We enjoyed our time in Gramado, made some new friends, caught up with some folks we met in Punte del Este, got some bus projects done*, played soccer with Yuri the wonder dog, marveled at bunny island, did not dine at a fancy restaurant, soaked up some Alpine village Christmas ambiance, ate a huge sushi feast with Beti and Marcel, and even learned some more Portuguese.
The money situation is stabilized, but still a work in progress to get our mystery charges refunded. For now, we’ve decided to only use international banks… which there are a few in Gramado. This plan may not work in small towns, but should keep us moving along for now. So far, so good.
*filling a leaky steering box with high-viscosity oil is not the same as fixing it. But, it was the best we could do. Many calls were made for us (some in German), shops were visited, and it was determined the part simply does not exist in Brazil. Oddly, people were asking us where we had been getting parts for a German kombi. After further review, it appears the part may not exist anywhere. If you can locate the circular steering gearbox seal (on the side that connects to the drag link arm) for a 71 VW bus, then that’s what we want for Christmas.