Wet, wet, wet.
Trip Start Oct 20, 2009
159Trip End Jun 23, 2010
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A wild sort of a day today, starting with lightening, rain and fog. Trucks passing us the other way whooshed past us in a wake of wind and water. We were all wearing our full length rain suits, even though the temperature was often over 22 degrees. We thought we had most things covered as far as the driving rain was concerned, but obviously a few areas were left untucked because my left boot filled with water and we all had wet shirts when we stopped for lunch.
At a service station where we fuelled up, the many young staff were taking lots of shots of the four bikes, the number plates and our packs. We were getting used to this by now, but I thought I'd make it a bit more fun. I lined up all the staff with us, in front of the bikes and took some animated shots
The roads were quite good with the exception of the odd road which had buckled in the middle as if the sides had melted during the hot weather and formed a rolled wedge in the centre of the road.
The rain continued throughout the day during our 358km ride until we reached the Hotel Itapua in Santa Maria. (The love shack). We didn't realize it was another one of those pay by the hour hotels. We entered through a narrow port, were instructed to put our credit card or cash into a slot and the tilt-up door would open. Lou got a bit frustrated that the staff would not come out to meet him face to face, but we didn't realize it was a love hotel at that stage. The over-the-top security should have given us a clue. Broken glass embedded into the top of the stone walls is not the usual kind of welcome you'd expect from your average hotel chain.
The manager did finally open the garage door and ushered us all forward. We negotiated a nightly rate with much sign language and were starting to get it, that this was a discrete hotel, for very private patronage
Des and I walked through the garage into a room with a circular shaped bed. Well, that looked quite inviting after our day in the rain. We also noticed the walls were lined with mirrors, from waist height to the floor. There was a spa bath and several soaps, shampoos and oils. Also condoms, DVDs and instruction sheet. Various other toys and gadgets were available through the office, which could be charged to one’s credit card account. Unfortunately (or fortunately) we didn’t get the deluxe room with the mirror on the ceiling. There was however, heating and cooling in our room, (a luxury compared to some of our digs) and a copy of the New Testament for weary travelers, like us, in Portuguese.
Now, it appeared we were locked in. The boys got onto the phone to the office and asked if the tilt-up garage doors could be opened. We had to wait while another 'customer’ entered, then the doors went up. We settled ourselves in the carpark on our deck chairs and poured coffee, only to be told by the management to "Move inside, obregado" (please).
Every time another vehicle arrived, or left, our garage doors went down
When we took stock of our things, we were surprised to see that the water had got into some of our luggage. All our business cards were stuck together and family photos damp, as one of our panniers wasn’t closed properly. Des’s phone was ruined because he had it in his shirt pocket while riding. All Lou and Lynn’s clothes were wet, in a bag which was supposed to be waterproof. We have now resolved to line all our luggage bags with plastic bags.