Former member Bill Grugnale provided this report on some serious DRIVING in South America. Be sure to check the link at the bottom.
> Subject: Southern Argentina – Patagonia
> The Adventurers took 2 weeks to reach Ushuaia from Valparaiso, through Chile, and now we have taken another 2 weeks to reach Mendoza, on the same latitude as Valparaiso, but in Argentina – just over 5000 miles, all told.
> My first comment is the trip northwards through Argentinian Patagonia was totally different to the trip down through mainly Chile. My second comment is I am surprised at the amount of fettling the MGs have required to keep them powering along…
> So, the trip from Ushuaia. The first half through Rio Grande, Rio Gallegos and Perito Mareno was flat, desolate and barren. The rest of Patagonia to Chos Malal, 1000 km South of Mendoza, was hilly (2000 m hills don’t count as mountains…) desolate and barren – but the rock strata and colours were brilliant – as were the different shades of greens along the river beds!
> An exception was the lakes around El Chalten and Bariloche – which were the first signs of wealth we saw in Argentina.
> Many of the roads along Ruta 40 are sealed but we still managed to find gravel and road works almost every day!
> The fettling of MGs. RIP is suffering from fuel vaporisation after a short stop. Red Car is loosing gear oil from the rear seal causing the overdrive unit to drop out, Blue B is suffering with intermittent ignition problems, and after replacing the fuel pump, filters, checking the float bowles, replacing the distributor, the coil, the leads and plugs over a 4 day period with varying success, found the fuel suction hose in the tank soft, thereby sucking closed when the temperature of the fuel increased, Casper’s wooden steering wheel has split all around and is glued and taped up, Goldie is misfiring at high altitudes, Sharaz’s 2-way keeps dropping out and Green Car continues to gurgle along now that the starter motor is repaired! Struth! What next!
> We had the pleasure of meeting Giles Cooper, a Queenslander from the Gold Coast, who drove the Arctic Highway to Alaska in his Lotus last year and is now driving from Canada to Ushuaia (in a Toyota Troopie 6 wheeler – not fair) – in Perito Mereno. Giles shared information of the countries to the north of us while we gave whatever advice we could about the areas we have had the pleasure to see. Thanks Giles, for making the effort to leave Chile just to make the gathering possible!
> Tomorrow, we arrive in Mendoza for a 3 day rest (if one can call 3 days of sight seeing and fettling MGs in workshops, rest!) and to meet 5 of the most enthusiastic MG members in the world!
> More on that later…
> For more, go to mgpanamerica.mgcc.com.au but don’t read my Blog! I have been slack, but the others have done a brilliant job!