After leaving Osorno with the bikes newly serviced we made quick time up Ruta 5 to Salta Del Laja where we met George from Switzerland again, the memorable thing en route was a wasp (or hornet) attack on my throat at one point, one moment I was happily riding along and the next it felt like someone had wrapped barbed wire wound my neck (I know a few people who would like to!). I stopped with the pain and Fi had to remove an inch long sting stuck in my throat, every puncture mark was bleeding, whatever got me got me at least five times, pretty sure they died in the effort though, 3 days later its still swollen and stinging.
We had a good night with George and saw the waterfalls at Salta Del Laja.
Not much safety here!
3 mile hike back to camp!
Friday the plan was to get close to the Chilean capital, Santiago, the plan changed when Fi's bike started to overheat constantly. A check at a service station in increasing temperatures showed the fan wasn't working,the little BMW depends heavily on the fan to keep the motor cool.
We set off trying to keep the bike bumbling along but the heat was increasing so as soon as we got stuck in traffic the bike overheated, oh and the starting problem is still there, so every toll station Fi immediately turned the motor off, pushed the bike up the queue and prayed it would start. As it got hotter we were only managing 20 miles before the bike temp light came on, slow progress indeed. We stopped just outside the city about 7.30 PM, Fi asked for Pollo & Chips (Chicken), we got Hot Dog!! we think it was take the piss out of the Gringo time! We hit the City as it was getting dark, as we turned off the main road towards the city centre a huge queue was before us, I went for the pavement with Fi following, skirting the trees in the verge but the bike overheated immediately and spewed out some coolant. As we waited for it to cool down I done a recce and figured if we pushed the bike along the pavement to the next main road we could get around the worst of the traffic. I decided I would push my bike also to clear a path through the Friday night crowds, so for 1/4 of a mile we pushed the bikes, in sweltering heat and with full bike gear on, took me back to my BSA days! We then had to navigate to the centre, Fi switching her bike off at every light we didn't run on red and having to put up with the locals beeping the horns at the stupid guys starting their bikes when the lights changed to Green. Eventually we found the Hostel George had old us about, it was 10PM, it was full!! Eventually we found a room just down the road had a quick and very necessary shower and murdered a few beers, once again getting the piss taken out of us, me "what beer do you have" Garcon "only the local beer" me "OK 2 of them then" then we noticed other people getting other types of beer so next I asked for Stella, no problem, my god some days even the easy thing are difficult! We also booked the Hostel for a few days.
Today we decided not to ride Fionas bike and went to see Carlos Ramirez to get Scottoiler Oil, very nice and helpful guy, thanks Carlos, he directed us to the BMW shop where we saw Hans, we explained the problem and said they could pick the Bike up Monday, transpired the BMW shop were having their GS weekend and we got invited along, nothing else to do so we joined a group ride out led by Claudio (the head mechanic) and a few of the guys to a motocross track in the country for a pleasant afternoon.
All roads lead to ...........
Hombres going out to play
Photoshoot with the naked ladies (sorry, missed it)
So yesterday had I written this blog it would have contained a few swear words, now i'm confident the guys will help, we need a new fan (again) and then we can be on our way but hopefully not to another BMW shop! BMW's adventure bikes, our adventure yesterday isn't on the advertising!!
As a footnote Commander Straker informs me that Thomas Cochrane (a Scot) is also a hero in Chile, seems he sorted out the navy here and in Peru and helped drive the Spanish out, there's a town named after him on the Austral, so a take on the old Joke, a Scotsman and an Irishman walk into a bar, the Spanish leave!