We were in Porto Alegre for only a few days and then another three weeks in Canela! many of the things we wanted to buy in Porto Alegre we gave up on and decided to buy on-line and wait for them to be delivered. It’s just so stressful shopping in a big busy city that we couldn’t handle the jandal and gave up! We still bought a lot of things like nuts and sesame oil and other things that cost two or three times as much in Canela, or that just aren’t available, and we got to catch up with Beth’s friend Anjali which was cool.
After about two weeks in Canela we had bought all the tools we’d wanted to get, got the glass for our windows, and received the things we’d ordered online; a new 800W inverter, a 500W charge controller, a new 3G USB modem (with external antenna connection) and a 150W solar panel. We decided that we’re so busy that rather than spend R$300 on cells plus another R$100 or so on glass and wood and many hours of time, we’d just spend R$800 on a proper completed ready-to-use panel. Good plan, except that the guy just packed it in a cardboard wrapper – no polystyrene, bubble-wrap or anything!!! and so of course the thing arrives with all the glass smashed!
We contacted him to arrange getting it picked up so he could send a replacement, but it turns out it’s too big and expensive to send anywhere! he can only get them sent from his place to clients because he sends so much stuff from there. He said he’d send another one and told us to just throw the broken one away!!! All the cells are perfectly good, only the glass is smashed, so we called our glass guys and they came round to assess the situation and said they could replace the glass for for R$150! so all in all it’s turned out quite well.
We decided that we’ve spent too long away from the land, so we came back even though we’ll need to go back to Canela in a couple of weeks to get everything moved out of the flat there and transport it all back here in a truck with the (two) solar panels. When we arrived it all looked like a proper home – I think our new fence around the vege patch gives the place a very domestic atmosphere 🙂 and the veges look very healthy and much bigger!