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

Thursday, January 16, 2014

On the Road Towards Cachi

Day 1062,
118 551 km since the beginning of the journey
Argentina, Cachi. 

Dakar has moved on in the direction of Chile, and there are still several hundred pictures in the computer waiting to be sorted and uploaded. During the past three days I have begun to practice to get used to high altitudes. That means - in the daytime driving about 3500-4000 meters high and for the night coming back to lower altitudes.

The lower place was Quiano Campo , a splendid small town with a decent municipal camping site but almost with no internet connection. Even 2G did not want to function, but it's not important at all right now. Right now - a completely different story.

The Andes

The road is taking higher, and the views are wider. I stop the car almost in every few kilometers as the views are awesome.

Higher. I have just stopped again to take some pictures of the covered road and then can hear the noise of a slowly upcoming truck. So it seems the right thing to drive out of the way.

I start the engine and put the first gear in and while releasing the clutch there is a crash and the car does not move . I take the gear out and the vehicle passes. Mu inner feeling says that now it is time to look under the car although I have already an idea what to see. I stop the engine put the hand brake on, and then ....

Exactly the same picture as in Chile, Pichilemu, in May 2013. And now this place, welded in Pichilemu is broken.

The end of the driveshaft that goes inside the gearbox. It had lasted for 26 thousand kilometers. Except that now I 'm in the middle of a mountain road, and not in the middle of a town, and the nearest inhabited place could be about 50 kilometers away, good, that it is a bigger kind of a road. And there is still traffic going on here.

The unplanned stopover at a greater distance. Next I climbed under the car and screwed the driveshaft off. Next there were two options.

First - to have the car towed to a nearest inhabited place, which means about 70 km of mountain roads. Another option would be to take the broken parts with and with the help of a passing car find a place somewhere to weld the broken pieces. So that it would be possible to reach Salta, which is still a bigger city, with a population of half a million.

As it was already almost five, it seemed the most sensible thing to overnight at the same place. And then a car with Argentina license plate stopped and after a short conversation they were ready to take me to Cachi. After a few dozen kilometers further there were suddenly by road two men with a big welding equipment. At first I did not believe my own eyes that it could not really be possible. But anything is possible.


Unfortunately, it turned out, however, that this kind of welding that my car needed, was not possible to perform there. Although for a moment it seemed that the problem would be solved, but unfortunately not. In Cachi I found the repair shop but as they were very busy just at the moment I was told to come back there the next morning at 8 at eigh , and the problem would be solved.

Some evening pictures of Cachi.



So this kind of a story of for a change.

Continued ...

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