Monday, March 16, 2015

A $500 Tyre and a Little Bother

Our little group of four split after Puerto Varas with Robin and Di heading north in Chile while Colin and I headed back into Argentina but not before we all visited the BMW dealer in Osorno. I need a new rear tyre and Robin needed a replacement tube for the one he used earlier on. I fitted a Heidenau as recommended by the dealer for its longevity and at $365 fitted with them removing the wheel I thought it a reasonable deal. Against my better judgement I got talked into leaving the front tyre alone even though it had done 16,000 km and was looking a little worse for wear. That afternoon Colin and I set off for the Argentine border (the same border we crossed on the way south) to overnight in the nice little resort town of La Angastura. Beer, chicken nibbles and a none to startling pizza for dinner.
Next day, 10 March, saw us in Nuequen and the fruit basket of Argentina it seems - there was over 100 km of orchards. The ride in the morning from Angastura was a pure delight and a testament for why we ride but the afternoon got real hot and the lovely scenery of lakes and forests of the morning made way for dust and dirt. Colin dropped his bike off to the BMW dealer for an oil change. His bike had been suffering an intermittent miss for a few days and the dealer "thought" it might be the fuel pump; an $800 USD item. Colin was much relieved the next day to find out that it was just a dirty electrical connection. But the town had not finished with us just yet. Eighty kilometres out of town my front tyre starts to delaminate so it's back to the BM dealer who because it is siesta for his staff sends me down to the Bridgestone dealer. Well $500 later I have a new front tyre. I should have stuck to my guns in Chile and saved myself $150. We eventually hightailed it out of town at 4:30 and stopped for the night at around 8pm. It sounds a bit late but in Argentina many of the workers are heading home from work at 8pm so it's no big deal. Actually riding in the long evening twilight proved to be rather nice (except for the huge number of trucks on the road) and we were rewarded with a nice hotel with secure parking and a restaurant next door. The restaurant even had a resident dog that went from table to table looking for tit-bits of food.
Because we were behind schedule we decided to make a big push the next day. We were just out of Rio Corroyo and within 200 km of our destination when the BMW shat itself again. This time it was terminal and the bike had to be recovered by a truck. In one way we were lucky because one of the kids driving the truck was also a motorcyclist and took us to what must have been the only repair shop whose owner knew what he was doing. He diagnosed a fuel pressure sensor at fault and next day rewired things for a temporary solution. The guy turned out to have a considerable background in dirt bikes and speedway, having ridden all round the world. He also knew the common faults of BMW's.
This delay put paid to our planned visit to the Fangio museum because I had accommodation booked for Friday night in Buenos Aires and it was not going to be until Friday that the bike would be repaired. We left Rio Corroyo at 1 pm and rode the 500 km to BA only to catch the 8 pm rush hour traffic. What a hoot - there were cars everywhere and in places 2 to a lane and the motorway was already 6 lanes wide. Oh and by now it was dark. We made it in one piece and had beer and empanadas to celebrate our survival.
Next day, Saturday, was wasted because the BM would not start but this time it was an error on Colin's part, the outcome of which was that he did not make it to the dealer here to get the replacement part. We had dinner together that evening and I won't see him again for a week while he visits relatives and heads north in advance of me. In the meantime I have 3 days left to enjoy the sights of Buenos Aires.
Truck and trailer roll-over between Chile and Argentina.

The 7 lakes region of Angastura

Fabulous sunset.

Argentina still have a few of these cottage gas stations.

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