Of all of our gear, including the bicycles, the electronics have fared the worst.
Our Canon S100 camera died. We received a well known “lens error” message. Canon recalled our camera model number and subsequently “fixed” the issue on later production models. The problem was so widespread that regardless of the camera’s warranty state, Canon would correct the problem.
Unfortunately, we have one of the “fixed” later production models and our serial number falls outside of the recall range. A web search revealed there are many unhappy owners of later production run “fixed” lens issue models.
For a product to fail outside of the warranty period is extremely frustrating but even more infuriating is to own an expensive product that has such a short useful life. The camera is just under two years old. The manufacturer’s warranty ran out after one year but we hope to claim the extended warranty benefit through our credit card company.
To complicate matters, since our camera was purchased in the USA, we need to send it to a US repair center. However, Canon USA will not accept packages shipped from outside of the USA. Therefore, we had to send the camera back to the USA from Ecuador via courier and have my parents forward it to Canon. It reminds me of an encounter while cycling through Russia. I was unable to buy a loaf of bread in front of me because it was the “bread for sale tomorrow, not today.”
Hopefully we can find a suitable replacement camera in the near future (and most likely not a Canon camera). We each see the world a bit differently. With each of us carrying a camera we are able to capture perspectives of the world the other may not see. Sharing those unique views is part of the fun of traveling together.
In addition to a dead camera, we now have a dead laptop. Sarah’s Macbook Air had a hard drive failure which required a detour to a repair center in Guatemala City in February. Less than five months later and we have the same problem and a MacBook Air brick on our hands and unwelcome ballast in our panniers.
For hours this morning, I found myself chatting online with AppleCare attempting to revive the dead Mac remotely. At one point, the response from Apple in the chat box was “Oh man, this is bad.”
The closest Apple authorized service center is in Lima, Peru. This is at the opposite end of the country, 1400 km (870 miles), from where we are now. We were not planning to go to Lima, but now it gives me the opportunity to catch up with a classmate from business school.
Perhaps we can work up a Harvard Business School-like case study on why this Macbook Air is turning out to be anything but an “Insanely Great” Apple product.
Four wheels rolled into San Igancio and six rolled out. Since we were all heading in the same general direction it made sense to ride together.
It was lucky that we ran into Leah yesterday and decided to stay for the night. We rode into town in heavy rains. Unbeknownst to us, the road ahead was about 30 km (~20 miles) of dirt and mud, under construction.
When we left today after a hearty lunch, the road was muddy but yesterday after the downpours, it would have been an absolute quagmire.
Like Colombia and Ecuador, the scenery continued to be impressive. It became lush and tropical as we descended into a river valley.
Rice was the predominant crop in the valley and we passed terraced fields in various stages of planting and harvest. My heart also skipped a beat at the sight of coconut trees which meant we would be having agua de coco (coconut water) soon.
The road alternated between patches of dirt and mud, hard pack gravel and asphalt. The deviant streak surfaced in both of the ladies when Leah spied a patch of freshly poured concrete at the end of a construction zone. With no adults around to deter them, they left their mark for posterity.
We found as close to a perfect campsite that could be asked for beside the river. With the sunset highlighting the mountains for the evenings entertainment, we setup camp and cooked dinner.
A moonless night and little, if any light pollution gave us the opportunity to star gaze. We were able to find the red light of Antares, the heart of the constellation of Scorpio. Mars and Saturn glowed intensely and not to far away we were able to identify the Southern Cross.
Goodnight Milky Way.