Cuenca, Ecuador – A workshop―just in case

Christmas will be soon, and since Arminius served us loyally during the past year, he earned a Christmas present as well. He receives an improvement, which mainly serves a practical purpose: We’ll get a stack. Long time we thought about it and finally decided to get it done. According to other travellers’ reports and own observations it might be problematic to start the cold engine in the morning with very low temperatures of -20°C / -4°F and in extreme altitudes of above 5,000 m / 16,000 ft. First and foremost the lack of oxygen together with the temperature is more of a problem than just the temperature or the altitude. To not have to torture the engine constantly with starter spray people tend to let the engine run overnight in these exceptional cases. Since it is impossible to bolt all windows tightly without suffocating always a part of the exhaust fumes enters the cabin. Although carbon monoxide is heavier than air and sinks to the ground we take exception to the exhaust emissions. We hope to minimize the problem with a stack.

The exhaust workshop in Cuenca doesn’t have all the materials we have in mind, but we agree with the price and the work seems to be decent. Since stainless pipe wasn’t available with the requested diameter we have to paint the steel tube now. We get the stovepipe paint from Mario. Mario is painter from Germany and together with his Austrian wife Lissi self-employed in Cuenca. The body repair and paint shop is situated on Paco’s ground, owner of a motor vehicle workshop. Paco studied in Germany and together with his wife Sonia he runs the company following the example set by German workshops.

Here we want to carry out the due oil change. But of course any other technical problem can be rectified by Paco. Additionally, the four are explicitly nice and helpful. We might camp for free on the company’s parking lot above the Basilica. There is a bathroom, water, and even electricity if required. And chance would have it that we meet Jo and Ray (the Dutch from Germany), our former travel companions from Colombia. They have arrived yesterday evening half an hour before us. Although they gave us the tip with the workshop, we couldn’t know that we will accidentally meet here.

Servicio Automotriz, Cuenca: S 02°53’06.5’’ W 79°00’32.7’’, Calle Humboldt 2-42, behind the Basilica
Mechanics: Paco and Sonia: Tel. 07-2848093, Mob. 09-9675942, e-mail:
Bodywork: Mario and Lissi
: Tel. 07-2833108, Mob. 09-9054234, website:, e-mail: (better call, they don’t check their e-mails regularly)

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