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Brazil World Cup 2014

Brazil World Cup 2014

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Old Aug 31, 13, 10:35 am
  #61  
 
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Originally Posted by stimpy View Post

Can someone help with a few questions?



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?
Originally Posted by VidaNaPraia View Post
Now that you include such details, which you did not initially, the story changes.

Yes, shame on you stimpy for not telling us your life story which is so critical to our consideration of questions such as What is Avis like at SSA? How can we possibly venture an answer to that without knowing in which church you received your first holy communion.

And now the story changes - oh, hold on, nothing has changed in your story. Its just baseless assumptions, presumptions and stereotypes have proven incorrect as they usually do.
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Old Aug 31, 13, 11:55 am
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Originally Posted by 3544quebec View Post
Yes, shame on you stimpy for not telling us your life story which is so critical to our consideration of questions such as What is Avis like at SSA? How can we possibly venture an answer to that without knowing in which church you received your first holy communion.

And now the story changes - oh, hold on, nothing has changed in your story. Its just baseless assumptions, presumptions and stereotypes have proven incorrect as they usually do.
Most foreign tourists are in no way prepared to drive in Brazil, so yes, details are important. (He asked where to drive to.) I have read far too many trip reports with the theme of "if we had only known....." If someone has extensive experience driving in the third world, they would be much better prepared for Brazil. So scoff if you like, but I've been here long enough to have lots of corroborating facts for my opinions.
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Old Aug 31, 13, 4:44 pm
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Hello All -

Vida has made some very factual and realistic caution statements here regarding driving in Salvador, Bahia. His observations and his concern for the safety and well being of you and other FT visitors, is both genuine and well meaning. His observations apply just as well to most other cities in Brasil, and driving generally is more crowded and intense than it was decades ago. And during certain holidays and events (Cup), many more alcohol related accidents, including fatalities.

That being said, if you are intent on renting a vehicle ( which by your statements you obviously are ) and driving around with your family during the Cup, then so be it. It can be done, and you have been advised on some of the safety realities there, but you will find that driving in Brasil makes Roma, Moscow, or Athens seem organized, tame, and tranquil.

Driving documentation checks by the various police agencies happen. As do checks for contraband, and vehicle worthiness. There are generally more official and unofficial traffic stops in Brasil than Europe or North America. Today, it is an expectation, and a serious issue with the police, as many will be armed with automatics.

In my many decades of experience, there is no set policy or procedure followed consistently. You do need your documents translated and in order if stopped for any reason, and if you are involved in an accident with injuries, you must remain at the scene, until interviewed. That can be 5 hours or more, and if you do not speak Portuguese, even longer.

As safe as I am, I've been stopped a few times, and speaking the language and having my documents in order, it was a pleasant enough experience each time, even with a DETRAN-police stop involving 5 officers on the beach and my 4WD. Just don't expect Inspector Morse/ Lewis, Il Commissario Montalbano, or Derrick, to be around the corner, ready exchange pleasantries with you during the Cup, if you are stopped.

That being said, do learn a few words and phrases in Portuguese, and as you have no doubt done before in your many travels, brush up on local customs, do's and don'ts.
If you do rent a vehicle, buy as much insurance as you can.

Have a great time during the Cup !
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Old Sep 1, 13, 2:45 am
  #64  
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Originally Posted by Swissaire View Post
you will find that driving in Brasil makes Roma, Moscow, or Athens seem organized, tame, and tranquil.
You should drive in Nairobi sometime. Or even try being a pedestrian in Kinshasa. You will find Brazil to be organized, tame and tranquil in comparison. You guys are really overstating the obvious. This is Flyertalk. We are global and we get it. The people who are not prepared to drive in a foreign country wouldn't even think about renting a car in Brazil. But for those who have crossed the African continent by car, Brazil is really not that big a deal.
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Old Sep 1, 13, 6:12 am
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Originally Posted by VidaNaPraia View Post
Gringos driving in Brazil are like sight-impaired Mr. Magoo of the cartoon, stumbling through danger after danger without being aware.
Originally Posted by VidaNaPraia View Post
but I've been here long enough to have lots of corroborating facts for my opinions.
Your opinions are generalisations. You seem happy to tell people what they should and should not do without any knowledge of their circumstances or experience. And then having made your sweeping generalisations/assumptions you then criticise them for supposedly changing their story (when they hadn't provided a story in the first place) and for not having informed you of their history before you made your assumptions. You were after all the one who basically said that no gringo tourist should drive in Salvador even though no-one even asked that question and clearly the opinion that no gringo should drive in Salvador is extreme to say the least and very removed from the day to day reality that plenty of tourists rent cars all over Brasil with a small minority likely having any serious issues.

It is very different than saying one needs to be aware of the risks which would of course be stating the obvious to an experienced traveller - and those risks are something no-one has disagreed with as much as you want to imply that that is the issue.

I can provide stories of horrible incidents that have happened on buses in Brasil but that hardly justifies the opinion that no tourists should catch buses. Equally having watched enough local news in Sao Paulo and Rio using your logic I would advise no-one to venture outside of their hotel in those cities.

Last edited by 3544quebec; Sep 1, 13 at 6:34 am
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Old Sep 1, 13, 9:41 am
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Originally Posted by stimpy View Post

Should I wait a while to buy the domestic GRU-SSA legs? Advice?
I'll answer one at a time, based on my knowledge as a citizen and resident but YMMV, as always:

I personally would wait to book the domestic legs because domestic schedules are all in flux. I'd book max 90 days in advance.
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Old Sep 1, 13, 9:56 am
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Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
...
What is Avis like at SSA? Any special requirements? Are child seats required for a 6 year old? Do they have GPS? ...
My advice differs materially from others on the thread. I know a little about your experience, Stimpy, and you'll not have any problem in and around Salvador. You MUST have an international diving license, even though Avis probably will not ask, but they will make you sign a waiver. You will be liable for traffic tickets and speed cameras abound. You'll find out months later when your credit card is charged, so beware. Technically you're meant to have an endorsement with the diving license issuing authorities (Detran) but nobody I know does that. Most Avis locations do have GPS but you're better off using your own portable and downloading a free comprehensive map of Brazil (if you decide to do that I'll supply the url. Garmin, i.e. Mapsource is the best compatibility).

Well travelled friends have driven in various places in Brazil, including Salvador, with no problems. BTW, those who say Brazil is harder to drive in than Nairobi probably do not know either Nairobi or Brazil. On balance, as one quite familiar with both I'd say they're different but Brazil has better signage.

More later, if you want it...
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Old Sep 1, 13, 10:08 am
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I can only imagine the chaos in the car rental agencies during the Cup.

Imagine the logistics as fans try to follow their team. The agencies will have no clue when and where cars are being returned.
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Old Sep 1, 13, 2:34 pm
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Originally Posted by alhcfp View Post
I can only imagine the chaos in the car rental agencies during the Cup.

Imagine the logistics as fans try to follow their team. The agencies will have no clue when and where cars are being returned.
I'm sure you are right. That's why every Flyertalker knows it is good to have elite status.

-Stimpy...Avis President's Club member.

And thanks jbcarioca for the advice.
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Old Sep 1, 13, 4:11 pm
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Hi Stimpy -

Actually I've done Kenya, and a few other countries by LR, including Iran, Afganistan, and the KSA.

Comparatively, I found African roads, and off-roads more organized than parts of Brasil.
Two different experiences entirely.

But if as you say " . . . Brasil is not that big of a deal. " then why are you asking so many questions ?
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Old Sep 2, 13, 1:54 am
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Originally Posted by Swissaire View Post
But if as you say " . . . Brasil is not that big of a deal. " then why are you asking so many questions ?
If you go back and read my car rental questions, they were pretty simple.

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?


Nothing to do with safety, car jackings, police, crime, etc. Simple questions that other people had no problems answering without injecting fear, uncertainty and doubt into the conversation.
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Old Sep 2, 13, 8:33 am
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Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
If you go back and read my car rental questions, they were pretty simple.

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?


Nothing to do with safety, car jackings, police, crime, etc. Simple questions that other people had no problems answering without injecting fear, uncertainty and doubt into the conversation.
Adding some points:

First, I forgot to mention Lei Seca (Dry Law). For the last five years there have been periodic blitzes in which all motorists are stopped to check for alcohol. The limits during major events drop to 0.05 ml/litre which basically is zero. Under no circumstances drive after drinking at all!

Second, around Salvador are many interesting places to drive. All of them can be found using guidebooks.

One of my favorites is the original farm of Garcia d'Avila who introduced formal agriculture to the country and also introduced coconut and beef cattle, both of which he brought from Goa, then a Portuguese colony.

South of Salvador are many great beaches as well as many of the oldest towns in Brazil with some buildings dating from the early 1500's.

If you have a few days you can easily travel as far as Porto Seguro. Without attempting to list all the fascinating places, which would take days, I'll simply say Bahia can be fascinating!

A pathetic point. Sadly, most Brazilians know very little about Brazilian history and many care less than they know. You'll hear people say these places are not worth seeing, after all they're mostly old buildings, or ruins.

One completely fascinating place that few know much about is Convento do Carmo, now a hotel in Pelourinho. It has a perfectly preserved, not restored, chapel from 1586, which can be viewed by hotel guests who ask for the private tour. Obviously you don't need a car to get there but they do have parking. Even most residents of Salvador do not know of the wonders of this place. It reminds me of some of the best of province, but this one is perfectly restored and preserved. Worth a stay!

I could go on for a long time.

Car seats are often not used here but they are needed, and not always available with a rental. I would bring one if you can.

If you have other information you'd like PM me. You'll have the perspective of someone who's deeply attracted to the Côte d'Azur, as you know.
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Old Sep 2, 13, 8:38 am
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Thanks jbcarioca. You've given me plenty to think about between now and June.
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Old Sep 2, 13, 11:34 am
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As sophisticated and worldly as most of us are (well, at least me), not everyone who uses this site has in fact driven in many other countries with chaotic traffic situations (not necessarily worse drivers, but more inconsistent enforcement, worse roads, etc.). I've driven in Mozambique, South Africa, the Philippines and other countries, but I still don't find it easy to drive in Brazil. In Ceará, traffic enforcement is left largely to cameras, and people know where the cameras are (and where they don't have to worry about it; bus drivers don't seem to worry in any event, perhaps since it's not their vehicle and they are bigger than most-- not all-- other vehicles around). Fortaleza is also the only city in Brazil, I believe, where if you have an accident, even a fender bender, you are to keep your car exactly where it is until the local motor vehicle folks arrive to survey the situation. Plays havoc with traffic, and Ceará's DETRAN was against it, but the city insisted. Best to have a cell phone to contact authorities, and your insurance company (even if through the rental company). If you don't speak Portuguese, things could be complicated.

I certainly wouldn't equate gringo drivers with Mister Magoo. I might equate some (not all) Brazilian drivers with Goofy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZAZ_xu0DCg Brazilian friends brag about how quickly they get from Point A to Point B on weekend getaways,, but they also complain how bad local drivers are. Things do vary by region. I've driven in Rio, but not Salvador (or Sao Paulo).

Yes, there are many horrible, aggressive drivers everywhere, including in the good ol US of A, but some places are worse than others, and visitors do at least need to take that into consideration. I do think that nowadays most if not all rental cars have air bags. When we rented 3-4 years ago near Recife, only the higher-end cars had them.

Last edited by SoCal; Sep 2, 13 at 11:41 am
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Old Sep 6, 13, 10:19 am
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Here's a report posted today on another forum describing the route to Lencois/Chapada Diamantina park which was an excursion recommended above:
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic..._of_Bahia.html
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