Broken! (and how to upset the locals)

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It was Clair’s turn to get a broken bike this time. We had taken the Puerto Fuy ferry across the which puts us on the toad to Argentina. All was going well until about 10 km after we left the ferry crossing. Clair told me she had a temperature warning light. We stopped and I started investigating. Her cooling fan wouldn’t start and the fuse had gone. A new fuse blew so I checked the fan. A tiny piece of gravel had got jammed in the fan housing. The fan had stuck and the fuse had gone. However, I soon found that the fan motor was shot.

We had 10km to our planned stop, a camp site by a lake and 49km to the next town. Alternatively we could go back to the ferry port. I was sure enough the fan was completely gone, I tried wiring it direct to the battery and it was dead. It didn’t feel right when it span around when I compared it to my fan either.

We chose to go back to the ferry but we had missed the last one be ten minutes so we were stuck for the rest of the day. It was only 4pm.

I spent a couple of hours and stripped the fan assembly from Clairs bike. The ferry port has a big concrete apron so there was no chance of losing screws or washers. Getting the fan off means the tank and half the fairing have to come off too.

After getting the fan assembly off and putting the bike back together we decided to camp at the side of the lake. We had checked iOverlander and people have done this before so we thought, why not. We had plenty of rations to keep us going.

We waiting for evening, just sitting at a bench and reading for a while before popping the tent up next to the lake.

What we didn’t realise was that this was obviously, to everyone around, not on. We slept peacefully and in the morning put the tent down and made sure we had left no trace but we saw a local an wandering about where we had been.

As the port came to life in the morning a small food van opened up and even with our limited Spanish we could tell he was telling the operators of the van we had camped on the beach.

But then, they told everyone, We didn’t really put it together until after but we kept hearing the words for camping and beach so we definitely did something wrong but I guess we’ll never know. There were no signs, no warnings and nothing to indicate to us it might be a problem.

Anyway, the point of this is not to moan, things go wrong and we get things wrong. Sometimes it just happens and we have to live with that. On the bright side, most of the ride to Osorno is a great twisty tarmac road that twists its way from Puerto Fuy, through Panguipulli and on to Los Lagos. We had a blast although even though parts of the road are brand new you still have to be careful as the roads fall to bits as fast as they are built and there are always bits of rock that have tumbled off the hills to watch out for.

Back to the fan. We are pretty confident we can get a replacement fan in Osorno so we caught the ferry back to Puerto Fuy and then headed inland to Osorno. The only campsite was full so we found a hotel that was cheap for a couple of nights so I can go on a mission around town today.

I will be pointing and mangling my best Spanish to see if I can find a suitable part. I suspect we might find something off a sit on lawnmower or an ATV of which there are many around here.

In addition I will find some mesh. I can see how the stone got in, there’s a tine gap under the fan housing. Hopefully I can block it with some mesh.

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