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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Lost and Found

The city of Maringa was just 80 km away when we started driving in the morning. We tried to locate a Toyota service outlet with the navigator to no avail. There did not seem to be one on the side of the road either. That is until we reached a roundabout where I managed to get on a new road, cross a bridge and of course, drive the wrong way. Mistakes happen. Then I made a u-turn and managed to get off the roundabout the wrong way. The navigation device got fed up with my circling and it calculated a new route. We joked that it could only be fate at play if that road led us to a Toyota service outlet. A giant Toyota service outlet appeared a minute later.

As usual, no-one initially understood what I wanted. But as usual, they soon found English speakers in addition to Google translate on the computer and it was understood what I wanted. Television and newspaper reporters were present the next day as well. Much to my delight, in addition to implementing the Toyota quality system, Nova Motors turned out to be open-minded as well. There were no extra fans - but they were quickly located in town. There was no Prado battery, but Hilux has a more powerful version over here. And everything worked. The job took a day and a half as the remodelled front end of the car had to be torn apart as well. The owners, who appeared to be Japanese, only charged us for the cost of direct materials. That was their support for the trip, similar to what I have often encountered along the way. Thank you, Nova Motors!

Amphibear now has three fans cooling its radiators. Another big one is at the back.

There should be no more starting trouble. 180Ah batteries.

We could not leave without seeing the greatest sight in Maringa - the largest church in South America. There was a beautiful view of the town from the church. Life is more peaceful around here than it is in the big cities, and to my surprise, it is completely European as well. The traffic is calm during the day and night alike. There are a lot of people in the city who are light-skinned or appear to be Japanese. Somehow everything is clean, tidy and calm. Leonardo from the car service, who could speak English, only confirmed what we had seen. When Brazil was colonised, it was the Europeans, Japanese and Chinese who came here. After all, there is a German-speaking town near by that is familiar to Estonians as well.

The church was so big that it could not fit in the picture. Kind of like a big upside-down ice cream cone. Made out of concrete.

Maringa - a pleasant city in southern Brazil. Tall buildings, not as tall as the church though.

But we got going towards Cascavel in the evening as the waterfalls awaited. Although the two hotels that we found late at night were no good, the grand Prix that we finally found had affordable prices, parking in a secure area, an air-conditioned room and a good choice of breakfast - all this made it just the right place to spend the night. 

Translated by Luisa Translation Agency

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