Saturday 27 February 2010

The Battery Saga

Yesterday the bike started with the help of a jump start. This morning that didn´t work - it needed a push start, and another one when I stopped for petrol. I tried three bike shops in Colon (where I stayed overnight) for a battery but it took another three attempts in Gualeguaychu before I finally struck lucky. The new battery didn´t solve the problem, however, and after a bit of hot-wiring the mechanic diagnosed the starter switch. Now, this being a back-street garage in rural Argentina they obviously didn´t have an original Yamaha replacement but they did have a universal switch. The only problem with that was that the connectors didn´t line-up and after half an hour of pulling wires apart he still couldn´t get it to work. Just as he was trying a second switch it struck me - "Starter switch!". I´m sure that was one of the spares I brought with me and after emptying out my pannier I found it. Now if I´d´ve been him I think at this point I would´ve been cursing the dumb Englishman who´d just produced the spare part that I´d needed 45 minutes ago but fortunately he just seemed pleased to have it. By this time there was no way of knowing how the wiring was originally and it took another 20 minutes of trial and error to work it out.
When I got the bill the battery was on there but my new Argentinian best friend wouldn´t accept anything for the hour and a half´s labour. Instead there was an exchange of gifts - I got an Argentinian sticker and he got a couple of Union Jack badges.