Saturday, January 31, 2015

After we had a good time in Torres with Carlos and friends we drove via Caxias Do Sul to Lages and from there to Urubici  to a place in the mountains which was recommended by our friends Andi and Ellen. Thy told us that when you arrive at Jordan's house it is like stepping in to Eden.
The road up was dirt and got smaller as we went up.
Well, Andi did not exaggerate, what a wonderful place, Jordan was not home but Walter his neighbour let us on to the property. We have seen many beautiful places on our travels, but this tops it all. The pictures can not do it justice, and to top it off there was good WiFi. and we spent a very nice evening with Walter. As I was preparing dinner a voice in American english asked surprised " did you really drive all the way from Vancouver to here?" With me understanding very little of Portuguese, it was nice to hear a language I know. 
Today the 24th. We traveled on to Blumenau. We almost feel as if we are in Germany. German people started to emigrate here in the mid 1800 and many more came after the two world wars.
Even 3rd, and 4th. Generations still speak fluent german. Houses are also in the german style and restaurants serve german food and the beer is supposed to be very good. We found a parking/camping close to the town centre. Walked in to town and did some shopping and walked back in 40 degrees heath.   
Marilyn, the owner who speaks german, took the afternoon off and showed us the town and surroundings and drove us to Neuvo Russia in the hills where we cooled off in the river. 
Our friend Alejandro who is at the moment in Mexico has our spot (personal GPS  tracker)
And as we were parked across the street from the military police which he could see, we got an email this morning saying " you have been parked in the police compound for 3 days, are you OK? Email me right away". Thank you Alejandro, it is nice to know that you keep an eye on us.
Today the 28 we left Blumenau and are now in Sao Francisco do Sul.
Hugs to all. PS  more pictures with description to follow when better internet.
Norbert and Greti
Beach at Florianapoles

Colonial mansions in Navigantes

This kind gentleman noticed that we were lost in Caxias do Sul and went out of his way to show us the
Casas de Piedra.

You notice we drove the wine region of Ruta du Sol

This is the place Andi and Ellen described as Eden, Very close

View from the top

Many Churches along the way but some stand out.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

We arrived in Torres, in the province of Rio Grande and were welcomed by torrential rain. All the streets were flooded which is dangerous as the potholes or lidless manholes are not visible.
Made it to a campground and were happy not to be in a tent but in the Blue Wonder.
Next morning we went to visit Aparados da Serra park, rough road but wonderful views and waterfalls. On the way up we met Carlos, Rogerio and Gusta. Carlos and Rogerio are from Brazil but now living in London, and as Carlos grew up in Praia Grande he gave us lots of info. about this national Park and its history. Our plan was to keep going east to Cambarra do Sul, but Carlos invited us to have dinner at his beach house in Ballenario Roxo dos Santos, so we followed him there. What a beautiful beach, these are places one only finds through locals.
We had a wonderful dinner and I got all my laundry done. We were told that Brazilians are very friendly, yet still surprised how many people talk to us or honk their horn and give us the thumbs up. Time and again we get asked " did you really drive all the way from Canada?"
At the internet cafe we met teenagers on vacation here, thy were eager to speak english, and asked many questions about Canada,
and the other countries we traveled though. What a group of fine young kids.
Went for a late walk on the beach and will travel on tomorrow.
Hugs to all.
Norbert and Greti
Carlos, Regorio, Gusta, we met at the waterfalls and were invited to the beach house for asado.

Aparados Da Serra

Maite, Kaue, Amanda, Thiago and Rogerio

Flooded road in Torres

Sunser in Barras, Uruguay

Best dentist in Buenos Aires
Dr. Pablo E. Gamaza. Odontologp
Maipu 222 PB. Banfield Prov. B.A.
Tel: 4248-0103
Praia Grande Brazil

Thank You Carlos

Sunday, January 18, 2015

January 17,2015

Left Punta del Este and drove to Puerta del Diablo beach. Then we went to see Fortaleza Santa Teresa. As it turns out thy did not accept Dollars or Argentinian Peso, only Uruguay peso or Brazilian Real of which we had none. We were about to leave when a very young couple offered to pay for us, that put the cashier to shame and thy let us enter for free. I should not be, but it always surprises me again how nice and generous people are everywhere. Met some motor bikers from Brazil who were admiring the Blue Wonder and before long we had quite a crowd around our Van, thank goodness Norbert speaks Porugese.   Exit from Uruguay went swift, and after we found the Brazilian Crossing behind some construction our passports were stamped in minutes. When it came to the Van, no one knew what to do, so we were told to wait. After 45 min. We were told we were good to go. But hold on, you did not import our car. Turns out there is no procedure for a temporary auto import. So we asked what happens if the police stopped us.
No problem, here is the regulation number just show that to the police.
When we asked how long we can keep the Van in Brazil, 90 day's. But our Van does not exist in Brazil, so how do we export it in 90 days? Good question. So thy send us on our way.
When I get WiFi. I will google the rules for temporary auto import in Brazil
Hugs to all
Norbert and Greti

January 16, 2015

Monument on the beach of Punta De Este. That's what I call hanging on by a nail.

Abandoned beach house in Playa de Diablo Uruguay


Norbert checking out the road to the beach, we did turn back as the "road" got softer and softer.
Arrived in Montevideo before noon. It is a very nice and interesting city. Did some sight seeing and found a nice spot to camp, right by the lighthouse on the Rambla.
Interesting part is that cars with foreign license plates do not pay for parking. What a concept to assist the tourist.
Uruguay is very expensive, 2 hamburgers $ 16.00 USD. And gasoline is $ 2.00 CND.
The country is very clean, all along the highways grass is trimmed and the city is vey modern and geared for the sophisticated shopper. Also people are very friendly.
January 16, 2015.
On to Punta del Este, apparently the most expensive place to live in Uruguay.
Again free parking and the beaches are wonderful and very crowded. It is vacation time here so wherever you go lots of young people.
Hugs to all
Norbert and Greti 
Fotos will follow


January 14, 2015

Well we are on our way again. 
The rear axle was repaired and on Sunday we took it for a test drive of 100 km. to Tigre where we had a nice boat ride and a good dinner, and all seemed well. Monday morning Norbert noticed the the axle was leaking oil, so back to 
the mechanic and it turns out the retaining ring was of poor quality and leaking. Thy manufactured a new housing for the retainer and put in a second retainer. That solved the problem of the leak.
We also got the A.C. Recharged as it is very hot now and Brazil will be worse. Then a wheel alignment so we are good to go again. I finished my dental work and am very happy with the quality of Pablo's work. All together 6 hours in the dentist chair and absolutely no pain.
Pablo was kind enough to do 4 weeks work in 5 day's.
All together we were 3 weeks in B.A. and we were itching to get going. Border Crossing to Uruguay went smooth and we arrived in Jose Enrique Rodo were we intended to make a short stop but found a beautiful park with pool and picnic tables with barbecues, so decided to stay the nite.  Tomorrow on to Montevideo.
Hugs to all
Norbert and Greti
Photos will follow when better connection
George from the mechanical shop where we fixed the rear axle.
Palagi is 40 years and two generations in operation

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Spot not moving

January 5th.
Well we are still in Buenos Aires , that is the reason our Spot is not moving. We had a good New Year, went to see the opening of the Dakar Race, Argentina, Chile and Bolivia. It was a very hot day and the crowds were incredible.
Lots of Police and traffic control. But all went well and we were surprised how well behaved everyone was. Tons of Porta potties and no smell, as every 5 potties had a cleaning lady.
We did not stay to the end as we did not want the crowd on the train and subway and bus on the way home.
On January 4th. I bit in to a bun and my front tooth with a crown broke off. Had a hard time to find a dentist as thy are all on holiday. Today I finally found one and it will take 5 days to get it fixed. Norbert took the Blue Wonder in for the rear axle and the prognosis is not very good, we will need more parts which are not available in Argentina so one possibility is to take the bus to Chile, Valparaiso and get them there, shipping would take too long and will be held up by custom. So for the next week  our progress is on hold.
Today was 3 kings day here, the day the kids get presents. The neighbourhood had organized a big party with the 3 kings on a truck giving out sweets and presents. The amount of people who turned up was overwhelming. Argentina definitely does not need emigrants as almost every family has at least 4 children. We left the party early as it is hot and does not cool down in the evening, thank goodness for A.C.
Again we wish all a very Happy New Year.
I will keep you updated on the progress of the Blue Wonder.
Hugs to all.
Norbert and Greti

Downtown Buenos Aires

The Cathedral of the City of B.A.

The Dakar Race. Me at 5.2  could not see anything only hear the noise

Block Party.
The 3 Kings

All waiting for a present
The Start of the Race