While up mountains at 5000m, it is unwise to make massive, life-changing plans. The lack of oxygen may well be affecting you. So if you decide suddenly to go on a round-the-world adventure on a 21yr old motorbike for a year or more, think Very Carefully.
The Saint from Darwin
We woke up to a loud knocking. An enormous neon-clad postman was struggling with a very heavy box. It had arrived!! We leapt around the room for a few minutes, singing. Then we realised there was a Frenchman asleep in the next room who possibly mightn't be quite as excited about the arrival of a second-hand gearbox, so we sat down quietly and opened it.
Adrian The Workshop-Saint rang about twenty minutes later to say the workshop was available, and within the hour Theo was driving us and a gearbox across town in his funky cow-painted van.
At the workshop the gearbox went on beautifully smoothly, excepting the sneaky ignition switch. It had decided it wasn't going to move from the old gearbox to the new one, so we persuaded it, with force. All seemed well and good, and we started on the shaft.
bit of a difference...
Its a bloody good job Adrain reappeared at this point, to help get the driveshaft sorted, because we weren't getting anywhere.
The bolt was stuck. Very stuck.
We tried most things. Adam and Adrian put on a good performance wrestling with it. Various wrenches and levers failed. Then Adrian barbecued it.
Adrian barbecuing a swing-arm
Despite the antics amusing the hell out of me, the boys didn't actually manage to get the bolt off, so had to reassemble it by persuading the very solid metal bevel drive to politely wrap itself without complaint around the back end of the driveshaft.
struggling with the driveshaft
From then on it was fairly plain sailing, and a few hours later there we were with the bike on the floor, ready for a test-drive. It was finished, all was well, and we grinned smugly at each other...
Then it leaked oil all over the workshop floor.
It was leaking out of that blasted ignition switch. Far from persuading it, we had actually just bashed it.
There was only one thing for it.
The whole gearbox was going to have to be taken off again...
I was a little upset.
Adrian arrived back, took a look and decided we could get at the ignition switch without removing it completely all over again. They got busy while I moped around in an irritating fashion.
They extracted the sheered switch, and Adrian gamely hunted down a fitting bolt from somewhere far away.
Many long hours later we finished off the last little bits and scrubbed down the workshop. It was 10pm and we were knackered, but it was done, and it worked. What's more, it worked well.
Adrian had saved our bacon several billion times, and he saved us again by lending us the den to sleep in for the night. We found a bottleshop, and celebrated.
And a final word: THANK YOU TO SAINT ADRIAN GUNTER OF DARWIN, AKA PODGE NT ON ADV!!
Without this man, we would be by the side of the road, in the sun, still trying to get the exhaust off.