Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. --- Mark Twain

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Patagonia 2, Ruta 40

In the beginning - just in case a warning - now follows technical talk that belongs to the category of "How the car is able to withstand and move." And this time no pictures of penguins or any other animals or birds.

The legendary 5000 kilometre of Ruta 40 is Argentina's longest road, reaching from the Bolivian border down to the town of Rio Gallegos in Patagonia (and there are plans to build the road up to the Cabo Virgenes)


The distance between Rio Mayo and Perito Morenois is more than a hundred kilometres and the journey will take several hours. Everything rumbles and shakes, the road is absolutely uneven. The speed of 20 km per hour should be reasonable as the increasing of the speed turns the rumbling and vibration even stronger and nothing destroys a car faster than speeding on such roads.

About twenty miles from the settlement of Perito Moreno a kind of false rumble is heard. Next, you can behave in many different ways. Option A is to turn the CD player louder – so the rumbling will not be heard any more. Option B is to start looking for the cause of the rumble. And as option A cannot be used - because a long time ago in the middle of Africa the inside of the CD-player was so full of dust that the disc didn`t not fit in any more. I stop the car and begin to investigate. Checking over the front axle I discover the problem.
The front wheel must be taken off in order to reach the source of the rattle.

The first shock absorber is tattering. The rubber bush at the end of the absorber is still present but the metal washer holding to it is no longer usable. It`s good that found it just in time. The daylight will be soon over and the changing procedure has to wait till tomorrow. All around the landscape is empty and then I remember that a kilometre or two ago by the road there was a cell tower. I drive back but the area around the mast is completely uninhabited, so the night will passed by the road.


In the morning the second act of the repairs begins. Getting loose of the nuts will take more time than planned, WD-40 will help a little, and finally the nuts are loose and the rubber bush and the new washer will find their place. And the nuts can be tightened back again. We'll see how long this will last.

The moral of the story - Pincers must be taken with and some of rubber bushings should also be in store.

Actually – this kind of incident has happened before. Namely - in Tunisia in March 2010. Then I also created something out of a piece of rubber and it was so efficient that lasted all the way to Benin and Togo and back. I drive on one kilometre and check the situation, then check again and after an hour-long driving - new inspection. It seems that there is no problem.

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