And so our Fraileathon is nearly at an end. Marlon flies from Porto Alegre to Salvador Bahia at 8:30 tomorrow morning and will soon leave our hotel, near the airport to stay the night at his friend’s. We leave 24 hours later so will use the time to catch up on note writing and washing, ready for another month in the field.
We started the day with our first monastery breakfast ever and by 8:30 arrived back at Kurt Ingo Horst’s nursery in Imigrante. On the way we had dropped off our car at the garage in the village, recommended by Kurt Ingo, where they gave the the car a thorough clean up, inside and out, all for R$20.
While Cliff & I took more film clips (I should have some nice footage of hummingbirds feeding on Haworthia!) Marlon was doing the rounds with a shopping trolley buying a small nursery’s worth of plants. Some were depotted, others were squeezed into the box I got a few weeks ago when I bought my Gaucho hat. The box was too large for me and I will wear the hat.
We left soon after the clean car was returned and set off for the journey to Porto Alegre, stopping for lunch in Teutonia.
Nothing to report until the check in for the car, which was greeted by the world wide recognised sound of the deep intake of breath and shaking of the heads. We smiled and said that this was the car that had been subject to our phone calls and complaints by us on 4 November. This calmed them down a bit. Our chap explained that he had to mark up the differences between pick up and return of the car and we accepted and understood this.
Then to the girl at the airport desk. we was surprised to see us two days early. We explained that we had lost two days due to the delays caused by the problems with the tyres and as a result had to cut short the remainder of the trip even more. We went through the paper work and Marlon filed a report in Portuguese on my behalf. They asked if we had filed a police report and of course we had not. Our Budget lady, keen to have all her paper work complete pointed us across the hall to a civil police station where a bored desk sergeant was pleased to give us two identical forms and a sheet of carbonated paper to fill out an identical report to the one we had prepared earlier for budget. Three different rubber stamps on it and it was all official and the Budget girl had all the paper work she needed. The upshot of it all is that I have paid our dues for the days that we have actually rented and that they’ll leave my card open until the amount of damages and the liability have been decided.
This whole process would have been very nerve wrecking and stressful if Marlon had not been here to communicate on our behalf. Thanks again, Marlon.