We’ve been to so many hotels that I forget where we’ve last stayed and what it’s like.
It was a good accommodation in that Steve and I both had our own rooms. This overcomes the snoring problem we both apparently have.
Today’s program includes 453kms of paved and rough gravel roads. Steve has seen that there is excess oil coming out through the oil breather filter and is concerned that there may be a problem, but he says that so long as he knows where it’s coming from and can be controlled, it’s ok. We’re not loosing oil from anywhere else.
The first Regularity is 38kms from the hotel and the last few kms are ROUGH.
The average speed that we are to achieve is 60kms per hour.
We are positive about making good with these tests so we really want to redeem ourselves.
On the drop of the flag, Steve gets Denise under way with the intention to get ahead of the time quickly so pushes her hard, but caring and she responds. This is a public road, not closed to other traffic so we are aware of other road users. The road is narrow and winding, making it really interesting with a few tail shakes and much gravel throwing up from the rear wheels.
We’re going great guns, then up front a ute is stuck across the road blocking our progress!
He’s stuck with his rear wheels in the drain at the side of the road. We had to almost stop and the damage regarding good regulation time had evaporated.
We passed this ute by forcing our way through in the drain on the other side of the road and then just pushed on like a bat out of hell. Great fun but our chances were eliminated.
The rest of the road for 18kms was rough. Then another 39kms on seal into our time control at Malipueco.
What a welcome! The entire town had hundreds of people turn out to greet us blocking off the main road with Chilean traditional dancing and music blaring in the street. Fabulous!
The reception and us photographed with the Mayor of the town
We checked in and moved on to some more bone shaking gravel roads that took us to a national park in which we could drive around an active volcano.
The active volcano and the lava rocks along the way
These roads were almost only 4 wheel drive roads and although the area was fascinating it was rough and dusty. Hot too as the temperature had gotten up to about 40 degrees C.
Driving past small lakes and magnificent ancient forests.
More lava rock, the volcano and the formed lakes one with petrified tree stems
Then onto another time control , check in and 170kms to our next Regularity test. Long roads and dirty gravel roads. Better than not but rough.
This Regularity was again one to get under control and commenced with aggression.
Full foot down all the way from the start on a fantastically narrow, winding hilly road with loose deep stones surface, slipping and sliding across the track. Neat driving almost loosing it on many of the corners. Great ride as fast as was possible whilst staying upright.
With all the will, we were still 11 seconds too slow!!! We couldn’t go any faster. Disappointing.
We carry on then to our final day time control in Conception within the given time schedule. As we get closer to the city the traffic intensifies and things grind to a crawl. Tensions rise and with the clock ticking we make the time control with two minutes to spare. Whew. Great to be back and stopped for a while.
A 634km run tomorrow to Vina Del Mar. good spot apparently.