For those of you who anxiously waited for the continuation of the last blog-entry:
The Little Boat did not sink. In fact, the leak it sprung was a diesel-filter-seal-rupture and it was fixed for the “outrageous” price of U$ 8.= by the Isuzu-dealer.
As for the wedding of Harry and Meghan, we promised them not to tell, so you´ll just have to wait and see.
So, we merrily continued on our journey through the north of Thailand, which brought us closer and closer to the next destination: Laos. But before we got there, there were a few hurdles to jump.
It is the highest mountain in Thailand and there is a road that goes all the way to the top. And, this top is at 2,565 meters above sea-level. OK, for a couple that lived in Bolivia this is a mere speed-bump, a small one at that, but for our Little Boat it was the fist test of worthiness. After all, how could we even attempt to cross the Karakorum Highway (4800 meters) if we would not be able to get to the top of this pimple on mother earth´s face.
There was a second reason for this attempt: Glow-plugs. Our Little Boat was build in Thailand and, according to tradition, anything that is not absolutely necessary for the truck´s primary function (moving stuff from point A to point B) is omitted. (Omitted is a fancy word for “not fitted”). Therefor, among other things, it did not have a heater and it did not have glow-plugs. And since our planned journey would bring us to places that are less tropical than Thailand´s 35 degrees in summer and winter, we needed to test the cold-start of our Little Boat.
Cold and High
We climbed and climbed, mostly in second gear, but sometimes even in first, hairpin after hairpin while I kept one eye on the temperature-gauge. After all, dragging 4.5 tons uphill for an hour at a pace of 10 Km/H does not provide a lot of cooling for our pounding 4 cylinder diesel, but the needle did not move a millimeter past it´s normal position.
At the ranger headquarters we found a nice camping-spot, not to far below the summit and we decided to call it a day. We were told that this morning at had been 2 degrees Celsius, so a good place to test our cold start.
More people arrived, on motorbikes and cars, but a lot of them decided to leave after the sun disappeared and the temperature started to drop. Even we walked around in our down- jackets.
The next morning at 5:00 we got up and walked to the National Park sign that was equiped with a thermometer. “3 degrees” it showed, so after making the obligated photo, we rushed back to the Little Boat and pressed the starting button: It started right away, just as easy as always.
With a satisfied smile on my face I crawled back into my still warm bed. Tip did the same.
Our Little Boat was ready. Well, concerning cold starts and high climbs that is.