Mario wanted to make sure I’m packed up before staff arrive, so I’m up at 6am, and the tent packed down long before the sun is up.
Next, get the bike working. My first guess is the starter isn’t working properly. The bike has power (11.7 V), but won’t turn over enough for the engine to catch. I remove the starter, and something doesn’t feel right. I had just put a new starter in the bike back in July, so I get in touch with Rebecca on Skype to go grab the old one in the garage so I can compare. I’m right… the old one spins freely, while this one is VERY tight.
I spend the next little while tearing into the starter trying to clean it up, grease it up, and get is spinning. In the end I’d say I have it 80%. I put it back in the bike, and in still not enough to turn the motor over.
Now there are lots of staff milling around, and all very interested in the bike and the trip. We try to push start the bike, but without an incline, and being on sand and gravel, we can’t get the rear tire to crank the engine.
We even try jump starting the bike from a local pickup truck. Still nothing, and it’s getting close to noon!
I’ve now manage to get Rick from Dualsport Plus on the phone back in Canada via a very unstable Skype connection. He is suspecting that the battery is also part of the problem.
Out of ideas and options, it’s time to get the bike to a mechanic shop. They send out a pickup truck for the bike, but it’s pretty obvious they’ve never dealt with a bike this size. With a lot of people and effort we get the beast up into the bed of the pickup, and come up with a reasonable, though not perfect, strapping solution to get it into town through some very bumpy, winding, and steep roads… I’m talking 45 degree slopes on cobblestones!
Once at the shop they trickle charge the battery, check a few electrical connections, and 2 hours later I hear the wonderful sound of a BMW idling. The guys at the shop love the bike and all the crazy stuff that has been added to it. We take some photos and I’m off to thank everyone back at the garden and say goodbye.
This time, though, Mario has set me up with Cinthia’s B&B. This is more like a Spanish Mansion than a B&B, and because it’s not quite open I have the place to myself, except for Lole who is the gardener, maintenance, construction, and renovation guy. From camping in a botanical garden to staying in a grand Casa. Things seem to be working out…