Its chilly in Chile. Is the food chilli too?

T – Another great nights sleep in our tent. It was a little chilly this morning but nothing as cold as the night before. So I was up early and tearing into Rosie’s valves.

Yep I was right. Her intake valve was very, very tight. I set it where it should be and closed her all back up. I had also pulled her cam chain tensioner out to give everything the once over so I made sure it was all back in properly.

C – My poor little Rosie. She definitely seems to be having some issues lately. Her performance has dropped, some of which will be due to altitude, but she just seems a little unhappy at the moment. Hopefully the valve adjustment will do the trick?!

T – She fired up first kick, and she had compression again! Yay! BUT, now she had a crazy annoying rattle and I couldn’t place it. I had changed nothing but her valve settings. I let her run for 10 minutes and though the rattle quietened down it didn’t go away. I thought about it while we had some brekky and decided it must be the cam chain tensioner.

I pulled it out and compared it to the service manual I had. It was definitely in right. So I pulled Mabel’s out and made sure that I hadn’t maybe lost apart in the dirt. Nope. It was the same. Then, interestingly, when I put Mabel back together and started her up she too made the same rattle as Rosie. Now she hadn’t made the rattle previously. So I knew it was something I was doing with the tensioner.

In the end I was so frustrated with this rattle that I splashed some extra engine oil down the tube of the tensioner plunger, and the rattle went away. Huh?? I did the same for Rosie and she too went silent. Well there you go. You learn something new every day. So now with quiet bikes we rode away towards Chile.

C – By the time we left camp, the sun was well and truly in the sky and was starting to warm us up nicely. It was such a pleasure to be pulling out of camp with Rosie having some oomph back in her! Yay!!

T – The riding was stunning. The mountains reared up all around and were snow capped. Wow. It was gorgeous! Very cold but simply stunning.

C – The road was dirt was the whole way from Uyuni to the border, but a well maintained, hard packed road that allowed us to keep up some speed. The riding was good and the scenery was just amazing. Bolivia has been such a treat for its amazing scenery. The whole country has been breathtaking.

T – We turned up at the border and soon we were stamped out of Bolivia by some very grumpy officials and stamped into Chile by some very friendly ones! We needed to get about 200kms up the road to the first town where we could get fuel. There was just one road there and it was mostly smooth bitumen all the way through the most barren landscape I have ever seen. There was nothing out there. Just dirt and rocks and mountains. The different colours of the dirt was incredible! So beautiful!

C – We were on the Ruta del Desierto and it certainly lived up to its name. There was not a scrap of vegetation anywhere. Just sand and rocks. It was stunning to ride through, with snow capped peaks running down the left side and the occasional puff of smoke from what I assume are volcanoes. Very cool!

T – We eventually pulled in to Calama and we were blown away by the modernity of it. Office blocks, shopping malls, clean streets, traffic lights that people stopped at. It was really weird! We found ourselves a small hostal to stay in for the next two nights as we need to do a few errands in town. Chantelles camera has also died so now we are down to using iPhones and GoPros. I would like to sort that out before we get much further into Chile. So much to take photos of here!

So tomorrow we do laundry, get Chantelle some new riding jeans, fit Rosies new drive chain and sprocket, and a few other bits and pieces.

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2 thoughts on “Its chilly in Chile. Is the food chilli too?

  1. Jax

    Chilly? You are at the same latitude as Townsville

    • tncpowell

      Haha really? Well we seem to have missed the whole hot tropics thing at the equator. Its friggin freezing here! We are rugged up in all our warm gear and are off in search for handlebar muffs next.

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