I didn't notice what level fame I had in San d'Oria or Bastok (though I'm a hero in Windurst), but I grow lots of corn and turn it in to the guy in Selbina for fame in both. I also took the time to do that horrible clay tablet quest. (Three more tablets, and I get the map!)
Now, I just want to get back to the topic at hand, and mention another tip about the avatar battles:
If you miss a Searing Light - I don't mean having it resisted; I mean completely miss it - don't waste your medicines to delay the inevitable. Just let Carbuncle do his thing until your MP is gone, and then hold out your arms and let the avatar wail on you.
Let's consider the cost of each fight. I'm using Seraph server prices, but yours should be similar.
1 Boiled Crab - 800g
1 Pear au Lait - 400g
1 Yagudo Drink - 1400g
2 Ether - 1200g
2 Hi-Potion - 1500g
Total Cost - 8000g
If you're like me, you bring extra Ethers and Hi-Potions just in case your timing goes off slightly.
Last night, I went to fight Ifrit with 4 Hi-Potions and 3 Ethers in my inventory. I was extremely excited because Ifrit is probably my favorite avatar (save for Bahamut, but he's not around... yet...), got the fork, got buffed, ate some crab and milk (yum, yum) and did the Protocrystal thing for the fourth time. Up until this point, I had gone 1/1 with all the avatars I attempted, and my most recent battle was absolutely beautiful in its perfection, so I thought I was pretty hot stuff.
Now, I had decided to skip dinner because Watersday was approaching, and I figured I'd grab a bite after I fought the Jolly Red Giant. Hunger does strange things to you; watch a Snickers commercial if you don't believe me. And during the second Searing Light, I made a stupid mistake and took a step to the left for no reason. Carby didn't do his Searing Light, and the Blood Pact timer reset. I knew I was done for.
I got off the last Searing Light, the Yagudo Drink wore off, Astral Flow wore off, and I used my emergency Ether. Ifrit had between 10%-15% of his HP when I ran out of MP, so I did what any idiot would have done: I whipped out my Hermit's Wand and engaged.
It was the most pathetic sight I'd ever seen. I used Instant Reraise (because it was in my inventory for some strange reason). I downed Hi-Potions whenever my HP hit the red. I managed to get Ifrit down to practically nothing on his health bar before he killed me, after having used all my Hi-Potions. Then, I revived myself, and he nailed me with a Double Punch to finish the job.
Now, had I just admitted defeat at the failure of the Searing Light, I wouldn't have blown 7200g worth of medicine. If you have only one emergency Ether and no extra Yagudo Drinks, you've got a tough road ahead of you, especially if you're a Taru. If I had just cashed in my chips, I could have saved those excess potions and paid 3800g for my next fight (replacing the food and an Ether) instead of 8000g to replace everything.
That's all I wanted to say. Half the reason I made this post was because I wanted to share my story about the idiotic fight with Ifrit, and the rest was to hopefully stop people from making the same mistakes I made.
Lesson #1: DO NOT MOVE DURING SEARING LIGHT.
Lesson #2: DO NOT DRINK ALL YOUR POTIONS IN A DRUNKEN FRENZY WHEN YOU KNOW YOU'RE GOING TO LOSE.