What to say about Brasil. Apologies to the few nice people we have met but in the main we do not like it here. The only redemption was Carnival where they certainly know how to party. We've met a couple of nice folk along the way but in the main we are meeting normal Brasilians and they are not giving us a warm and happy feeling. Some do, most do not.
We've now made a judgement on the driving. They are the worst drivers in the world. We've seen numerous accidents and evidence of the poor driving. One dead guy in the middle of the road. Seriously its the worse standard of driving in the world. They speed terribly and ignore all signs except the ones that say speed camera. Maybe its this that is clouding our judgement of the population and country but this is what we see day in day out. We rarely meet any more people other than in service stations, truck stops and restaurants. We did meet a few very welcoming campers in the camp site we stayed in the other night.
One another thing is they have very poor internet. Its worse here than Africa. Everythig is locked up and as with the way of things now everyone is paranoid about giving away internet. Its also seriously expensive to get a paid hotspot. Not that we can use them anyhow as its all in Portugese. I thought we were in a modern country?
Back to the driving....the other day a lorry nearly ran me off the road overtaking on double yellow lines in the middle of the road. Of course he was speeding as well. A little later we got followed by the police and I could tell he was itching to give me a ticket. As I'm driving normally he gave up and went on his way. A little further up the road we see him issuing a ticket. So there he is behind us again. The funny thing is we'd nearly caught up the speeding lorry that cut us up earlier. He was stuck behind a slower lorry going up a hill complete with the double yellow lines. He makes his move and cuts up the lorry forcing an oncoming car onto the hard shoulder. Exactly what he did to us. Unfortunatly this is a common manover. The police went after him and about 5 mins later we see him getting a ticket. I give the police the thumbs up and point at the lorry and make another gesture all together. The policeman was smiling.....
Matildas exhaust back box fell off but not quite into the road. It was dangling on its rubber mount. I noticed the engine had sounded funny a lower revs....so thats what the sound was !! We got it welded up in a back street garage for $25usd. He did an OK job and took his time. Not sure how long it will last though.
The other day my "rear clunk" got very loud and I was very worried. We stopped at a campsite (only the 9th night out of 71 in campsites) in Salvador hoping we would stay for a week but it wasn't up to much so we stayed one night. To be honest the truck stops are better and they are free ! Anyhow,,,clunk was the rear drive flanges which we changed in Pretoria with the shafts. One flange was almost completely stripped (and dry of grease !!!) and the other was badly damanged. It came on so quick. I was amazed it went from nothing to very bad in a day. No idea why. I've used my only two drive flanges and now need some more. The previous ones lasted 24311 miles and went just like that. I greased them only a few weeks before. The only thing I've changed is I made some brackets to stop my half shafts floating out and pushing off my hub caps. Could the shaft be fouling in the diff.....I REALLY hope not.....
We are trying to find somewhere to take a break. Not found anywhere even vaguely suitable. Maybe at the falls. I need to do oil change again and check out the rear diff....
I also want to moan about the supermarkets. It takes four times longer to check out than it does to shop. The queues are terrible all the time. The people just dump their trollies anywhere.....They drive trollies like they,,,,,drive. I'm sure Wal-Mart don't know what goes off here....
One saving grace is the truck stops. Especially some of the Shell ones. They are just superb. The toilets are super clean and the showers are mainly free. Well done Shell !!!! No quite the standard overall of Copec in Chile but they are good. Most of the proper truck stops have laundry which is washed and dried in 2 hours. The detergent smells like industrial acid but the clothes were clean. Even my jogging bottoms/overalls were spotless !
We managed to wash the bedding by hand at the campsite. Happy Birthday !
To the folks from the campsite.....thanks for the warm welcome.
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