Hotel Beira Rio, Piracicaba
We landed in Brazil and were picked up by two drivers as planned. Four of us and all of our bags wouldn't have fit in one vehicle. It was a 2 hour drive into Piracicaba. Most of the vehicles are smaller cars, with the biggest being a Ford Fusion. The taxi that we were in was a Citroen. There were motorcycles, lots of motorcycles zipping by us, weaving through traffic, splitting lanes between cars. All going as fast as they could. The cars seemed to abide by the 120 km/h (75 mi/h) speed limit but the motocycles seemed to just run wide open.
The hotel looks nice, but it really isn't much to write home about. I will anyway. The pool is outside and looks to be just big enough to cool off in. More of just a landing for the water slide. No one is using it beause it is winter. The lows are in the 50's and the highs are around 80. Not bad at all for winter! The room is about 13' x 13' including the bathroom. It is completley white, with bare walls, and a light beige curtain. The sheets are white. The floor is wood (laminate) and continues half way up one wall to act as a headboard. The shower has a frosted window in it that never really closes well. It pivots open (no screens anywhere) with a chain to keep it from going to far. I can hear traffic through it all the time because there is no seal at all. Glad I am on the fourth floor.
Speaking of the shower, I have not figured this thing out. There are two faucets up high labeled hot and cold and one down where you would expect it. When I failed to get hot water from the one down below, I adjusted the cold knob above down to off. Still only cool to warm water at best. After my cold shower, I noticed that turning off the cold in the shower had turned off the sink completley. Something is amiss with the pluming, I suspect.
We had a pastry of some sort and a yogurt on the plane for breakfast yesterday at around 8 am. We thought we would meet around 3 for a late lunch after unpacking and taking a short nap. Turns out that the hotel resturant (a steakhouse) doesn't open until 7 pm. We saw nothing whithin walking distance so we sat and watched the world cup game at the outside hotel bar. Finally at 6:45, the restaurant manager let us in to the salad bar. The food was great and this morning, I am still stuffed. A brazillian steakhouse cooks different cuts of beef and chicken on big skewers and bring it out and cut it off as you want it. You get a red and green coaster-like peice of cardboard that tells them whether you want more meat or not, depending on how you have it flipped. At the point that we were all stuffed and had had plenty, the hotel manager came out and said, "too early" and flipped all of our peices back to green. It was great food, but a dangerous way of eating. All those small peices of meat add up. In the end, it was only about $35 each. I hope I don't have to eat like that everday!
Now, off to the factory to start building the first tractor.