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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Bad day in Bolivian paradise

Day 17 ( 172 km)

Left Hotel Casco Veijo, early after breakfast and hit the never ending dirt road again to get to Santa Cruz de la Sierra, another 8 hours away, the first 2 hours went smooth, but then the nightmare started. I got a flat and pulled on the side off the road in a shady area and start unpacking my luggage, Scotty was about 3 minutes behind me and I saw him coming and it was obvious to me he would see me!, but he was focusing himself on the pothole road and never saw me and passed me while I was waving and hollering 3 meters away from him, when he passed (he almost ran me over), but he kept going. Hoping he would turn back soon, but that was not my luck today, he kept pushing to catch up with me and he realized 90 minutes later, there must be something wrong.

He told me later, he fancied, he heard someone hollering, but was not sure!, meanwhile I took the back wheel of again (getting good in this) and start sweating in the heat and red dirt to put another inner tube inside and an hour later I succeeded, but no air and no Scotty, who had the air pump.
Maybe 2 cars or busses pass each hour and I was lucky a small truck came and I asked for air and luckily he had an air compressor on board, filled the tire and around noon, I left the scene, two and half hours later after the flat and went to see if I could catch up with Scotty.

  That should be easy, because there is only one dirt road and small villages are 50 km apart! Twenty minutes later I had a 2nd flat and had to stop again to tend to this again, but became frustrated and must have cursed in every language i know, finally Scotty showed up, after he realized something was wrong and turned back looking for me.  We never actually had a plan made in advance in the case we would separate, we have now!
Struggling to get the next spare inner tube on, I pinched that one in the process (3rd  flat) then Scotty had to take the wheel to Conception, the first village 50 km away, to see if they could fix it there. So Scotty left 2 pm and came back around 5:30 pm, I put the wheel on quick and left almost in dark to get to Conception, where we arrived around 7 pm. During the ride, I felt uncomfortable and thought the whole time the front tire was losing air, but finally we reached the hotel tired, to realize the back tire was flat again (4th flat), There must be something sharp or one of the spokes bolts must be hitting the inner tube, maybe there is something in the inside of the new tire, I bought 2 weeks ago. Anyway I cannot find anything wrong and so did not the repair guy Scotty went to!

Tomorrow I am going to deal with this annoying problem again! But 4 flats in one day is a new record for me and will long remember that day, how unfortunate I was!
Scotty rode this day 250 km more as me, I did 172 km!

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