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…