Travel Journal

Arrival in Ilha Solteira

(Sunday 28 November 2010) by Brennan-adventures
Hi folks,
Well thought I would give you all an update on progress here so far and some of the strangie things that have happened.

We arrived in Ilha on Monday afternoon about 4pm. We thought either Vicente’s brother or Marilene’s maid would be waiting at the house to let us in… We rang the bell… nobody answered, what now??? The driver was waiting to unload the cases. We phoned Gilberto to find out what to do, he told us to go to his house as his wife Maria Amelia was waiting for us. :-) Whew at least we had somewhere to sit with the suitcases. After some cake and drinks Gilberto arrived and we collected the key for the house…
It was then we found out about the alarm….
Well we then arrived at the house and opened the gate… suddenly beep beep beep… OMG the alarm starts counting down when you open the gate… a mad fumble for the correct key eventually got the door open by this time the alarm was beeping frequently… there was then about 6 metres dash to the alarm… Well by the time we got there the alarm was squawking, 2 seconds later the phone rings, the alarm company checking all was ok, luckily Gilberto was there to answer. Whew all was fine.:-\

We got the suitcases in and tried to work out what all the keys were for. It was so strange being in Marilene’s house without her, it still feels naughty when I am searching in the kitchen cupboards for something.
It was decided to go to eat at the Paderia (Bakery)
We then had same problem returning into the house… a rush to the Alarm, this time in the dark!!! Yet again we failed to get the alarm switched off in time, so another phonecall from the company linked to the alarm… Gilberto sorted it again. :-, I can see a lot of frustration ahead!!!
The next morning, we spent ages trying to find one another around this HUGE house, part of the problem is when the ceiling fans are running it is impossible to hear someone calling from upstairs… lots of yelling to each other!!!

Now this house is super fab; a large area of about 10m x 8m greet the visitor when entering the front door. This is the Salla de Nada as we call it… Always got seats for visitors but nobody sits on them, well in Marilene’s there is also a dining room table with 8 chairs, again for show.
From there you descend 4 marble stairs to a small open room 8m x 4m, this is used as a T.V. room. There are large glass sliding doors out to the pool. Also from this room is another two doors; one leads to an office 3mx 3m. The other into the Kitchen again huge.. 8m x 5m. There is a large glass table with 4 chairs which is used for breakfast and lunch.
There is a door from the kitchen onto a covered sitting area with 5 chairs, and a toilet/ shower room. Off to the left of this seating area next to the Kitchen is a door to the laundry room. The Laundry is a massive 6m x 5m.
Next to this seating area is a small gap of about 1m. There is then another covered area with the BBQ, outside kitchen and eating area. Total area 16m x12m
There is also a 3 car garage, area for play/ drying laundry and some garden area.
Upstairs there are 2 bedrooms with en-suite, each probably about 5m x 6m.

Then there is the master bedroom, a huge 8m x 9m, then there is the dressing room an area of about 3m x 4m. There are 2 walls completely covered with rails and drawers and shelves…. Absolutely fantastic and everyone should have one, there is even a shute to put my dirty laundry in that deposits the dirty clothes in the laundry!!!! I have already warned Mike it will be difficult to match this luxury!!

Tuesday morning we set off on foot to visit Spartacus, the man with the cars. Well we managed to “do a deal” as Emma would say. We have gone for jeep style of vehicle; it gives us better vision on longer journeys and is higher off the ground for all the humps and holes here.
We managed to get this sorted by mid afternoon. Lunch was taken at a new pay by Kilo that has opened… very swish and posh!! The meal was nice, and at least some of the food had no garlic so I managed something substantial.:-):-)

The Bank was our next stop, order a new cheque book and to try to pay some fees for the identity card the next day. The fees we could not pay as we did not have the form printed with the bar code… the cashier could not do anything manually.:-(
The cheque book was strange, we were taken to the machine in the bank lobby, the one you use to get money from and pay bills. The option for cheques was pressed then we had the option of 5, 10 15 or 20 cheques. I suggested 20 in the book, that way it would be a while until we needed another book……. Well suddenly the machine started printing cheques 8-O ---- 4 to a page, complete with tear strips. What you did then was take apart your old book keeping the cover. The next stage was tearing the printed cheques into single cheques then inserting them into the cover and stapling them together--- not sure this would go down well in U.K.!!

Next day we were off to Jales, a town 90mins from us. Firstly a visit to the bank with the correct forms this time, payment taken and receipt stuck to the form. :-p The journey to Jales was nice and stress free until we arrived at the Police station, not at all in an area of the city you would expect to find a police station … at the end of a housing estate!!! :-\
We arrived at 11.45am, to find the place closing for lunch, we were told to come back at 2pm. We then had a drive into town looking for a lunch place, then at the appropriate time returning to the police station.
Inside there was a waiting area with about 5 people sitting, we were told take a seat and wait. 1 hour later we were called forward, they had a quick look at the paperwork and we were told we need notarised copies of the passports, every page that has been used……
Now Mike stupidly did not renew his passport so he needed nearly every page done, me… only 2 pages. We however had to head back into town to find the place to do this…. I asked what time the copiers closed…. about 4pm… The police station closed at 5pm… I could tell this would be a close call!!

To the copiers, it was a dark very old fashioned office with 3 women behind the counter. We explained what we wanted and off they went to sort it.
Each page of the passport was copied then a sticker was stuck on each stamp (the entry and exit stamps of the different countries Mike had visited). Then each of these individual stickers were signed, lastly the rear of the copied page was stamped twice…… Well you can imagine this took a while, we eventually left the copiers at 4pm. Quick dash back to the police station, this time no waiting.
They took the info then about 20mins later we had to go through the doors into the workings of the police station to be fingerprinted… Horrid sticky black stuff …ugh!! We finished at the police about 5-15pm, now all we do it wait for the phone call to collect our foreigners identity card…. This can take up to 6 months!! At least we managed to get it sorted in 1 day.
Well that’s us up to date so far, will probably have another blog next week as we are joining the Rotary.
Hope you are all managing to stay warm and not having too many problems with the snow.
Laur xx

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