Friday, February 22, 2013

3) Car trouble

Wed Feb 6th, 2:00 am 

After only 70 km of travel...
I woke up in the back of the 'furgon' to a lot of smoke and a quiet engine. Sam is driving and Tom is acting as a copilot. The car coasts for a while before stopping dead next to SOS highway phone station.

Our Carry Furgon’s engine is located underneath the front seats.  Sam and Tom lifted the sits to let the hot air escape and cool the engine.  They assessed the situation for a while and decided to sleep for a couple to hours before trying to restart the car.  Two hours later the guys refilled the coolant liquid and oil and gave it another shot.  It looked like we had put liquid in a colander, oil was dripping on the ground from several places and coolant was coming out the exhaust. There was no hope of restarting the car again. 

DeLorme once more allowing us to stay InReach.
I walked to the SOS booth and called for help. An operator answered the call quickly and sent a tow truck while we slept a little longer.  The plan was to tow the car back to Santiago. The public highway tow could only take us to a private tow company; they would have to tow us back to Santiago at our expense.

On the way to the towing company we told our story to the tow operator.  The operator became interested in buying our gas canister and car!  Our plans changed immediately, we just had to wait until 9 am to go to the local Notary Office to sell him the car, for 1/8 of the price we bought it for.

At the gas station using the internet.
It was 4:30 am when we met Sergio.  Sergio is the owner of Gruas Flores, the private company that will take our car to Santiago.  Him and our truck operator spoke for a while and decided to purchase the car from us.  They had the means to fix the car and re-sale it later.  Since we had to wait until 9:00 am to do the paperwork, we left the car at Sergio’s place. 

Sergio took us to a gas station where we could use the internet for a few hours.  Since the internet was not working we called him again and he was nice enough to pick us up and took us to a nearby Casino that had internet.  While we wait for the working day to start, we would have to figure our best option to get to Punta Arenas.  Taking the bus to Punta Arenas seemed to be our only option. However, none of the online sites allowed us to purchase tickets. It seemed that the only option was to go to the bus station directly and hope for the best. 

Heading to the Casino or maybe trespassing charges.
A few hours later Sergio picked us up at the Casino’s parking and we headed to the notary. Finally, we will be able to get rid of the car and continue our travels.

Wait... Not so soon, Not so easy. 
Click for part 1
Click for part 2 
Click for part 3
Click for part 4

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