Perito Moreno to Gobernador Costa

Hooray, the sticking accelerator is fixed at last.  The sticking throttles in each of the carbs were finally fixed with liquid metal but the cable was still binding.  A brand new cable fitted just before the car was shipped turned out to be faulty so I re-fitted the old spare which had already completed the Cape to Cairo trip and it was much better.  Feels like a new car!

Still in Patagonia and still fighting side winds all the way we stop off at a tiny settlement called Los Lamariscos in the middle of nowhere.  There were all the signs that it was once a fuel stop but now they depend on travellers stopping to see their modest museum or to buy a snack.  The lady who owns it is the granddaughter of the guy who founded it in 1938 – she was very excited that a bunch of classic cars had stopped and came out with photographs of a group of rally cars who had visited a couple of years ago.  Tough gig!

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Our destination at Gobernador Costa is described as “a one-horse town” or a “small barren windswept settlement”.  A bit harsh but our biggest challenge was that the receptionist said there was no record of our booking.  A bit more probing and it seemed that there was an enquiry but no money had been transferred from the travel agent. Sunday night and no chance of talking to the agent so lots of haggling finally resolved by me handing over a credit card as security.  What made it really tricky was that the town has no mobile phone coverage, no internet and the hotel had no ISD dialling facility so we couldn’t call the 24 hour hotline to our travel agents in Chile.  Things didn’t seem much rosier in the morning until Ken found a guy who could speak a little English and we established that the money had been paid and we were free to go with credit card untarnished.  Just another one of life’s little challenges in South America.  Amazing that we had few problems with internet of mobile coverage right through Africa and on the previous trip through China and Central Asia but South American communications are still back in the 1980s.

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