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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Bug Hunt

Well, the bug hunt is on. After looking over the many choices in transportation and taking stock of our meager budget- it was decided that the only car that could come remotely close to being decent transportation, for under $5000 was a VW Beetle (or "Fusca" in South America). Remember that cars are expensive and a luxury, here and used cars command a premium price. A used car selling for $2000 in the States would go for $4000-$5000 here.

So a budget of $5000 does not give you a broad range to choose from.

While traveling to Montevideo (where a good number of cars are for sale) we came upon this beautiful artful metal door (pictured above). Since Denise loves taking pics of architectural details, I couldn't help including this.

A little later we heard a strange whistling sound and came upon this afiladora de cuchillos (knife sharpener). They go about the town on their bicycles, with the sharpening stones mounted on the back. The whistle that they blow alerts householders that an afiladora is nearby and they bring out their knives, get a price and he sharpens them on the spot.

After settling on a Fusca, now comes the hard part. Finding one that is not a total shell, that would need to be entirely rebuilt. The first one that I looked at, was an '80 (1300) that actually looked pretty good. The body was straight, and the engine ran well. But it would have to be painted and the interior replaced, and with the age of the car- probably the engine as well. Having spent a year renovating the house (and still not finished), we wanted to look for a car that did not need such extensive work. I next saw an '87 with low mileage for $3300, but I suspected crash damage that had been repaired (the passenger side door had been re-attached and many of the body parts didn't fit well).

We have settled on this little '87 (1600) that was recently repainted. It is supposed to have 35K miles only, but I suspect it has more. Still it looks very nice and you will notice the "Krispy Kreme" sticker in the back (given to the owner by his friend who lived in the US). However, I still have one car to look at. Tomorrow I will go up to Maldonado and look at another '87 that is supposed to be impeccable. We will see. It is a good deal more that the Krispy Kreme, but if it is as clean as the ad says, it might be worth it.

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