Like so many countries, I will have many memories of Brazil based on the places I’ve been under the bus. Literally.
This time, it was beachfront near Mangaratiba.
These brakes are killing me. After a week or so of behaving properly, they started to lock-up again. Not as bad as last time, but I could feel it coming.
We pulled over to do a quick bleed, and… snap. The back left bleeder valve broke right off.
Fortunately, we’re in Brazil.
At the next big town, Angra Dos Reis, I pulled over at the first auto parts store I saw. They had two slave cylinders, so I picked them up for 10 bucks each. No rear hoses, so I went next door. Bingo! 5 bucks. I figure the parts are so affordable, we may as well just overhaul everything that’s reasonable. Now we have all new hoses and a new slave (and a spare spare).
While replacing the cylinder, I had something happen that has never happened before: the bus fell off the jack. It’s a crappy jack, for sure, but I was being careless. Fortunately, I wasn’t under it. The whole thing happened in slow motion – maybe two seconds. Just enough time to realize that I couldn’t do anything but say ‘Oh, shit!” as it fell down.
The jack fell out of the way, so I could get it back up. Even better, two lifeguards were watching and came over to help. They had a jack… and I assume were relieved to find that my legs weren’t sticking out from under the vehicle.
The lifeguards here are the most well-organized I’ve seen anywhere. The entire Brazilian coast is completely covered by these guys – every beach. And, they’re actually firemen. The bombeiros are in charge of protecting the coast, and do a spectacular job.
Anyway, crisis averted. Fireman jack installed, and I finished up. Only the normal distractions and conversations. People come up and stare at the license plate a while, then ask…
“De onde você é?”
First, disbelief. Then, relief that I’m not Argentinean*. I’ve been asked 100 times. At least.
* there’s clearly not much love between these two. And, I don’t think it has to do with Brazilians traveling in Argentina.