I have no idea where I am going only that I want to get to Rio de Janeiro. I have found out very little information on this stretch of the trip there is nothing in the guides books and or on the forums that I can find so it is going to be a total surprise as I have no idea what the route will be like and I usually I do have a vague idea.
Border crossing very simple done so them many now that I am a pro. I had seen a Suzuki Motorcycle shop in Foz do Iguacu on my way through Brazil as my chain is totally knackered and I have very little confidence in it and I am expecting it to come loose and to take my foot of with it which is an uncomfortable feeling. Adjusted it again this morning not that it makes much difference. I also noticed the nut on the spindle was loose so does that mean that it had worked itself loose or had dick for brains (me) forgotten to tightened it last time he was fettling with it oops that could have been a disaster.
Suzuki Dealer does not have the chain I am looking for so off to the Honda Dealer nope they do not either so then to the Yamaha Dealer yes they have one but again bleeding expensive. Try another couple of shops again no cigar and I had tried 3 shops in Puerto Iguazu as well yesterday so not much luck on the chain front. It was a very hot day so 35 degrees plus so all I wanted to do was get riding to cool down slightly as I was a soggy mess and most of the day had already gone by the time I left Foz do Iguacu in the direction of Cascavel the state capital maybe I would have better luck there.
Hot sweaty day scenery pleasant much better than the last couple of day in Argentina but it does not take much to be better than that! I forgot to hit a cash machine in Foz or as it was to hot I thought I get to one later as I did not need any Brazilian Cash just yet. However about after 20km I see a tollbooth ahead no problems bikes are usually free no not today. Bugger plug ATM into my GPS and there’s one about 5km back down the road.
Try the first machine nope not working and all in Portuguese so I have to queue to ask somebody to help me on whether or not the machine accepts my card or am I just pressing the wrong buttons. It’s the first one so to the next bank HSBC first machine says no twice second machine also says no so I being helped by a lady from the bank who suggest a put on a lower value in great idea love but I will be still be charged the same fee for less money, I am hot sweaty and irritable and I comply and the machine dies completely in front of my eyes bugger. Nice lady directs me to the next bank for a small village in the middle of nowhere there sure are lots of banks and the machine at this one also says no but before that the guard also says no to me in entering the bank with my helmet on so you can guess at Phillys mood at this moment so I chat with yet another lady who directs me to yet another bank and yes finally we have a winner Phillys has some Real’s so I can pay the toll attendant to get to Cascavel where the continuing saga of the replacement chain can recommence. I had been chatting to a local bloke who had given me the name of the street with the bike dealers on it well I say chatting the mood I was in he was chatting I was giving him gruff retorts to his chattiness so my friend I do apologise for being in a foul mood us chubby English blokes are just not designed for this kind of heat and I had been un successfully being traipsing round banks and bike shops for what seemed like forever.
Hit Cascavel temperature was creeping into the 40’s first stop Honda Dealer nope no chain then to the Yamaha Dealer a complete Asshole telling me that I have a 520 chain on my bike not a 525 and he insists on dragging me and his mates out into the heat to prove he is right. Oh what a surprise it’s a 525 I know you twat as that what I put on last time and I have been telling you for the last 10 minutes then he starts going on about 520 being the same as 525 no they are not and anyhow he states you cannot get 525 in Brazil or the whole of South America. I could have battered the guy he was so full of himself instead I just left saying I would just continue with this one thank you very much at which he suggested pulling a couple links out of this one to add some life. Thanks but no thanks mate that is just asking for trouble.
I found the Suzuki dealer and joys of joy they have one with 120 links but they can easily take 2 out of a new chain no problem It was not cheap but I had gotten to the point of not caring and asked if they could fit it there and then.
Yep no problem, I have said it before but it is probably not wise to hang around and watch when someone else is working on your beloved bike well today was no different I have not cringed so much at the mechanical apathy shown whilst working on Daisy since the last time someone did some work on her that I watched!
We had a look at the front sprocket, which was toast, and they had a new one so added that to things to change this was when the first problem started the mechanic could not get the nut holding the front sprocket loose so huge torque wrench with extension for additional mechanical advantage was called for and she would still not shift so next we call the big fella with muscles and see if he can get it loose nope no joy either, so the mechanic disappears of on his bike and comes back 10 minutes later with air gun. This fails as the air gun is not powerful enough either to the loosen nut so it is back to Torque wrench with an even longer bar extension and then there is a huge crack as she is finally loosened. I think there is a macho thing going on with mechanics on how tight they can do up nuts as this is not the first time I have struggled with loosening nuts on Daisy there are specs for tightening nuts and bolts but these are mostly ignored and tightened till they cannot be tightened no more!
So that was the front sprocket changed and now on with the new chain. In theory you have a tool that spreads the soft rivets on an O-ring chain they did not have that tool just a hammer a wooden block and a chisel and then just hit the bugger using the back sprocket as the vice! Oh and no protection of the O-ring to ensure that they do not get squished the teeth of the back sprockets will ensure that they will be okay. I was cringing whilst all this was going like I said should be somewhere else and just see the finished product, as ignorance is bliss.
All this took quite a while so after settling the bill I went to look for hotel one recommended by the blokes at Suzuki to expensive but they pointed me to a cheaper one down the road. Quite expensive by my standards but as I have no idea of prices yet in Brazil I went for it as I was hot sweaty and tired. I went for a walk and for some dinner and back to the room working on this again 🙂
I had made very little inroads towards Rio de Janeiro with all the faffing looking for a bank and even longer looking for a chain that was more expensive than others I had declined in the last couple of days oops but Daisy is sorted and touch wood I only need to keep her filled up with fuel for the rest of the trip as the consumables are all up to date and fresh (sort off :-))