Zapala to Chos Malal

We organised a late checkout from our hotel Hue Melen so that Blue B’s fuel system could be sorted. Peter, Ken, Mike and Ross worked the early shift starting around 6.30am. They replaced nearly everything in the fuel and ignition systems and by 9.30 all was back together again, Ross had lost his concerned look and better still, Blue B was purring away again. We were ready to hit the road for Chos Malal only 190 kms away, still not sure what the real problem was.

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The stark desert like landscape we were now travelling through was such a contrast to the chocolate box landscape of Bariloche.  The temperatures in and outside the cars were soaring but fortunately we had smooth paved roads to travel on, side windows were open and life was good.

And no breakdowns today – fingers crossed, touch wood!

Chos Malal is a pretty little oasis of a town which pops up out of the desert and was a welcome sight. We arrived around1.30pm and we were hot.  Could we push our luck for an early check in?  We were in luck, and this provided the perfect opportunity for Navy Car to have its master cylinder rebuilt.  Ian and Pete pulled it apart, cleaned everything, stretched the spring to help the piston return and put it all back together.  Hopefully now the brakes will be consistent and not alternating between a full pedal and a half pedal – we may even get rid of that annoying squeal which happens when it’s hot and the brakes weren’t releasing properly.  Maybe now I will be brave enough to drive to give Ian a break!

Some of us discovered the ice cream shop which was part of our Hotel Don Costa Hosteria.  Argentina is famous for its ice creameries – and such a luscious treat on a hot day!


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