Problemas De Motor

Before our departure a friend joked, “So basically you’re going to drive until the car dies and that’s just where you’ll stay?” When Amelia wouldn’t start for more than 14 hours while parked in a remote campsite on the Atlantic in Patagonia, Argentina we thought, no not here!

Parque Nacional Monte Leon, a nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there.
The National Park now protects these sea lions which were all but wiped out “within days” when European settlers slaughtered them for skins and oil.
At low tide the bottom of the food chain appears on the walls.
Tidal flats emerge and retreat twice daily as tides come and go.
Lots of hidden coves
Puma, the top predator still roam the park.
A traveling Dutch couple was preparing to tow us when suddenly Amelia decided to start again (after 14 hours).
On Friday the 13th just before the tire blew out in some sort of weird omen we struck and killed an armadillo that ran into the road then saw this freshly dead Guanaco hung up on a fence.

It’s not all fun and games this travel business and when there is a rash of car problems it can get very trying. Over the last few weeks we have had several car issues including: An electronic starting problem when the car will simply not crank- zero, nada, not so much as a click when you turn the key (fixed twice and now it usually starts but if not it will with a wire jump); A muffler system breech that had poor Amelia sounding like an old jalopy (fixed 3 times and now she’s purring like a kitten); a second flat tire on rough gravel roads when we could neither feel nor hear the flat on which we drove ruining the sidewall (we had to buy 2 new tires with probably 25,000 miles of tread life on the old ones); an intermittent air conditioning problem which slowly raises in temperature, then quits and sometimes starts back up only to drop off again (fixed in Buenos Aires and we hope it holds heading into the heat of Brazil next!)

Siestas are a beautiful thing in Latin America unless one is trying to get something accomplished. We’ve experienced the rhythm and flow of halted commerce in a number of locations. Most recently the technicians at a Chevy dealership announced they would be closing between 12 and 3pm just as they completed dismantling the steering column. Come back at 4 pm, they told us.


You’ll have to come back in 4 hours after siesta.
Notice the Rheas in the background.
Another visitor to Bahia Bustamante came out to our “campsite” and remarked “Look at you guys, you’ve got tires and wheels strewn about!”
Trashed sidewall with tons of tread-life left, sad.

The last blow came In Trelew where we were told by the police to park in a secure garage in the city apparently for good reason. Less than twenty four hours later in broad daylight our back window was smashed and a bag with $1,000 worth of clothes was stolen. We were parked in a hotel lot but the gate was open and we were in clear view from the sidewalk. It looks like we’ll be driving Amelia with a temporary Plexiglas window since replacing an 18 year old American model Chevy window is next to impossible in Argentina.

Busted back window, sadder.

Just thought we should set the record straight. Our journey is about gorgeous landscapes, engaging cultures, interesting people, adventurous activities and daily problem solving. At times we feel beaten but then we have a simple meal in a traditional Buenos Aries parrilla café and remind ourselves how thankful and fortunate we are.

Problemas de Motor, a 2013 painting by Kleimd which we saw in February 2016 in the gallery Fabrica la Aurora in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico was the inspiration for the name of this post.
In Lujan the dogs take refuge from the days heat in the cathedral, dozens of them and no one minds


Just outside of Buenos Aires huge sunflower farms. My dad would have loved this.

7 thoughts on “Problemas De Motor

      1. Bert, The road to Cochabamba was terrible! Mostly under construction with machinery still working on the road, no flag men, and deep muddy ruts. It was the worse road on the entire trip. We broke a shock absorber at one point. It’s all part of the adventure though.


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