The Goose and I arrived in Rio Gallegos late this afternoon, after a good ride in relatively good weather. Leaving Ushuaia Friday afternoon, I was joined by a new friend, Richard Harwood, from the United Kingdom. Richard, a very experienced world bike traveler, is riding a bike very similar to mine. We stopped for the evening in Rio Grande, had a nice early dinner and departed early this morning in hope of beating the wind. We were successful. The wind was not bad along the gravel road in Chile, but later this afternoon, I encounted terribly strong winds. The wind blows the bike several feet across the road, seems to jerk my helmet to the point that I fear it is going to come off, and then twists the helmet so strongly on my head that my glasses come loose. The strongest wind in which I have ever ridden.
Today, we had to cross out of Argentina, into Chile, ride the gravel road, take the ferry across the Strait and then cross back into Argentina. A busy day, although I was only able to cover 237 miles. After the ferry ride, Richard headed west into Chile and I proceeded to go northeast to Argentina.
The gravel road is very rough. It was on this stretch two weeks ago that the Goose once again began to leak oil from the driveshaft. And so what happened today? When I rode the bike onto the ferry, I looked to see if the slight oil leak from the oil pan had worsened and I could not tell. Why? Because, the driveshaft was leaking so badly that the oil was covering everything. I feel plagued with driveshaft problems. I have had the bike repaired four time now, at least once by someone reputed to be an expert BMW mechanic and still the driveshaft begins leaking again after two to three hundred miles. This time the leak is bad and I am not in an area where I can have it repaired. (I really wonder if I am going to find anyone in South America who can fix it.)
I am considering trying to limp on into Buenos Aires, but that is over 1500 miles away. I doubt I can make that without totally destroying the driveshaft. My adventure is imperiled and right now I do not have an answer. Perhaps tomorrow will be a brighter day.
Sunday I will continue north until the wind forces me to stop. I plan to depart relatively early so that I get several hours of good riding in before the wind forces me into a mad Tango. And I do not even get to lead.