Yesterday, and many days before, we have been in a quandary; wither to fly North and miss Bolivia or take on the long drive ourselves. Today, Maz told us the answer.
We were heading towards Santiago with intentions to pull of the highway before the capital and stay at a nice hot spring in the country outside of the city. I was peacefully reading the Lord of the Rings, when I realized that something was fishy. My mom turned around in the passenger seat and told me the car was not working. Gulp! I threw a slew of nervous questions at my parents and found out that we were going to turn off the highway into a smaller town before Santiago and try to get Maz fixed. The car was popping out of gear and was making weird noises. We pulled into the small town of San Francisco and found a road side mechanic working on a car. We asked him if he could fix maz, but he said something in Spanish that we took to mean, “I don’t have the parts. You will need to go to Santiago.” He also told us that if we drove very slowly, we would probably make the fifty kilometers between here and the city. Gulp....Gulp...Gulp!
We looked at each other and we all realized two things; first, this was a big deal not just a simple loose screw, and second, Maz was helping us with our decision. We got on the highway and experienced yet more road juju. Mom chose the wrong highway and missed the city center. Then, Dad accidentally exited the city bypass and entered into a random side of town. Are you ready for this? Turn on the cheesy music! Around every bend and every corner there were car shops, dealers, plazas, and malls dedicated to cars. We had stumbled into the car part of town. Who knew? We asked pedestrians for directions to the nearest mechanic but we could not understand their answers. Within minutes, we came upon an Auto Planet car parts shop. “It is maybe not what we are looking for but, hey let’s give it a try!” we said.
Auto Planet was ideal. Three friendly employees said that they could not fix the car, but they knew a mechanic who gladly would. They called him and he agreed to come to the Auto Planet shop and look at our car. While we were waiting for the mechanic to arrive and look at our car, we decided to change the battery and windshield wipers, two small hassles that we had been putting off. One employee, actually wanted to buy the car, unfixed, for a reasonable price. Unfortunately, we cannot sell the car until we have our padron, the Chilean car owner’s certificate. We will not have the padron for at least another two weeks. Soon, the mechanic arrived and took the car for a drive. The transmission apparently needs to be rebuilt, and we arranged to meet tomorrow.
We looked in our guide book and headed to what we hoped would be a good hostel with our hearts weary, but hopeful! We called on the way and were offered a double room. We arrived and instead of peace, we found chaos, noise, filth and no private room. We eventually slept in a common dorm with loud, late night guests. We all agreed that we need a chill place during these stressful times and will move tomorrow. It is my hope, that we can get the car fixed, sell it, and fly to Ecuador. Maz has spoken!!!
Thank you for reading Rohan Geographic!