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Brazil World Cup 2014

Brazil World Cup 2014

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Old Aug 20, 13, 7:21 am
  #46  
 
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Originally Posted by YayPolarBears View Post
The Taca flight strands me in El Salvador for 5+ hrs! yikes.
Relax. The Zona Rosa (hotels, restaurants and museums) in San Salvador is only 40 minutes from the airport. With a U.S. passport, you can get a tourist card for entry (no visa needed) for $10 at the airport. Most Central/South American airports have baggage storage facilities, in case yours aren't checked through. Consider it an adventure.
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Old Aug 27, 13, 4:49 pm
  #47  
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Have booked my flights from Australia, before it gets stupidly expensive - keen for it, but the hotel costs are going to be a killer already.

Cannot wait for the draw now to see where the Socceroos will be heading too!
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Old Aug 28, 13, 2:21 pm
  #48  
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I'll be in Salvador for the Cup. I've already booked award tickets to GRU for everyone in the family except me, since I don't know where I'll be coming from. We will be staying at a friends house in town, although I will check with the Sheraton or some other hotels later on to see if they give up on price gouging.

Can someone help with a few questions?

Should I wait a while to buy the domestic GRU-SSA legs? Advice?

What is the procedure to transit from International to domestic? We will be arriving on a mix of carriers, BA, KL, etc.

What is Avis like at SSA? Any special requirements? Are child seats required for a 6 year old? Do they have GPS?

What are some interesting places to drive to outside of Salvador?

Does Salvador have, or expect to have, a mobile operator that will offer short term pre-paid 3G data plans?
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Old Aug 28, 13, 8:10 pm
  #49  
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Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
I'll be in Salvador for the Cup. I've already booked award tickets to GRU for everyone in the family except me, since I don't know where I'll be coming from. We will be staying at a friends house in town, although I will check with the Sheraton or some other hotels later on to see if they give up on price gouging.

Can someone help with a few questions?

Should I wait a while to buy the domestic GRU-SSA legs? Advice?

What is the procedure to transit from International to domestic? We will be arriving on a mix of carriers, BA, KL, etc.

What is Avis like at SSA? Any special requirements? Are child seats required for a 6 year old? Do they have GPS?

What are some interesting places to drive to outside of Salvador?

Does Salvador have, or expect to have, a mobile operator that will offer short term pre-paid 3G data plans?
Any flight tickets you should buy now. As soon as the draw its completed, availability will be at a premium.

Book now.
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Old Aug 28, 13, 9:33 pm
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Vidic15 View Post
Any flight tickets you should buy now. As soon as the draw its completed, availability will be at a premium.

Book now.
I guess, but there are many days between matches in Salvador and many flights per day. And in fact the day that I was planning to fly GRU-SSA, is on the very day of a match when all the fans of those two teams will already be in Salvador. So I would hope that it's not going to be that bad?
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Old Aug 29, 13, 7:24 am
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Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
I'll be in Salvador for the Cup. I've already booked award tickets to GRU for everyone in the family except me, since I don't know where I'll be coming from. We will be staying at a friends house in town, although I will check with the Sheraton or some other hotels later on to see if they give up on price gouging.

Can someone help with a few questions?

Should I wait a while to buy the domestic GRU-SSA legs? Advice?

Prices for domestic flights go up significantly as the date nears. Book as early as possible. However, the domestic airlines' sites (TAM, GOL, Azul, Avianca) are often not easy to purchase from for those who do not have a Brazilian ID (CPF) and Brazilian issued credit card.

What is the procedure to transit from International to domestic? We will be arriving on a mix of carriers, BA, KL, etc.
You go through passport control, pick up your baggage, go through customs (X-ray and possible inspection) and exit to the terminal to check in for your domestic flight.

What is Avis like at SSA? Any special requirements? Are child seats required for a 6 year old? Do they have GPS?
Why would you want to rent a car in Salvador? Bus and taxi transport is easy and the city is rather confusing to drive in and get in/out of. Yes, child restraints are required. I would use a domestic chain like Localiza if you insist on renting.

What are some interesting places to drive to outside of Salvador?
As mentioned, think again about driving. You do not know the city and in addition to road and driver factors you may not be expecting, there are areas in which you would not want to find yourself. There are taxis, buses and van tours to get you safely to any place a tourist might want to go. A good site to get lots of sound info on Salvador, including sights to see, is www.salvadorcentral.com

Does Salvador have, or expect to have, a mobile operator that will offer short term pre-paid 3G data plans? Any cell phone or internet service in Salvador and the Salvador area is not up to your expectations. Any calls made with a Salvador chip to other cities in Brazil are at expensive long distance rates. For local calls, I would simply get aphone card and use the phone booths (orelhao) ont he street. For international calls, there are call centers to dial other countries and internet cafe where you can use Skype.
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Old Aug 29, 13, 11:56 am
  #52  
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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.
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Old Aug 29, 13, 4:54 pm
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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.
So you have all the answers you need. You seem to know the country better than I here in Salvador. Have a lovely trip.

Last edited by VidaNaPraia; Aug 29, 13 at 5:06 pm
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Old Aug 29, 13, 6:52 pm
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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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Old Aug 30, 13, 7:46 am
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Originally Posted by 3544quebec View Post
As less than half of your questions have been answered I'll chime in with a few scraps:
Thanks very much 3544quebec and yes I'm fine with a stick shift.
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Old Aug 30, 13, 11:14 pm
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Originally Posted by 3544quebec View Post

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..

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.

I have rented in Brasil 3 or 4 times and driven several thousand miles .........my travel companion (a Carioca) ......
It's all good....until it isn't. And the turnabout can happen suddenly. Gringos driving in Brazil are like sight-impaired Mr. Magoo of the cartoon, stumbling through danger after danger without being aware.
Suburbs can be dangerous, as your Carioca can explain. Carjacks in the area you mention are "not that uncommon". Don't think you are in Kansas...or Arizona...where you can safely pull over to the side of the road. On and on. Incidents make the back pages of the local papers in Portuguese that we locals may see; publicity's not good for tourism.
There is an uncommon advantage having a native with her learned sense of danger and Portuguese language ability sitting next to you as well.
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Old Aug 31, 13, 3:55 am
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Originally Posted by VidaNaPraia View Post
It's all good....until it isn't. And the turnabout can happen suddenly. Gringos driving in Brazil are like sight-impaired Mr. Magoo of the cartoon, stumbling through danger after danger without being aware.
Suburbs can be dangerous, as your Carioca can explain. Carjacks in the area you mention are "not that uncommon". Don't think you are in Kansas...or Arizona...where you can safely pull over to the side of the road. On and on. Incidents make the back pages of the local papers in Portuguese that we locals may see; publicity's not good for tourism.
There is an uncommon advantage having a native with her learned sense of danger and Portuguese language ability sitting next to you as well.
It's good general advice, but please don't lump experienced travelers here with your average "gringo tourist". As said I've traveled all over the world including more dangerous places and I was indeed raised in a somewhat more dangerous place. We will be fine and indeed will have local advice and support.

And to get back on topic, I think that international organizations such as FIFA and the IOC will be putting a lot of pressure on Brazil to up their game in policing to make sure there are no bad headlines about tourists getting jacked during these events. It may be better to correct the social problems that lead to high crime rates, but I'm not sure we can count on that happening real soon.
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Old Aug 31, 13, 6:23 am
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I'm still not 100% certain if this is the current state of affairs with regard to driving but this link (from the Brasilian Consulate in Beirut no less)might be of use:

http://www.cgbrasil.org/Templates/In...?PostingId=325

In particular the clause discussing notarised translations of your licence and ID document

§ 3º O condutor de que trata o caput deste artigo deverá portar a carteira de habilitação estrangeira, dentro do prazo de validade, acompanhada da respectiva tradução juramentada e do seu documento de identificação, devidamente reconhecida mediante registro junto ao órgão ou entidade executivo de trânsito dos Estados ou do Distrito Federal.

I have rented in Brasil a couple of times since this was gazetted in 2006 and not been asked to provide these documents when renting a car.

You'll have to ask a native to translate it as a gringo such as I could not possibly have Portuguese language ability and reading those darn Brasilian regulations without my Mr Magoo specs is near impossible.

Last edited by 3544quebec; Aug 31, 13 at 6:40 am
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Old Aug 31, 13, 8:16 am
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Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
It's good general advice, but please don't lump experienced travelers here with your average "gringo tourist". As said I've traveled all over the world including more dangerous places and I was indeed raised in a somewhat more dangerous place. We will be fine and indeed will have local advice and support.
Now that you include such details, which you did not initially, the story changes. However, I always figure that some newbie tourist, who does not have your purported experience and who may think they are traveling in the first world, will generalize what is said to him/herself. I also think there are factors here in Brazil that may not apply elsewhere, [/QUOTE]

Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
And to get back on topic, I think that international organizations such as FIFA and the IOC will be putting a lot of pressure on Brazil to up their game in policing to make sure there are no bad headlines about tourists getting jacked during these events. It may be better to correct the social problems that lead to high crime rates, but I'm not sure we can count on that happening real soon.
It is unrealistic to imagine that FIFA/IOC can bid the solution overnight to socio-economic problems that have been decades and centuries in the making. There is barely enough money allotted for the very short-term to try to police the most heavily touristed Rio neighborhoods, let alone some deserted rural track outside Salvador or the often troubled suburbs where no normal tourist would be expected to go. We locals in Salvador just recently suffered through a police strike in which there was generalized life-threatening chaos through out the city, and police actually committing crimes, and so may be justified in having little confidence. And the new present mayor is valiantly trying to repair the great damage in many civic areas done by the previous one, who was trying to destroy the legacy of the one before him; such is politics here.
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Old Aug 31, 13, 8:17 am
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Originally Posted by 3544quebec View Post
You'll have to ask a native to translate it as a gringo such as I could not possibly have Portuguese language ability and reading those darn Brasilian regulations without my Mr Magoo specs is near impossible.
My, my, between your Mr. Magoo specs and stimpy’s rose colored glasses, you’re quite the team.
Allow a gringo such as I, with sufficient Portuguese ability to even understand the rental contracts with their non-standard-for-US-rental firms provisions, and the 20-20 vision of a gringo who is local, to help translate.
Yes, you are correct in stating that the paragraph says that legally you must drive with a sworn translation of your foreign license. Sworn translations are done in Brazil by translators on the official list, available from DETRAN.
In practice, you are also correct in stating that the rental agency is likely only to ask for your foreign license to Xerox. The AAA auto club in the US issues an international license specifically for Brazil, for about U$10, which supposedly counts as a translation. A sworn translation, as referred to in the quoted law, that goes through DETRAN would take a bit of work and time to obtain.
If you are stopped in one of the frequent police “blitz” traffic stops along the road, the police, who are not expected to know if your foreign license is a forgery or not, nor to read/understand its contents in a language other than Portuguese, may ask for the officially sworn translation and make as much trouble as they can for the driver if it is not produced. Hope that you don’t encounter one who had a fight with his wife the night before.
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