Wishing we could stay another day or two, but needing to head north, we left Diamantina early Tuesday, April 11 in the direction of Montes Claros and on to Brumado in the state of Bahia. The home of a family that had been here in Sobradinho, Luiz Bispo and his dear wife, Janilde and their three children was our destination. The GSP gave us an estimate of 8 hours for the trip, but just after Montes Claros we knew it was going to take a little longer. While in Diamantina the Pajero's radiator had been given a dose of Stop Leak in hopes that our overheating problem would at least be temporarily resolved. It did great for about two hours and a half...
About 50 km north of Montes Claros - MG somewhere on BR-122, Byron stopped at a gas station and contemplated going back to the large city. The engine just didn't want to cool down. We had hit quite a bit of traffic with slow, heavy tractor trailers and bad roads for about an hour. Byron put some water in the radiator and asked the attendants about the mechanic shop on their premises that looked closed. The fellows at the station weren't very talkative or helpful. Byron got back in the car and headed for Montes Claros. After about a kilometer, he did a U-turn and went back to the gas station.
Apparently the mechanic was just gone to lunch. Byron decided to eat at one of the two restaurants at the "posto" and wait for the mechanic to come back. He picked the restaurant that wasn't directly associated with the gas station since they hadn't been too helpful! The restaurant owner was kind and even called the mechanic to come back early after we had finished eating as he had seen what was going on.
Mr. Mechanic suggested removing the thermostat as often they can just get stuck. Well, sometimes might be a better assessment. Anyway that's what he did and it got us on our way and all the way home two days after that. And he didn't charge an arm or a leg for the work. I gave the man a Bible that Mr. Kilko had given me before leaving Niteroi and we thanked him for the work.
We ended up driving after dark on this day. Byron hated driving at night because there was nothing to see! On this particular night there was a full moon. On the top of mountain range we saw the silhouettes of giant wind generators reflecting in the moonlight. A small joy. We didn't get in to Brumado until about 9:00 o'clock at night, but were warmly greeted by our old friends who had a hot meal waiting for us and clean beds!
I should note that the GPS did a little trick or two as we went
along. Once it had us heading down a 54 km stretch of dirt road.
Apparently it thought the road was a major highway. If it had ever
been, no one that lived in the area was aware of the fact. Another time
we did a major detour on white sandy dirt roads through a little town
to get to a highway instead of just staying on the main drag we had been
on! The GSP was a lifesaver time and again, but it was not a device
to be completely trusted! Having a current paper road map book was also
a necessity on this trip!