September 10, 2005 GMT
Latin Fire Drill

Most of the taxis here are fairly respectable.

The Ecuadorian government has used tax incentives to persuade people to get rid of the old VW Beetles (most of which seem to have leaked intop northern Peru) and buy something a little more modern. Despite this there are still some real sheds around; one I took yesterday had a completely smashed windscreen which must have severely limited the driverīs view.

Behind the BMW dealerīs workshops is a parking area surrounding a small football pitch. So when the fire alarm went off we all trooped on to the pitch, where a bonfire had been built of pallets, tyres and carpet. Augusto (whoīs the site fire warden) proceeded to throw petrol on the pile, and the officer from the local fire station lit the fire and distributed a selection of rather decrepit-looking dry powder extinguishers to the assembled staff for them to have a go at putting out the fire. Great fun for all, especially as a) the rather black smoke started drifting over the adjacent airport runway, and b) a real fire then started (nothing to do with ours) the other side of the paintshop and apparently actually on the airport itself.

Anyway, despite this being Latin America the cylinder heads really did arrive on Thursday afternoon. The total for replacing all four valve guides, both exhaust valve seats and grinding in all four valves was a little less than $40; I suspect the bill would have been very much higher in Europe.

Yesterday, as young Carlitos was doing the tappets, the security guard summoned me to the gate where a pair of total strangers were waiting, and if you go here:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=94531&page=5&pp=15&highlight=dale

you can read the tale as related by Dale and Sandy.

Posted by Cynthia Milton at September 10, 2005 05:18 PM GMT
 
 

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