World Run II / Reports
The map shows the position of which the pictures for the day are taken (if any). The start and finish markers are placed at the first and last valid registered position. This is not nessesary the actual start and finish position, if GSM or GPS signals was not available.
Distance today: 21.0 km (Accumulated: 26205.0 km)
Elapsed time: 01:47:19
Country: Chile West
Start 10:47am., 21c, allmost clear and med.wind, at green km-marker "234" on hwy.1. Finish 12:33, 26c and same, at green km-marker "255" on hwy.1.
Car problems again - and pleasant solutions !
I guess many who have followed the second part of world run two so far (a thing which I appreciate and which motivates me :-) can imagine the despair when time after time facing not problems with running the daily distances or recovering for yet another day of running in foreign contries - but insted often mainly finding oneself using the main part of the focus and energy on problems with the supportcar or customs surprises...
And today quickly turned out to be one of those days. The sun rose over a beautifull blue Pacific Ocean, we packed our expedition-tents and got ready for my daily run Northbound for Canada. Two short stages yesterday and the day before was to be the platform for again doing a few long stages and make substantial progress towards the border to Peru, around 540km further up the desert road.
But even before I got started, while still doing the last mental-buildup for a long days run - the supportcar put an effective stop to any such plans: Driving the 2kms from the tentingspot to the place I finished running yesterday it dropped all gears except 3. and 4. gear. Already not beeing the strongest little car in the world this meant that it could barely start; when beeing at a downhill - on flat or uphill ground it was "right out" for it to start in 3.gear.
So... what to do ? I refused to let go of running, as that would put us too much behind (and beeing my little bit stubbon viking self ;-) so I continued for a few stints to see how bad it was with the car. It was Bad. After the 10km-mark I had to help push the supportcar into rolling again after I had got my water and food as usual at each 5km streatch. With 165km to the nearest city with mecanics facilities and with no cellphone signal out here it began to look like mad gamble to continue much further. If we got stuck here it could cost us days even getting to the mecanic..
After 11kms of further stubbonness I took the finish-photo for the day (the are done to visually document the run along with the gps-data from each stage) and got into the car. And got out again - to push it.
Luckily we made it to Iquque after a nerving drive not least when hitting the nearly 200 000people city where we instantly were caught in traffic, and trafficlight at which the car couldnt get started again once stopped for red. Embarrasing situations beeing stuck in traffic and twice having to head downhill after the car refusing to drive uphill at the steep city streets of this coastal city which has one of Chile two "Zona Franca"s - toll free zones to attact business to these remote locations which Chile has conquered from Peru in the so called "Pacific war" agains Peru and Bolivia back in the 19.century (1879 to 1883).
...The desperation grew as the engine was strained to make it through city, while we panicked more and more as we could find neighter mechanic shops nor a hotel at a resonable pricerange.
Yet; once again the run also was struck by some luck :-) Just as we thought the engine was overheating we saw a small cozy hotel w. views over the city below and a mechanic garage right by it. Not only was the hotel (Hotel Pan Du Azucar - named after Pan Du Azucar national park which I by the way ran through roughly 400km ago) a nice place to stay with a staff that went out of their way to help us and make sure we got several free maps of the city and the region I have ahead of me - the mechanic repairshop fixed the gearbox during the afternoon, a thing which could have taken atleast a day to get properly taken care of providing we could get the spareparts; it charged us approximately 12 usd. for the service !
So, I guess it turned out to be a Pleasant Solution to a very unpleasant situation; we got the car repaired, replentished our supplies and not least got the clothes washed after yet another days out between the desert and the ocean :-)