see many ships waiting for their turn at the docks.
The "Bolsa Official de Coffee" was a trading house for coffee. This is the ceiling in the trading room.
This stained glass window was huge (I know - it is hard to tell the size from this picture).
This is an old picture from a book printed in 1911, by Hiram Bingham, called Across South America. This is also the picture that got us into a bad neighborhood, but I don't want to give away that story yet! The old picture covers two pages in the book (reason for shadow down the center of the picture). Imagine my surprise when I sat down and started working with the pictures I had taken today, and found that the large (almost 6' by 8' picture (second picture down), was identical!
At first I thought the pictures were very similar, then I studied the pattern of boats in the harbor, and it was an exact photo!
It is the 27th of April, and the bike is still giving us problems. The new battery will not start the bike, and I think Sandy is getting fed up with pushing me and the BMW, to get it started. One last push start and we return to the battery shop, and the new battery checks out good. The owner was kind enough to call a motorcycle expert. Carlo comes to the battery shop with his pickup truck, to haul the bike to his shop, but he had no ramp. No problem! He and a few other Brazilians lift the 450 pound bike into the truck!
I was much more concerned than Carlo, regarding the condition of the BMW.
As it turned out, he was very competent!
When I saw the bikes he was working on, I started to relax.
This was the culprit. The magnets had detached themselves from the housing!
This was Carlo's pride and joy. A 1947 Matchless with less than 5,000 miles.
Well now... I thought this was going to be "Just another day". WRONG!
It is Saturday, the 28th of April, and a day we will always remember!
Well, today was VERY interesting. I have learned some real lessons today. The following is a list of things I have learned, some general observations and comments.....
What happened, you ask? Well, we picked the bike up from the shop where the starter was repaired. Good day so far! The next thing to do was hunt for more "Then and Now's", so we proceed to the Monte Serrat Funicular. Still a good day. So we go to the top of the hill to survey where the following picture could have been taken from in Santos, Brazil. The picture is from 1911 (remember - the same picture as in the museum). Note the 3 dark long skinny buildings in the lower left of this photo.
While we are on the top of the hill, we take a few photos.... This picture is looking North towards the harbor.
This picture is looking South towards the city and the beaches of Santos. It is still a good day!
And Sandy, with a smile on her face. Still a good day.
One last picture before we head to the other hill....
This is the hill top we were trying to get to. It did not look that bad to me!
Not Beverly Hills, but I did not think it was a Fevala either!
Same photo... Red line is our route... Yellow spot is where there were 7 thugs. One with his gun out!
We started up the narrow road way which was about 9 feet wide. We came around a corner, to a 400 foot straight section. The last 150 feet was VERY steep. I STOPPED about 120 feet short of the next turn because there were 7 guys. They were all between 17 and 21 years old and standing at the top of the hill where I had to make a sharp turn. There was not enough room to get by them.
They looked tough at first! THEN THEY STARTING SMILING AND EAGERLY WAVING US UP. I was thinking "friendly Brazilian", and just as I started to take off, I saw a revolver in the hands of one of the thugs! AND IT WAS BIG! The barrel was at least 8" to 9" inches long! You have NEVER seen a R100GS perform a 3 point turn, on a steep hill, as quickly as what I did on this hill. I hit the brake, rolled backwards about 5 feet with the steering completely turned, stopped again, then turned the steering the other direction and starting rolling down the hill and popped the clutch and covered the 250 feet to the next corner in less than 4 heart beats!
Close up of the area where we faced trouble.
WOW.... What a rush. What a close call. We were within 120 feet of what? Losing our wallets, money and credit cards? Losing our cameras? Losing our GPS? Losing our BMW? I am not sure!
Is it a good day. NO!
It was a great day! To be as stupid and foolish as I was, and to have gotten out of there with no loss of any type makes it a great day! What I learned is priceless. I realize that it does not always happen to the other guy! It can happen to you!
I also know that I will not survive the next encounter in a bad area.
Sandy told me "If I go into a bad area again, SHE will kill me"!
Guys... I seriously did not think this was a "Bad area" based on other areas we have seen. I would have never exposed Sandy to the risks associated with an area like this, if I knew what could happen. You don't need to send me emails about how stupid I was. I know how stupid I was! Emails about my luck would be appreciated!
Sandy, at the top of another "Ski Lift" type of tram, in another part of Santos (Teleferico de Sao Vicente). This is two hours later and we are both still smiling over how lucky we are! What a GREAT day!
We will get over the excitement of today, but we will never forget it!
Just one more picture we took from the top of Monte Serrat.
On the 29th of April we must leave Santos, and start northeast bound, on the coast of Brazil. We first catch a ferry to the island of Guaruja. We rode on this island for nearly 30 miles, to the far end of the island, before catching another ferry back to the mainland. It was overcast so the pictures do not show the true colors of this area.
The pictures do not do this area justice. It was like riding in the Hawaiian Islands!
The ferry brings surfers to the island.
We make it to Juquehy, Brazil. It was a tough and tumble 68 mile ride. I am truly a wimp!
On the 30th of April we do almost "Nothing"! Why, you ask? Simple! Because we can!
And I am not taking one minute of it for granted. Brazil is so much more than I expected.
I feel as though I will always have a little "Brazilian" in me for the rest of my life!
It is beach after beach. Cove after cove.
And how lucky we have been, to have gotten here on a motorcycle.
Well, it is May 1st, as I write this page. It is my birthday today. I am turning 59 years old in paradise! Sandy is doing great! Our health is good (I think). The weather is perfect today! The motorcycle is running good! Juquehy is as close to heaven as you can get!
LIFE COULD NOT BE BETTER, EXCEPT TO HAVE FRIENDS AND FAMILY HERE WITH US!
Dov and Beth - Thank you for making this the BEST Birthday of my LIFE. Sincerely!
The following sentence says it all.....
"Don't wake me -- I am enjoying this dream"
For "Brazil 6" hit the "Back Button"..... For "Brazil 8" hit the "Next Button".....