Deep into the ant-hive

Trip Start Sep 05, 2012
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Trip End Jan 22, 2013


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Where I stayed
Hotel Calamares

Flag of Brazil  , State of Sao Paulo,
Thursday, October 18, 2012

10-18-2012 – Sao Paulo (Hotel Calamares); 90,913 Deep into the ant-hive

We had a fairly "short" ride into Sao Paulo. We stopped at one of the “corn castles” along the way and had a little taste of pastries and food made from corn. I didn't care for the the corn juice, but I guess I would just rather eat the corn;-) It was a little too sweet! As we got closer to Sao Paulo, we noticed the immediate changes from countryside to large metropolis of 19 million people.  The lanes grew in number, along with the number of people, homes, barrios, favelas, signs of multinational corporations, and buildings in all directions.  This was by far the most challenging navigating we had to do.  The shere size of the freeways, and uncertainty with the signage, made it an intense place to drive...it was like being inside an ant-hive.  Camilo did great, as we used the GPS to guide us to the BMW dealership.  It was good to look at today’s route on Google maps as this city is so large, and the freeways so complex, that you really needed a plan. We made our way through massive amounts of traffic, 9 lane freeways, and a motorcycle “norm” that was a bit overwhelming.  Brazilians love motorcycles, and there is a large population of people who utilize the smaller mode of transportation, especially to get around these streets.  It is traffic that even someone from LA or DC would not understand until having to actually drive in it!

Nevertheless, we found it! .....the BMW dealership, our contact Junior, and the general manager Ricardo, who welcomed us and spent the rest of the afternoon helping to give Popo the much needed restoration and fixes.   We got a great deal on labor to install a new rear tire, replace the seals and change oil in both front forks/shocks. Camilo spent most of the 4 hours with the tech in the shop.  The technician, as many BMW techs seem to do, paid careful attention to the bike and tuned him up nicely. The staff was absolutely helpful and friendly, and it was a much needed stop, in order for our journey to continue.

Exhausted after a long day, we followed one of the techs on his motorcycle to a recommended hotel nearby.  It was 8pm, and it was a bit surreal to think we had just made a 4 hour ride into Sao Paulo from the country, only to leave the bike shop another 5 hours later, with a completely repaired and tuned up motorcycle that was ready to go again.  Dinner was around the corner, and here we found our first dark beer, as well as another viewing of “Avenida Brasil!”,  the popular soap opera;-)
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