Despite my complete shutdown in the forest, the forestry team towed me with a tractor to their camp. A ‘mechanic’ even attempted to remove my fuel pump solenoid and manually override it, but the clever position of the solenoid prevent him from using the correct wrench and thus unable to remove it. The slaves were treated to three home cooked meals per day and a nice mattress on the floor of camphouse to sleep. There was talk that the next day a Toyota Hilux would tow us on the beach the 40 km or so to the nearest point of civilization and a road. The slaves were able to get away from me and get some schooling from the forestry workers as a distraction from my behavior. The forestry workers reminded the slaves that the slaves had been very fortunate to make it off the beach and into the forest, let alone the forestry camp. There had been numerous cases of vehicles stopping or getting stuck in the rivers that punctuated the beach coastline, and then when the ocean rose and covered the beach the vehicles were swept out to sea. Apparently quite a few very expensive Toyota Landcruisers had met this fate.
The next day arrived with the promise of a tow to civilization, but the beach was even more impassible than the day before, so no Toyota towing. Another day would have to be spent at the camp. The rain was pouring down and the slaves were getting a little anxious. A second plan was hatched. With the use of the forestry camp special tower mobile phone, the slaves arranged for a platform truck to meet us later in the day at a spot on a gravel road about 15 km due west of the camp. The only problem was to get from the camp to the meeting point since there was no road and I was certainly not going anywhere under my own power. The camp boss agreed to use a tractor to pull us the 15 km to the meeting point though an intricate network of cattle pastures and swamps. After more than 2 hours of towing, we arrived at the meeting point, waited another 2 hours in the rain, and then out of nowhere the platform truck arrived! I was loaded onto the platform and then began the slow and long journey on the potholed road to the city of Rio Grande. After 4 hours of travel, we arrived in the rain and dark at the garage of the platform truck operator. The slaves spent the night in the tent inside the garage compound. The next morning we were transported to another garage for the beginning of the repairs.
The repairs began with the obligatory lecture on how we were lucky to be in this garage and that despite our call ahead that this garage did have a solenoid and experience in changing them, the garage unfortunately would have to wait 6 hours for the solenoid to be couriered from another city (at our expense of course). After much waiting amongst the non-working folks of the garage, finally the solenoid arrive and the old one swapped out. This repair had only reversed one of my many problems. I was still without a functioning alternator, a boiled and ruined battery, and a disassembled electrical system (the fire). With a wire from the barely function battery to the fuel pump solenoid, and a screwdriver in the starter solenoid, I jumped backed to life and we escaped from the garage to greener pastures in the much larger city of Porto Alegre. As the waiting around had consumed most of the day, we were unable to drive the entire distance to Porto Alegre in one day since without electrics I was also without lights. As sunset hit at 6:30pm, we pulled into a hotel parking lot to spend the night; with the hope that the abused battery would have enough power to start us in the morning. The slaves were positively ecstatic to be able to have a shower. It’s important to show kindness to the slaves now and then to keep their hopes up.