I'm the Boss
Trip Start Oct 20, 2009
159Trip End Jun 23, 2010
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Today we made another trip to the Hypomoto Motorcycle Shop to pick up Des's new, summer, riding jacket. By sheer good luck and coincidence (as there are thousands of little red, manual, taxi's here in Porto Alegre), we got the same driver as we had on the way out to the motorcycle shop yesterday. He recognized us (I wonder how) and said
"Si, Si" we both chimed.
Beto was most apologetic that the correct jacket hadn’t arrived
As it was, it took quite awhile to source another jacket for Des, which, Beto said, he would ship by express post at his cost, directly to the Palace Hotel in Frederico Westphalen, by Wednesday.
So, I paid for both jackets with cash (after some stuffing around with our Visa cards, which the swipe machine wouldn’t accept), while Des was having an animated conversation with a Federal Police Officer, who also had a BMW 1200 GSA. The cop said that his wife will only go with him on a motorbike trip if their insurance covers a medi-vac helicopter, to pick her up if she breaks a fingernail. The cop is also heading down to Ushuaia in December. (Will she be coming?)
He was telling Des, when he first purchased his BMW bike, he had to take it to the registrar of motor vehicles to have it registered in his name. He flicked the side stand down with his boot, but unbeknown to him, it had retracted. He said this is the only time in his life, he was very happy to be such a large man. Using all his strength, he managed to stop the bike from falling completely and doing a lot of damage to the new car next to it. The car only sustained a minor scratch. But the cop put the side stand down again, properly this time, calmly dismounted, took his helmet off and yelled at the top of his voice to the bike. “I’M THE BOSS”.
We were up early ready for our sight-seeing tour around the city
An open-air bus trip took us all around Porto Alegre a city of about 1.5 million people. It was a worthwhile trip because we saw such a lot of the area, including the Usina do Gasometro which used to be a thermoelectric station, but is now used for concerts and plays, and the huge stadium Olimpico, which hosts the local soccer team, Gremio.
I neglected to take a third back-up camera, which I needed when the batteries died in the two cameras I brought. I also forgot my hat and it was a bright, sunny day. Headache and pink cheeks coming up for sure. Silly me.
We rode through the Rio Guaiba town of Ipanema, unfortunatey, not the beautiful and famous Ipanema, further along the stunning Brazilian coast. Then to the highest point in Porto Alegre, overlooking the city, which was marked with a beautiful church Santuario Mae de Deus (Sanctuary of the Mother of God), with the most magnificent 360 ° views.
Another thing which marred the trip a bit for me, was the fact that the little angels from Bom Jesus School and Anne Frank School, whom we shared the trip with, were grabbing at the low hanging branches, as the bus was motoring along, one of which slapped me in the face and left a nasty, red welt
The tour commentary was in Portuguese and English, but we never heard the English as the kids were having too much fun! All in all not a great day for this little black duck. (Poor Des).
After the open-air bus tour, we went to the Barra Shopping Centre, which we spotted from the bus. It’s the latest shopping complex in Porto Alegre and had a Westfield feel to it. Des was hard at work studying the shopfittings and shopfronts while I purchases some camera batteries and photographed the magnificent Christmas decorations. They really do Christmas well in Brazil.
In the evening we walked to Mercado Publico (Public Market) in the centre of the city, where we had the nicest meal on the balcony at Chale da Praca overlooking the city square. It was our last night in Porto Alegre so we celebrated with a nice bottle of Chilean red wine.
In the morning we lingered just one more time over the delicious buffet breakfast and the view of the Rio Guaiba, then headed for the Largo Vespasiano Julio Veppo, the large bus terminal (with the large name), where our bus was waiting to take us on the 8½ hour trip back to Frederico Westphalen.