Morning sunrise and hotel surrounds
Today we cross the border from Argentina into Chile for the first time. It’s a relatively short route of approx 400kms.
Our overall positions have changed. We are now placed 24 due to some bad Regularity results yesterday.
Our starting order has changed also to 27 minutes after official start time.
We’ve not got the hang of the regularity at all. We’ll try and do better today.
We leave Llao Llao and the beautiful hotel to Paso Del Corona on a sealed highway then onto very, very rough gravel roads to start today’s only Regularity.
There has been an amendment to the route today which cuts out a scenic section, due to the increase of tourist use of the road past a lookout post which could endanger both tourists and competitors.
We get to the Regularity at Passo Del Córdoba ready to roll.
We’ve passed a few cars already to start the Regularity before them but this does not give us any point benefits. The lake and mountain scenery is breathtaking but we need eyes on the road as the course is an open public road.
The average required speed for this run is 40kms per hour which should have given a clue for what was to come as we set off at starters orders. It’s suddenly become a steep winding rough corrugated road and before long realised our power disadvantages. Then a public motorcar appeared going in the same direction and we couldn’t pass due to the road configuration and dust limiting vision. When we did get past we had caught up to a previous starter who had stopped in the middle of the road for unknown reasons. It was then just too much for us to catch up any way of averaging 40kms so we just gave it our all and went as fast as we could. A bad run again finishing astride the line somewhere 1 minute 40 seconds slower than the course set time. Damn!
So, we continued for the next 40 or so kms to the final MTC for the day at San Martin De Las Andes, a placid lake township akin to Queenstown in NZ, for lunch. A really neat little place that looked like it had only been built about 20 years ago it was so neat and tidy. Lots of tourists, green and spring wild flowers everywhere. It was abuzz.
Lakeside at San Martin De Las Andes and general scenery in Argentina en route to Chile
We were a free of competition now and are to make our way towards the Argentina/Chile border about 110 kms away the last part of it gravel. You’d never think that you were to come to an international border post here.
Parking where directed we headed inside to do the paperwork on the Argentina side very quickly then over no-man’s-land onto the Chilean side to immigration, customs and bag checking for fruit etc. No issues, just time standing in lines.
84 more kms on Tarmac roads to our accommodation Vallarica Lake Park Hotel. A serene spot on lakeside similar to what you would find at lake Taupo, NZ.
A tiring day for what was achieved but Denise didn’t falter so we just locked her up and checked into the hotel, had a few drinks, had dinner and, bed.