Two pics from the past few days of riding. More pink trees and a giant ant hill!!
For sure, not the best day of the trip so far. After a little bit of research with WIFI at lunch and thinking about what to do I am making moves to the BMW shop in Uberlandia. This has to be addressed ASAP. Got my head on right and my time of stewing over it was done. I am all action at this point and thinking of a variety of solutions. I am even accepting that I may be facing a large credit card bill very soon!! It is all part of the adventure. I will get to Uberlandia and see what my options are.
Then I see this guy and I am pretty sure his day is worse.
It is time to say good bye to Claudia and Mirko
Mirko wouldn’t take off his helmet. I think he was crying. He said it was sweat but we all know! Who knew, a german with feelings!! Haha In all seriousness I will miss them both. Good travel companions and we had a lot of laughs. Anytime you can roll with people for a couple of months it’s a good fit. Its nice for me to just follow and not have to think about every turn, stop and every decision on my own. Thank you team Germany for some great travel days through some hard riding!!
I hit the Euroville BMW in Uberlandia about 300-330 in the afternoon and start the really difficult conversation with basically zero Portuguese. Struggling for a bit but making progress with Phillip, the service writer, who is super nice and patient. Now cue the English speaking regional sales guy that happens to be there that one day!! Are you kidding me?!?! Phillip number two. No joke they are both Phillip. What a huge help to have him. He is such a nice guy and limping from a crash on his CRF450. We are working through things and talking bikes and more. He is probably a little younger than I am and surprised that I am traveling to so many places solo. His parting words to me are something to the effect that maybe this crack is a sign that I should take it a little easier. I cant quite read his expression but he is sincere in his concern. I get a very big, mischievous smile ( those of you that know me can probably picture it) and tell him I will try. Then we both have a good laugh.
Shortly after this I go sit down with Phillip number 1 and we start talking about options and cost of options. We work 3 paths simultaneously: 1-Goodwill Warranty 2-Purchase new and replace 3-repair the crack in the existing. I accept option one is a long shot and will take several days, 2 is going to be over 800 bucks and 4 days minimum 3-back in the road in 3 days and under $200. Lets get that sucker welded and get wheels rolling!
As I am taking in the news that a new one is over $800 dollars and that BMW/Euroville can’t really assist in any way with the repair I have my head in my hands and let out a big sigh. Really just trying to process my choices. That’s when I feel someone put their hands one my shoulders and say its going to be ok! I look over my shoulder and agree, “it is.” “Hi my name is Josh” and that’s when I meet Gilberto. A saint of a man! Normally I am weary when a stranger just walks up behind me and grabs my shoulders but when I turn around and see this guy smiling.
He says his English isn’t very good but he wants to help. So we talk and walk to the bike. At Euroville BMW its cool if you walk back into the shop and harass the mechanic. haha Especially when we can only communicate with sign language. Here I am!
After about 30 min I figure out that Gilberto doesn’t work at BMW. I thought he did, I mean he is wearing a BMW shirt. So…. After a good laugh about that he says his car is there and he can help me find a hotel. I load all my shit into his car. I am now in shorts and tshirt so it seems like a ton of stuff. I really don’t like taking all the luggage off my bike unless its for some solid off-road. Anyway after his car is loaded we start to head to the center and he says he has a spare room that I can stay in if I want.
This is one of those moments when a total stranger that you have known for less than an hour invites you to stay at their home. After meeting Gilberto for even a second you can tell he is a really genuine and nice guy. Also to be honest at this point some free lodging sounded damn sweet with my upcoming repair expenses. I expected a normal to modest home in central Brazil. What I was treated to was a resort style retreat by my standards. Far better than most places I’ve stayed my entire trip. Oh wait, correction: Better than all places I’ve stayed my entire trip.
This is Gilbeto his son Vinicius and me at the best Brazilian BBQ I Uberlanida. I almost died from meat sweats. So good!! And this waiter found out I wasn’t local and just kept bringing first cuts of stuff. I started to turn it down and he would start to guilt but this is a first cut? So Id eat more. Straight home and a nap for me. How these guys go to work after this is beyond me!
My amazing accommodations for the next few days
From the second I arrived I was treated like family. Once again an obstacle becomes an experience I will never forgtet and a highlight of the trip. So so thankful to o many people and now put Gilberto and his Family very high on that list.
A wonderful family dinner. Yup I think that I am family now! Haha
The next day Gilberto takes the day off (he’s the boss) and run around town to follow up with BMW and take the part to the welder. Get to Euroville just after 9 and they have already sent the part to the welder. It will be welded, painted and back to Euroville by 5 tonight. What? Are you kidding me? So then Gilberto takes me to the machine shop to take a look at the progress of the repair.
The repair at a proper machine shop.
He cleaned it all up well.
Not sure how long t would have taken or for how much but they could have made me a new part if I needed.
I think I end up staying with Gilberto four amazing nights. I relax by the pool get some computer work done, bills paid and hang out with this guy a lot! Meet johnboy!! Awesome dog. He looks tough but is a huge baby. Miss the entire family and all the dogs. They have 5! Here is another pic of one that was getting enough attention I guess.
Gilberto said he had never seen that before and she did this all on her own.
Also these little guys come to visit from the woods every afternoon.
My best buddy Johnboy
What a special stop and special people. I had such a wonderful time here.
Bike gets done on Friday and I ride around Umberlandia on Saturday to meet some of his friends and give the bike a little test ride. I am little tired because I went to a mircbrew festival with Gilberto’s son Vinicius for a little the night before. Bike feels good so I am packed and ready to go Sunday morning. Hitting the road about 8 am.
The final repair
A huge thanks to these guys. The bar has been set for BMW Brazil shops. My bill was even 100 reais less than the estimate. Back in action for about $160 bucks.
It feels a a little strange to be solo again after leaving the Germans then on the same day meeting Gilberto I never was solo at all. Now I will be for who knows how long. Takes me a day or two of being introverted to really come out of it. I was pointing it toward Lencios then Salvador. But all plans are subject to change!
This was one of those experiences that reminds me that there are so many great people out there. I have been thinking a lot that I often travel by myself by I am seldom alone! Why would I ever stop riding with these kind of experiences!?!?! I think my time line is increasing a little. hahaha