Hitchhiker's Guide to Argentina
In case you have doubts, this is still one of the regular motorcycling
trip reports I use to send out from here and there. But this time ...
well, read on.
Where was I? I know, last time I e-mailed from Vina del Mar. Before
that I noticed that for several days the engine was running hotter then
usually. When I got to Valparaiso, it was boiling hot! The city is wonderful,
in the tourist areas, but wandering around I have seen what tourists are
not supposed to see: the poor neighbourhoods. It was somewhat better then
the ones in the other Latin American countries, but still saddened my
soul. I wonder, is there a way to wipe out poverty? or only in Star Trek
and other futuristic movies like this...
... no hitchhiking yet? ... just read on.
I have seen Santiago and I found it very pretty, modern, well organized.
At least that was my impression. What's yours?
At a gas station I checked out what's wrong with my cooling? and ...
geeeeeezzzzz, what is that? my radiator is a mud ball!!!! I guess I have
rode too much on those muddy Bolivian roads, and I haven't thought about
fouling. Bad mistake! the heat have done further damage: the fan, that
plastic cr*p melted off again. Or was it the Technocol Rapid? this is
that Hungarian glassy glue I used to fix it, and worked fine for a while.
... for a while.
I started to scrape off the mud from the radiator, then I used a high
pressure hose to wash it off and through the plates with water. I was
about done when the water stopped. I guess that was a message from somebody,
saying "No bike washing here, gringo!" I got it!
In Santiago all the bike shops are on or around Avenida Lira, near downtown.
I looked in every single shop, but no fan. NONE! ... I guess I have to
fix what's left of the existing one. I bought though a rear tire Chen
Shing C858, because I had good experience with the same tire used in the
front. 29000 Peso Chileno (1 USD = 560 Ch.Peso) Also, I bought a chain
lube spray, because the 1 litre heavy duty gear oil I bought in Watson
Lake has been finished. ... oh, and of course, I met some travellers:
an Austrian fellow on a Tiger, and a Norwegian guy on an R100GS (I noticed
that this kind "couple" of bikes are quite frequent. Anybody
knows the reason for that?)
In a parking lot I started to take my bike apart to fix the fan. I guess
I was quite a show to the locals, some even offered to fix my bike for
"Esta bien" I said frequently trying to get rid of them. Very
I worked on the bike for quite some time, and I managed to fix the fan
with WeldBond, hopefully for ever. What do you think? As I was looking
at the heat exchanger (I know, it is called "radiator") I noticed
that the plastic fan has done quite a damage bending all the aluminum
plates that could reach, sealing the air completely. I just don't know
the mud caused the fan to melt/break off, or the melted fan closed the
plates and therefore the mud could not be washed out by the rain. This
is a classic egg-or-chicken-first question, right?
So where is the hitchhiking here? ... I won't tell you yet. Read on!