Day 152. Sunday 13th October. Loreto to Los Angeles.

It’s 9pm and we are in a hotel room in L.A, waiting for a pizza to arrive. Ordered at 8.10pm. If it doesn’t arrive soon I’ll be asleep!

After a rather sleep deprived night, I was up at 7.45am and down the road to see what damage had been done to Poki. This is following an unfortunate short circuit yesterday.

Up till then it had been a smooth productive session. Front brake pads replaced. Air filter removed and replaced with a clean spare. The inverter mounting bracket had taken a hit from being sat on. Drilling out the pop rivets that had pulled out of the bulkhead and replacing them with 6mm bolts and nuts.

I should’ve replaced the batteries in Portland at the same time we fitted new tires. But, I’m a bit of a miser and thought we can get another few months out of the existing ones. They are about 7 years old.

Maintenance sessions are few and far between. With time to spare I decided to swap the battery positions. Once done we headed off. That is for about 100m before the engine faltered and died. Smoke started issuing from the hand brake gator. Uh oh!!!

As Jen said yesterday, it was a frantic effort to remove the aluminium battery cover. I knew immediately what had happened and had seen it coming and done nothing about it.  Seven years ago just after purchasing it we added a second battery for ancillary things like fridge and fan. The gap between the terminals and cover was minimal and I should have glued a non-conductive membrane under the cover. Also, the battery mounting frame had been crudely modified to retain both batteries, allowing them to tilt.

So, from being a productive day we are now faced with more remedial work. Incredibly, the inner hand brake cable must have been the weakest link, and burned right through. Leaving us with no handbrake.  

New parts will be sent to the storage yard and we can do the repairs on our return in January.

Instead of dropping her off at the airport and having someone from the storage company taking her back to the yard for storage, we decided to take her to the yard and get a ride to the airport. It was raining hard. According to the locals it was right out of season, but welcomed. Tonight it is forecast to be torrential.

On arrival in LAX and expecting to spend a couple of hours exiting the terminal, we had booked a hotel room for the night. Choosing to fly back home tomorrow. To our surprise, we were through customs and picked up our bags by 6.30pm. The 9.40pm Air NZ flight this evening would have surely been possible? 

Stage 2 has been an amazing journey. We have seen so much diversity in scenery, culture and living standards within North America. Stage 3 is going to be even more spectacular on all fronts. While we are both really looking forward to spending some time at home, specially with family and friends, we are excited about the next Stage too.

It’s been satisfying seeing our readership growing from 30 odd ‘hits’ per day during Stage 1, now close to 150 per day during Stage 2. Thank you for that. You can take a break now after tomorrow, as we won’t write any more till returning to Loreto on the 30th December. One area we would both like to improve on is photography. Neither of us are very imaginative, so maybe we can take a course or do some reading on the subject? Jen doesn’t agree with me, but she needs a new camera. We’ll investigate that too.

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