Ok, today really sucked! Good news: I made it back to Santiago savely, all in one piece – still alive and kicking. Bad news: the bike let me down on the final straight with the finish line in sight.What happened – this morning the bike wont start. The battery was totally dead – not just flat – it died. So I had to push the thing for a number of kilometres (packed with all the luggage and in full motorbike gear) down the road to the next petrol station in the hope of somebody being able to jump start the bike… BUT this is Chile… No spare battery, not jumper cords, no nothing… But then this white ute pulled up and the guy inside asked me if i need help – well, YEAH was my answer.It turned out that the dude was an undercover police officer. First we tried to tow the bike and jump start it. But no luck. Then he radioed the police mechanic, who arrived a few minutes later with a brand new Chilenian motorbike battery. Old one out, new one in. (thanks to the Chilenian tax payers by the way, since I got the new battery for free). But then the nexr problem was just around the corner. The day before I experienced significant power loss,which just got worse. Diagnosis – blocked fuel filter. Since it is a BMW, there is no such thing like an easy fix – the fuel filter is combined with a pressure regulartor that keeps the fuel flow at 3.5 bar. Since today is sunday and everthing is closed and there is no BWM dealer in La Serena and it is still 500km to Santiago, well, what would you do? I opted for limping the bike back to Santiago. That turned out to be a very very bad idea. After just a few kilometres on the motorway things turned from bad to worse and the bike was buckling like a donkey with indigestions. After some mild panic attacts (mind you the bike HAS TO BE AT THE PORT TOMORROW) I turned around and limped back to La Serena and stopped at the first gas station. With my dictionary in one hand I walked in and tried to string some words together to explain my hopeless situation. But the guy behind the counter – Felipe – just smiled and said that I can also talk English. This guy was just amazing. He helped me to organise a rental pick-up from the airport and I even scored a ride in ’68 Camaro. Felipe is a real petrol head, who also own a `68 Mustang and a couple of motorbikes. Heaven sent. Once the bike was strapped to the truck I drove all the way to Santiago, arrived here after sunset, found the Hotel, checked in, had a shower and now a few beers. Life is better now… Tomorrow I have to clean the bike, drow it off at the port and off she goes to Australia. My prefered option would have been to sell her, but I thing she gave me a clear one finger signal that she wants to come with me and getting fixed. Yeah, she can be a little bit moody at times… GIRLS!!!! Given that everything will work out smootly tomorrw I will board the plane back home on Thursday. God, what a trip…
Again, some of Erica’s picture from us going through the road blocks when leaving Cusco. Erica had the camera somehow attached to her jacked and was always ready for some awesome snapshots of us bolting through the crowds or chopping up trees just to keep on going… From memory we only made 50kms in one day…
my day was like that: packing the bike, leaving cusco in crazy latin american traffic that comes close to survival training, being molested by campesinos (rural dwellers) that were blocking main roads because they are worried that the government is privatising water, dodging road blocks, burning tyres, machete waving old men… then climbing from 2000m to 4000m, ending up in a cloud with 10m visibility and rain, getting wet and cold, now being in run down hotel that looks like it has been teleported from one of these east-block countries – totally soviet style… a military hospital would have more charm!Traveling is so much fun! So glad that I am still rolling together with the 3 Americans. Hopefully we will make it to the Pacific tomorrow. These guys will then head north back to the States and I will turn south, back to Santiago, Chile.
Here some pictures from Bolivia, including a meteor crater, the road of death, la paz and isla del sol at the lake titicaca.Enjoy
First shot is from the shower head at the hostel – there were seriously the wires sticking out that were heating up the water in the head. Wonder how many travelers have been electrocuted here so far…Then the train graveyard which is just at the edge of the salt lake and then me taking Dakki over the salt. We both had a lot of fun. In the middle there was this crazy island… cactus galore… Will never forget that day!!!
Here some shots from the Inca ruins of Quilmes. Interesting and nice lamas – very fluffy.The other shots I took in northern Argentina heading up to the Altiplano.
Here some photos of me bottling (and testing) the latest batch of Weizen of Bernard’s Routa 40 micro-brewery in Santa Maria.They were super nice and I ended up staying over night. Germans are everywhere! Definitely a highlight of my trip.