Part 9 - Chain Reaction (Puerto Natales - Rio Grande)
The flat concrete surface of the Chilean roads are a pleasure after Ruta 40 - and we even manage speeds of 50 mph. By 3pm we reach the shores of the Magellan Straits in Punta Arenas, Chile, just as the last ferry of the day vanishes into the distance. So we set up camp and decide to do a little chain servicing. Joe loosens up the wrong bolt, tries to tighten the chain and snaps an adjusting screw. So, after some heavy cursing, we use the time-honoured way of adjusting the chain tension with a tyre-iron, much of the amusement of several spectators.
We make the ferry the next morning and, bidding goodbye to continental South America, head across the Strait of Magellan to Tierra del Fuego - or the Land of Fire. After a night in Porvenir we cross the border back into Argentina, fill up with cheap petrol and cheap beer, and head towards Rio Grande, the second city in Tierra del Fuego, where Paul decides to investigate why the Knuck is shaking so much. Could be due to the primary cases being full of bit of chain rollers, maybe? Fortunately a spare primary chain was one of the things we packed.