Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Santarém Detour

Immediately upon entering Santarém, we happened across a large moto shop that turned out to be fantastic in getting us set up with some new rubber.  That afternoon they didn't have the tires at the store, but they were willing to get them in by closing (6pm) or have them first thing in the morning.  Since it was already 4, we decided to find a hotel, unpack, and get showered, putting the tires off until the next morning.  Asking about a hotel led the manager to send an employee out on his own moto to lead us to some hotels.  The first one was expensive (80 Rs) and the guy didn't have any problem showing us another.  The next one seemed fine at 60, and we really didn't want to drag this poor guy through our cheapskate search pattern, so we took it.  Turns out the part of town with the hotel lost power that night, so no A/C after all.  Not even a fan without power.  Hot.

The next morning the tires were waiting for us at the shop.  They were both Rinaldi tires which caused some hesitation since I don't know the brand, but the guys behind the counter understood the concern, knew what we were looking for, and seemed honest in their approval of this tire.  Not only were the shop guys helpful, but they were super curious about us and our trip.  One of them, Dariosan, had even taken the time to research Colorado, showing me pictures from the internet of our flag, seal, sports team logos, mountains, mines, towns, etc.  It was cool.  Eventually, we had the neighboring borracheria throw the new rubber  on (8 Rs total), went back to the hotel to pack up (and ask for a discount for an extremely uncomfortable night at a reasonably high rate) and head out to Alter do Chao for a relaxing day on the beach.

While our seasonal timing is perfect for riding this stretch, we are still close enough to rainy season that the beach at Alter do chao was literally non-existent.

In fact, there is an island that you can usually walk across to in the afternoons, or take a short boat taxi ride to, but because of all the water we did not have a chance to.

Even without the beach, Alter do Chao was a good full day of rest.  And a good chance to fix a front flat.  With the patch in place and the tire bead seated correctly (thanks to a quick stop at the ever-present borraceria to overcome my hand pump deficiencies) we moved back towards Santarém with 3 goals:  talk to the hotel manager about that discount (they told us to come back), get money from an ATM before leaving the big city, and talk to the moto shop about a tread block that had aleady torn off the front tire.

At the hotel, we got 10Rs back.  The guy wasn't happy about it, but we still feel that even 50 Rs is a lot to pay for a very dark room with no ventilation, so we got over it pretty quick.  Pulling out onto the street it was obvious that the front tire was flat again.  Since we were only 3 blocks from the sister shop of where we bought the tire, now was as good a time as any to go talk to them about that defect.

Without a hassle, the shop took the tire back and offered me the choice of a direct replacement or an upgrade to a Metzeler for the difference in cost.  I decided to upgrade, which made this a very expensive front tire (250 Rs), but the cost seemed worth it.  If you are in need of any moto help in Santarém, check out this shop:

Mega Motos
Av. Curua-Una, 2430 - COHAB
(93) 3522-8888
GPS - S 02deg 26.585min  W 54deg 42.217min

or, the sister shop:

Moto Sport
Av. Borges Leal, 3557 Caranazal
(93) 3523-5396 / 3522-4737

After a stop at a bank and a food stand that gave us a chance to let the downpour mostly pass, we were backtracking towards Ruropolis. It had rained just enough to make the dirt very slick, and we realized just how difficult these roads would be in the rainy season.  Fortunately for us, the rain had not reached a majority of the road, so we only had to deal with the muddy conditions for a few kilometers.

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