When the holiday crowds finally left, we had the place all to ourselves. Our own mountain hot springs. Not bad at all – especially if you don’t mind frozen swimsuits in the morning.
This is also where we finally declared our point and shoot camera dead. We’ve hated it since we bought it, and barely 8 months later, it’s returning the (lack of) love. It always took crappy photos, so it will not be missed. If anyone wants a compact 12 MP camera that can’t image anything near the red end of the spectrum, says it’s waterproof but isn’t… you can have it. Pick-up required.
We left Fiambala with the plan of finding the nearest ‘large’ city and taking care of our evolving engine problems. We have been burning oil, and the compression on cylinder #3 has been low and getting worse.
We made it to the pleasant-enough town of Chilicitos where we spent two days failing to find any kind of parts for our old VW. At a minimum, I wanted to buy a new piston-cylinder set before pulling the motor – there was a perfectly fine campsite nearby that would have made an adequate work space.
The local parts shops had nothing and as far as I could tell, they couldn’t order the parts either. Again, there was a VW dealer in town willing to help, but ultimately just told us to head to Mendoza or Cordoba. Nine or so hours away.
What we did manage to accomplish in our two days here was to make some more contacts further south. We eventually decided set course for Mendoza. Sounds like a decent place to be stranded.
After exactly 9 hours on the road – including frequent stops to add oil and pick up parts that fell off – we arrived at the doorstep of Beto Oros and the Volkswagen Club of Mendoza.