Day 143 San Martin to Villa Angostura January 25
It was really cold last night but with the morning came warm sunbeams. We grabbed a cup of tea from the nearby cafe and started packing our gear. We took our time and started out by 11:00.
The route was mostly pavement but we encountered some dusty gravel. Traffic was heavy but the dual sport bikes love this stuff and we made short work of all the cars and trucks. Fo the past few days I felt as if something was wrong with the bike but couldn’t pinpoint it. As soon as we got back on pavement I knew exactly what was wrong. The rear wheel bearings were shot and the rear wheel was flopping around making a terrible noise. I didn’t notice the outright failure on the gravel because it was so bumpy but on the smooth tarmac it was obvious.
We had to plot our next move and sat down to think about it.
There was a town 30km away but too far to limp the bike there. We tried to flag down some trucks without success so decided Eran should ride to town and try to find help. We thought it was Sunday but it was really Saturday so our expectations were low. He found an auto shop open and asked for help so the guy called a friend who said he’d meet us out where I was stranded. Eran returned about 90 minutes after he’d left and we waited. For another 90 minutes we waited but no truck came.
I got fed up and set up a broken traffic cone I found in the ditch. The next truck that came I practically stood in front of and flagged him down. It was a small truck with both the front and rear seats occupied. In the box was a folded aluminum ladder and about 18 canteloupe sized boulders. I asked for help and they started throwing the rocks into the ditch. I guess they were for ballast as they apparently had no value otherwise. We loaded Skelly into the back and I climbed in too.
The 30km ride was great fun but a little scary as the little truck careened around the twisty road.
They dropped us off in Villa Angostura and I gave the driver about $30 for his trouble. The family in the truck thought it was great fun helping the Canadian biker out of a jam.
The auto shop was more like an auto wrecker but the guys there were friendly and willing to help even at 7pm on a Saturday.
I removed the rear wheel and they went to work. The right side bearing was destroyed and the outer race broke trying to remove it. After a few minutes the guys figured out how to remove the broken piece. Since I had replacements with me we also removed the left side bearing and replaced them both. While the wheel was off I took the chance to replace the rear brake pads which were almost worn out.
During this time Eran was out searching for a hotel or hostel. By the time he returned we were installing the rear wheel. We were settled in the hostel by 8:30 but both of us were completely exhausted.