Day 3: Curitiba – The Struggle is Real

Curitiba… I was already afraid the city could be similar to Sao Paulo and its huge sky scrapers and millions of people. I got pleasantly surprised to find a beautiful, tranquilo city with layed back people. The opposite of Sao Paulo… Still what happened next was a shock!

In the morning I took my time for a nice breakfast in the hotel, before I had another day of administrative hurdles waiting for me. The first part started actually pretty well and I found immediately a motorbike accessories dealer who was having the right parts available. The last two days revealed a lot about insufficient wind protection and I have found on google a way to maximise the windshield – basically it is another deflector sitting on top of it. It was just the perfect solution for what I needed. Furthermore, after I kissed a pothole one day before I decided to make the protection complete but the dealer did not have the necessary protection part for the engine. Instead I organised a plastic shield protection for the headlights in case of a rockfall.

The next appointment was the first service of my “Fury” at the BMW dealer. Luckily they had the engine protection available and I decided to equip my bike with it as well. Safety first, I thought! It was actually a good idea to try out a couple of things before Curitiba in order to see what was working well and what needed improvement. To use my mobile phone as a navigation system is usually working pretty well, but sometimes I had difficulties to properly charge the phone and while I really needed it, it left me alone in Curitiba (ok, it was basically my fault but I did not really feel comfortable. Also the GPS signal got sometimes lost and the software was not as fast lately as it used to be). Again I decided myself for the option: safety first and asked them for a GPS. Unfortunately, they did not have a BMW GPS available but were telling me to possibly organise something. One minute later and a phone call, they told me to have found a GPS which might fit my needs… I asked them for all countries in South America as well as an English speaking voice. No problem. I have heard this in my time in Brazil just way too often and if one thing is for certain than there is no such thing as: no problem.

After the service I checked the bike and also the GPS… and of course half of the countries were missing and the voice was only available in Portuguese. Obrigado! Now, I was supposed to drive as fast as possible to the GPS dealer who was already waiting for me. Again miracles happen and Mauri, the owner of the shop, spoke perfectly English. He used to live in Canada for a year and is surprisingly specialised in travel arrangements in South America. He was asking me if I would have the cards verde (the green card) and I replied, of course I have it. I took it out from my purse and he just smiled and said: “This my friend are your documents for your motorbike. They have the green colour but basically this has nothing to do with the real carta verde. WHAT? Are you serious? What does this mean? It means I can’t access Argentina and Uruguay until this problem is solved. Mauri mentioned that the process takes usually two weeks, if I am lucky. ARGHHHHHH…. no way, please don’t tell me this now. I specifically asked the BMW dealer of my choice in Sao Paulo and he said it was the green card or carda verde. I was absolutely desperate and was almost about to cry! Fu?*, why is everything so complicated in Brazil and why don’t you get the necessary information when needed. I had to think for other people and had to always ask the right questions. It reminded me a lot about a salami strategy where you just get one slice after the other. Luckily, it turned out that the insurance I was signing off actually includes the carda verde and it takes one week for them to issue the document. They would even be able to send it to my email address and I just needed to print it out: Of course on a green paper, LOL! Problem was not really solved but it least postponed until my trip to Argentina in October. Ok… back again to the GPS I said. Mauri could not believe I was about to just leave the BMW dealer without instruction. Navigation in South America is not like in Europe and typing in a destination in another country requires the selection of another map mode. Great, I was so lucky that they forgot to tell Mauri to install all countries in South America.

In German, we have a saying: “Das Glück ist mit den Dummen.” or “The luck is with the stupid.”

Too exhausted to do anything else this evening, I went to the hotel and was almost immediately falling asleep.