Tuesday, April 10, 2007

More delays leaving Mexico City

Tuesday morning and the Greaseballers went off to Hard Rock cafe for a warm welcome by David Cardenas, the manager, and Vinicio. Unfortunately only 2 of the 4 cars made it down the road to the cafe. With Ole Yeller out of action at the repair shop, Grease Lightening also failed to start due to grease clogging the fuel lines! We piled into the van, the Slug and a taxi and negotiated traffic chaos to arrive half an hour late despite our best efforts to be on time. Waiting for us at Hard Rock were all the staff, Lawrence Harrington, the representative from the IADB country office, and MTV Mexico. David had ensured that the Hard Rock kitchen had saved up their grease for the last month in anticipation of our arrival. 50 gallons of juicy corn oil were awaiting us on the sidewalk. We refuelled the cars before enjoying a slap up breakfast of eggs, ham, frijoles, fruit and pastries, free T-shirts and photos with the Hard Rock crew.Back to the hotel, the Greasers regrouped and got the VW rabbit up and running again before splitting up into 2 groups: Team Zero and Grease Lightening with the film crew headed off to sunny Acapulco and as i type we are sitting in the Bosch garage in just outside Mexico City. Ole Yeller is now belching out white smoke rather than black (still not good) and the mechanics have been at work since 8am this morning. 3 days of repairs and the car still is not driveable. The fuel pump, despite working correctly outside the car when tested, is failing to deliver when reinstalled in the engine. Something is still wrong and the mechanics are scratching their heads trying to solve it. Meanwhile, we have solved the problem with Ben and Jacko's Mercedes - it has altitude sickness!!! The high altitude in Mexico City at 2,200 meters caused a loss of pressure in the automatic transmission. A minor adjustment and the car is now pulling like a shirehorse with its fresh stock of waste corn oil! The Bosch garage have been amazing and are our new friends. They have pulled two 12 hour days and have allowed us to make the garage our home. Nicky is filming, in the absense of the film crew, Theresa and I have commandeered Ismael's office to check email, and our bags are tucked in a corner of the garage. We are two days behind schedule with half the group now accelerating down the Pacific Coast 400 miles ahead. We are all exhausted and in need of a lucky break. As night fell once again, the mechanics shut up shop with Old Yeller still grumpily chugging out vast quantities of noxious smoke. We getting to the point where we are wondering whether we'll have to leave the car behind. :( Off to a local motel for the night and some fast food tacos, who knows what tomorrow holds.

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