Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Men with Drills
Tuesday 21th November
Awakening early, and pleased to find we hadn't been massacered in our sleepingbags, I set off on Michelle's bike into town with my rear wheel to get the tyre fitted by someone who actually knew what they were doing. Driving straight past SM Motos, I found a garage nearby with a rather bored looking man with way too many dogs who was evidently the tyre fitter guy. After a few of my best Pictionary moves, the man seemed to understand that this stupid gringo had tried and failed to fit this tyre and could he please sort his mess out which he duly did. Once he got started then I noticed that instead of seating the tyre on the outermost part of the wheel, he had it on the middle where there is a bit of a recess, and hence makes fitting the last part of the tyre a doddle- doh! after paying a whopping 5pesos (less than a pound) I returned to the campsite to find out from Michelle that we'd been charged 10 pesos for the pleasure of staying at the Jeepers Creepers Campsite, stuck my wheel on and get the hell out.

Tyre fun in the scary campsite

I got him to do the front one too and just when it was looking like we'd be leaving our beloved RG, guess what happened next? That's right, one of my front fork pinch bolts sheared off. The tyre fitter man just looked at me with either pitty or complete disdain, I'm not sure, though it turned out there was a metal works just across the street which would be open in a mere 2 hours straight after a lunch- thank gawd for that, we might make it out of here today after all. At 2pm, I timidly rode my bike with its loose front wheel over to the workshop and after performing a few more pictionary moves and confirming that yes, I was a stupid gringo who shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a toolkit, they set to work on my poor fork with a massive drill. My expression told the laughing man with the big drill that I clearly wasn't having a tranquillo moment however he reassured me that it was 'no problemo', and he was right. 1.5hrs later, I had an oversized bolt fitted and it more importantly, it was holding my front wheel on- many thanks to the very friendly and funny guys at 'Setra', they may even have restored my faith that RG might not be such a bad place after all.

The Setra boys

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