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Old Aug 29, 13, 6:52 pm
  #54  
3544quebec
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: australia
Posts: 4,807
Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
Thanks VidaNaPraia for your responses. To answer your question, I expect we will have plenty of time between matches to drive all over Bahia, not just the city of Salvador. And I've driven in over 100 cities around the world and there is a first time for everything. So I'm not too worried about that. I did most of that in the days before GPS, but if I can use a GPS that's much easier. As for Avis, I have President's Club status so they take very good care of me.

I won't need to call any other cities in Brazil. Just Salvador and incoming calls mostly. But I would very much prefer to have 3G data to get emails and use Skype Chat and voice if possible.
As less than half of your questions have been answered I'll chime in with a few scraps:

I've previously rented a car in Salvador (unsurprisingly it is not that uncommon a thing for a tourist to do) and had no real problems except for occasionally getting lost in the suburbs of the city as I do in pretty much any new city that I rent a car in. My first experience on a road trip with a GPS through rural Louisiana and Arizona last month convinced me not to change the settings to Avoid Major Roads.Doing the same in Bahia would result in some interesting diversions I'm sure.

Automatics are few and far between at Brazilian car rental agencies especially the international agency franchises. I found it easier to rent one from a local company (Unidas) and the cost is obviously a high multiple of the cheapest car - hope you are comfortable with a stick shift.

Outside Salvador we enjoyed Chapada Diamantina National Park although in the middle of a drought the waterfalls weren't falling! We also liked Mangue Seco on the border with Sergipe to the north.

One thing that someone more knowledgeable/willing to answer your questions may pipe in on is that I believe that the letter of the law requires foreigners to take a notarised translation of their licence to the Brazilian licensing authority to get a permit to drive. Not having one will not stop a rental car company from renting to you and will almost certainly not impact you but if pulled over by the police could be an issue.

I have rented in Brasil 3 or 4 times and driven several thousand miles and only once been asked by the police to produce my licence (in Lencois Bahia) but it didn't cause any problems not having the Brazilian permit - the officer just advised that my travel companion (a Carioca) should do the around town driving.
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