El Chalten

A ‘rest day’ today so a group of us head up the hill for a 3 hour walk to Lago Capri.  One for Bob Watson, as we are heading our of town there is a pretty reasonable Renault Dauphine parked by the road.  And not far away a nice 404 along with some very beaten up 504s.

Great to stretch the legs after 3 days of driving and spectacular views as we wind around the side of the mountain.  Long open stretches with views up the valley towards Lago del Desierto where Dave and Laurel have driven to see the glacier and then back into thick forests of Antarctic Beech.  Finally we climb over the saddle to look over Lago Capri with Mt Fitzroy shrouded by mist in the background.

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We were lucky to beat the rush because there was a steady stream of climbers coming up as we descended and the wind had really picking up.  Here is one for Milly and Jack – a couple were using a llama to carry their hiking gear up the hill.  They weren’t making much progress because everyone wanted to photograph them.  By the time we reached town there was a gale blowing down the main street and we were expecting the tin roofs from the many half finished houses to start flying around.

A few car repairs this afternoon.  Our hopes of shipping parts into Ushuaia fell in a big heap when with the help of Billy Boorman from the MG Club in Buenos Aires we tracked down why the parts were still held up.  It turned out that tighter restrictions had been imposed on the importation of auto parts from 1 Jan and importers had to be either licensed or use a broker.  The costs to use a broker and pay the import duties were prohibitive so Simon and I decided to send the parts back to Australia and hope that they would arrive before he left to meet us in Lima.  Fortunately the master cylinder problems are proving manageable but we need to find another solution to the sticking carb throttles.  I hadn’t picked up that the throttle shafts were a little worn when we left Australia but became much worse with all the dust over the past weeks.  In Ushuaia, I attempted a cure by building up the shafts with Araldyte but this didn’t last and the drive up to El Chalten became pretty difficult.  Mike Herlihy to the rescue with his very expensive liquid metal made by Wurth.  Miracle stuff which hardens in ten minutes and sets to a rock hard surface overnight.  I finished the job off this afternoon and on the short drive down to get fuel this afternoon it seems to be working well.  We’ll find out tomorrow whether this is going to last the distance.

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