This could have been a bone-chilling story starting with: ‘It was getting dark, the road was empty and no car has passed us for the last few dozen kilometres. It was getting noticeably colder since we were entering the mountains and the only thing spoiling the mood was a flashing little icon commonly referred to as reserve’.
When we planned our trip through Argentina, we checked how does the petrol stations availability situation looks like and we came to a conclusion that there’s no way we can run out of petrol since they are situated so close to each other. But we did.
We were leaving Laguna Blanca park when we decided that we should fuel up since there’s 200 km ahead of us. So we drove to the closest city that goes by the name Zapala in order to fill our tank. We drive to the station but the guy there tells us that they’ve ran out of petrol. Ok, we’ll check the next one. But he says that no station in town has any petrol – there was some kind of breakdown. Great. We still have some petrol in the tank but we won’t make 170 km on it. We drive along and ask a policeman speaking with the lorry driver if we’ll make it to our destination with the petrol we have. They look at the icons in our car and say that it should be alright as we still have 10 more litres of reserve and suggest that we go. So we go.
Neither them nor us realise that the reserve icon will turn on just 40 km later… Now we’re sure that the fuel won’t last for the next 130 km. Everyone we meet on the way says that the next petrol station is in the city we’re going to. Well, we start thinking about setting up our tent, getting some food, bringing help, we decide who will stay in the car, who will look for petrol, where Amelka will sleep etc.
It’s already getting dark since it’s almost 7 pm. And suddenly, we see a school. It’s open and there’s a bunch of cars in front of it. We wonder if they will give us like 10 litres of petrol. Kuba gets in. It quickly turns out that they have no gas, but they bring good news: there’s a petrol station 60 km from here, in a tiny town of Las Coloradas and it should be open. There’s just one problem – a sandy road leads to it and if we stop, there will be no one to help us and there’s no GSM network of course. Damn. But we have no choice. We have to give it a shot.
We’re driving and counting every kilometre. It’s true, there’s no people or houses around here. No cars pass us either. If the car dies here, it won’t be good. But we keep on going. I sometimes get the feeling that the car weakens and I won’t make it through the next pothole.
10, 20, 30, 40, 50 kilometres. Last 10 is the worst but we guess that we could walk such distance quite quickly if we had to. And anyway, we should make it 5,4,3,2, kilometres…
Finally, we enter the city. We ask the first person we meet where the station is. We find it, stop and… It’s open and it has the right petrol for us! Wow. So much joy. Such relief.
Yes… That’s the end of the story. Fortunately it won’t work for a horror movie screenplay. We’re very thankful to the ladies at the station in Las Coloradas. We have a picture for you if you ever find yourself looking for petrol around here :).
P.s. Our canister which have been quietly lying in our trunk knows that now, it’s the most important piece of equipment :)