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A Spot of Welding

April 8, 2013
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From the Lake District we wanted to make it across Argentina in just three days to get to Buenos Aires where we had booked a hotel from which to explore the city. This was a distance of around 1200km of a pretty boring drive through the pampas.

However at lunchtime on our second day of driving we noticed that one of the light pods on the back of the truck was fatigued and had come half way to breaking off.

This had happened to the light pod on the left side while we were in Mexico and we attributed the timing of this side to the bouncing around on the rough road in Lanin NP. So we needed to find a welder to fix it up.

We stopped off at the small town of Bragado looking for a Soldadura (Welding workshop) but had no luck so stopped off at a YPF petrol station in town to ask a local.  After repeating “Necesito un soldador” at least 10 times and getting nowhere we finally walked the guy over to the truck and showed him the problem,  “Ahh Soldador” – Yes bloody Soldador, that’s what we’ve  been saying!! Incredibly it turned out that the guys father owned a metal workshop down the road and we were all set.

Taking the light Off

 

The guy called his dad who arrived 10 minutes later to have a look. He said that he could do it and then promptly headed to the café next door for a cup of coffee with his mate. Another 10 minutes later he appeared in a car with his friend and told us to follow him.  It’s at times like this when you are following strangers down back streets and dirt roads that your mind starts to wander about all the bad things that could possibly happen… thankfully though they weren’t psychopaths and we pulled up at his garage which was set up as a machine shop with some pretty heavy duty metal work gear and of course a huge Parilla – we would expect nothing less of an Argentinian workshop! He soon had the light pod off the back of the truck and on the bench.

Doing the welding

While he was working a number of men from the neighbourhood stopped by to drink Mate and offer advice/help. The whole thing turned into a local event.

Selection of Guys who were helping out

Selection of Guys who were helping out

After around an hour he had finished up. He’d actually tried to finish up earlier but one of his friends had told him to reinforce it and make it stronger because our truck was 4×4, so he did some more work.

Dirty but as good as new

After mounting the whole thing back on the truck we were very pleased with the work, he even painted it. At this point even more people had arrived to see the gringos and the blue truck so we said our goodbyes and headed off to find somewhere to spend the night.

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