Saturday, June 13, 2009

Back to Rio de Janeiro!

Getting back to Rio should have been the easiest part of our trip - had not my debit card given up on me!

After a ´Dia dos Namorados´ completely spoiled by the rain we were more than happy to wake up to a lovely warm and sunny day! We had a fast breakfast and went out to finally take some pictures of Paraty - it would have been a shame to leave this pituresque historic city without taking any pictures. Dona Daya the sweet owner of Pousada Daya had let us know that it didn´t make any difference at what time we checked out of the room so we had no hurry to leave. We went to the pier, explored the streets of the historic center, had a cappuccino on a sunny terrasse and I bought a nice painted tile for my bathroom.

Around noon we went back to the pousada to disassemble our bikes, put them in the boxes we got from a local bike shop and buy our return tickets. Until now everything went really smooth. It was no problem to find a bike shop, get the boxes, lend some tools... Flavio´s ´improvising skills´ worked perfectly and I already imagined us back in Recreio, eating acai, enjoying the beach...
When we had tipped our new friends at the bike shop and went back to Dona Daya´s hostel we only had about R$10 left and I went to the ATM to get some more cash. ´No connection could be established´. Same message at the next ATM, at the next, at the next... Thank God we had already paid Dona Daya and the bus company accepted credit cards. But we didn´t dare to buy any provisions for the trip as we had no idea how we would get home from the bus terminal. The road from Paraty to Rio de Janeiro is really nice - passing the beautiful beaches of Paraty, Angra, Mangaratiba... unfortunately we couldn´t really enjoy it, not knowing if we would find a taxi that accepted credit cards and what was wrong with my card. In Tiradentes I had once tried to get money from the ATM and the transaction had obviously been cancelled because it was out of bills - or that was atleast what the guardian of the bank told us. I started worrying if maybe there had been something wrong with the ATM...

When we arrived in Rio we didn´t even have time to look for a taxi - the taxi drivers already jumped on top of us! One of them was especially pushy but seemed efficient and said he would take us to Recreio for R$70. He seemed honest and said he had a big car and accepted cards, so off we went. Actually his ´big car´ was just an ordinary car but we managed to get the two bikes in by inclining the back seats and taking one of the bikes out of its box. He was very pushy and nervous and everything happened really quick. When we and the bikes were finally in the car and ready to go it became clear that the guy hadn´t understood our situation - he thought that we just had a card and needed to get money from the ATM! Of course he didn´t had a credit card reader in his card. After a lot of discussion - he said he understood our situation and was ready to negotiate - we agreed on paying R$30 in gas for him at the station with our credit cards and giving him the last 20USD that for some reason I still had in my backpack from my last trip. When the payment question had been settled we just had to pray to make it to Recreio save and sound - our ´taxista´, bahiano, allover tatooed, obviously gay and very chatty could take it on with any formula 1 pilot! Flavio, who usually likes to chat with everybody didn´t say a word - later on he told me that everytime he said something our driver would get so excited about it that he turned to Flavio, who was in the back next to the bikes and neglected the road in front of him. Thank God we made it to Recreio, paid the crazy driver and made us a cup of the coffee we had bought in Minas right from the producer - que delicia, being back home :-)

1 comment:

  1. Ficou muito legal o blog de vocês. Eu sempre quis percorrer a estrada real e hoje vejo que foi uma das experiências mais legais que já tive. Parabéns pela aventura e que muitas dessas passem por nossas vidas.

    Luis Marcelo Toledo