Saturday, July 08, 2006

Ok, there is a lot to tell. Unfortunately, there will be no pictures until Sunday afternoon or night. I am in the open-air shack at PY2WC right now. Our contest call is PW2C. We are now nine and a half hours into the contest. We have about 450 contacts in the log. Those of you who know something about radio contests have already reached the correct conclusion. We are not doing very well. It has been a tough couple of days.

Here is a kind of log of our time since we left the Costao do Santinho resort in Florianopolis . . . times are local time in Brasil . . .

1100-0400 . . . Jim cannot get much sleep for some reason. So, it was easy to be up in plenty of time to get ready to fly to Sao Paulo with Gena [my partner from Siberia] and Waldir [our station host in Sao Paulo]. [shuttle photo]

0500 . . . We meet in the hotel lobby to get the shuttle to the airport. Although the shuttle is there, the driver is running on Brasilian time. We are supposed to leave at 0530, but we are still waiting at 0600. Getting nervous about missing the 0730 flight. We are expecting a 45 minute drive, at least. Finally, another passenger shows up. She looks like she might have been hired to do a single night job at the resort [you know what I mean, I hope]. We leave and she gets dropped off at an apartment along the way.

0700 . . . We finally arrive at the airport. Waldir checks us in and learns that our flight may not fly due to some airplane problem. But, there is good news a moment later. They will fly the plane to the other Sao Paulo airport - the one where Javier is NOT waiting for us. Waldir calls and lets Javier know he needs to meet us at the other airport - not good news for Javier, who is well aware of the kind of traffic he will encounter along the way. But he is aware of one more thing . . . Waldirs car, the one he is driving, is not permitted to be driven inside city limits today due to fuel consumption regulations. Javier will have to take the long way around. That is not minor in Sao Paulo . . .

0830 . . . Our flight arrives in Sao Paulo. Luggage intact. Javier only a few minutes away. He arrives and we load up the car and head into the traffic [loading car and Sao Paulo traffic photos].

1030 . . . Two hours later, we emerge from the traffic to head up into the mountains. Along the way, Javier and Waldir tell us all about the incredible pollution that is generated by the Sao Paulo population - 17,000,000 people. Much of it ends up in the air and in the river we are now passing as we head into the country. When the river goes over a waterfall near here, a kind of erie foam is created on top of the water. The foam covers much of the river for miles. It is incredible to look at [foam photos]. Good thing for you I cannot post the smell for you to experience. We will leave it at that.

1100 . . . Finally! The station is in sight. We have been driving up and through some nice mountains and suddenly the PY2WC towers are in sight. We pull into the driveway and hop out to see the home we will be staying at for the next three days. A quick tour confirms that it is a GREAT summer house. Equipped with multiple bedrooms, a pool, a fantastic barbeque pit [plus a wood-fired oven] and of course the separated ham shack. [photos of Waldirs beautiful country home here!]

In my next installment, I will give you the details of everything that went on during the setup time on Friday afternoon and evening.

73 for now!


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