Saturday, May 7, 2011

Can the busted engine make it to Buenos Aires before it blows up again!? Luck please be with me!

So after being assaulted as you can read from the last post, I was pretty edgy. Trust no one or nothing.

Slept with my knife and pepper spray in hand during my camping that night.

camp site


The road to Buenos Aires had now taken me 4 day so far of ridiculous cross winds and 12 hour driving days.

The road to Buenos Aires


Had lots of time to think though.



But as I was thinking I heard another unfamiliar sound my engine had made. So I stopped and listened to what it  was.



Indeed I found a funky sound, it sounded as if the drive chain inside the engine was loose again. Great! Engine problems again! By my calculations I would be spending another $850US plus another 2 weeks in the middle of nowhere fixing the motor, and I was not happy at all.

I said to myself, I am not spending that time and money again. So I decided to push forward and try to make it to Buenos Aires before the entire engine blows up again, because I was tired and stressed out from the last engine issue, it was a risk I was willing to take. Again, nobody said it would be easy, but come on! How unlucky of me to have another serious engine issue.

I’m down to my last $800 US for this rest of this trip, having expensive engine issues ahead of me and I’m not even near Brazil yet. It looks like I’ll be selling my camera….or bike….or a kidney or something to finish this journey.

Got to a gas station where there was no more gas. This seems to be a prevalent issue around Argentina.





It seems the bike is officially extremely dirty! I have yet to wash it the entire trip...and yes I am proud of that achievement! 



At the next gas station there was a local TV crew roaming around, and I was obviously interviewed for the nightly news. Famous once again.



Chacon moto
Chacon moto

By this point in time I was about 800 miles from Buenos Aires and the engine was getting worse. At anytime I was sure the drive chain would pull, stretch and cause the valves to explode on me again. I could just imagine myself stuck again on the highway asking for help for the next week. I don’t have money for a tow truck or anything else, so if it broke again; there was serious consideration to just leave the bike at an unhealthy financial cost to me, which I did not want to do.

As I progressed, the noise got so bad I had to stop. I decided not to risk it and a more expensive fix. I landed in Bahia Blanca, just 700 km south of Buenos Aires.

It was late so I camped out at a gas station for the night. Luckily they had a police officer to check on things during the night, so I felt slightly safer than normal.

The following morning I went into town. It was Saturday so everything was closed until Monday. I forget that the “Argentinean” work style is much different than what I’m used to, much more “tranquilo” (calm), as they don’t work weekends and take a siesta from noon until 3 pm.

I luckily found a Kawasaki dealership, it was very small and seemed to have nothing, but still I waited until Monday for it to open.

In the mean time I was greeted by my new fans at the hostel.


Later that night I joined the community of couchsurfers of Bahia Blanca for some pizza and drinks.



On Monday I went in to talk to the mechanic. He basically gave me a run around and what the issue could be, and knew he knew nothing about KLR’s. So here I was with a breaking down motorcycle and no one to help. Plus he said anything we would need to change would take around 2 weeks to arrive, that is if it was in stock, and most internal engine components are not, they have to be special ordered.

I was up to my last patience with this ridiculous KLR, it has been giving me such serious issues I was finally made and disappointed with Kawasaki. I had one great KLR, now this one is the worst I’ve seen and now lucky me is stuck with it until it kills me or I kill it.

So I said screw it, go big or go home, can’t back off the craziness now, I’m driving to Buenos Aires. So I did.

The entire way I was really hoping it would explode on me, I was tired of being afraid of it, and as you can tell from this adventure I fear little to nothing, so I was seriously rooting for the engine to explode again and make my life a bit simpler, so I can dump it, loose my money and move on.

I still cautiously drove slowly at 50 mph on the way to BA.

It was a tense 10 hours of steady and cautious driving.

Entering on the out skirts of BA, the smog was ridiculous to say the least. I don't know who's worst, Buenos Aires or Mexico city!



As I arrived late in Buenos Aires I was confronted with massive rush hour traffic.

But motorcycles were going in-between the cars and on the outside lanes, so driving through Buenos Aires on a motorcycle during rush hour is like playing a fun game of Frogger or Crazy taxi weaving in and out of cars and traffic driving up on the shoulder and anything else you can imagine, it’s quite fun. I just hope the engine wouldn’t die on me right then and there. But it made it this far, just a little more to the next Kawasaki dealership!

After hundreds upon hundreds of cars and vehicle passed I made it to my sleeping destination.

Tomorrow, I take the bike to the dealership to hear what bad new they would have for me. L