Day 13 – San Juan to La Rioja

Our first track event was at the Autodrome El Zonda, just 14 kms out of San Juan.
It was a long racetrack and had a good road surface.
Of course Denise is not built for this but she gave it a damn good shot. Compared to the others we didn’t make the grade, but a great ride.
Boy was it hot today!
Clear blue skies over country that is just so vast in size and in geographic character that it’s hard to imagine just how it can be governed from a capital city.
Desert, mountains volcanic upheavals and recent earthquake rubble, in uninhabited areas of course.

The people when you do see some on this route are so poor, living in mud huts and growing what will grow for subsistence.
Yet the roads, some dual carriage ways are empty of vehicles. Why they were built? Military? Maybe.
It’s because of this that a Regularity was held on a piece of mountain highway overpass in the Lunar Valley that was obviously very seldom used and was a neat place for this event. The average speed was 70 kms and it was a perfect challenge speed. Denise did so well.
The temperature would have been an arid 38-40 degrees c.
She (Denise) started a little hot but soon cooled and purred up and around this spectacular price of highway.
The navigator shouted out the numbers and Steve did his best to respond. It worked well for once. At the finish line we were just 5 seconds slow. But it’s the best we’ve done for a while.
Great stuff!

We headed off to a gravel road some 14 kms from the track and this was a nasty 16 kms of gravel road that was punctuated with many really rough dips created by water courses during the rains.
This was Denise territory and she loved it. Scalped a lot of cars and left them far behind.
No points in this but it was just natural for her to romp all the way to the Tarmac.
Then on through some eerily spectacular countryside that shows how Mother Nature rules.

On to what turns out to be hundreds of kms that takes hours to traverse through desert flat-lands, hot with just nothing but a great road and desert plants, roads as far as one can see and you get there, more of the same; then to our second track event 5 kms from our hotel for the night.
This is good fun. Our times will never meet the set track time but twice around a sealed surface track as fast as you can go is neat.
Then onto our diggs. A little town called La Rioja set in the middle of nowhere. It’s good. Rooms good with aircon. Need aircon. So hot outside.
Denise performed so well. Other than park up, we just locked her up and walked to our rooms, she’s set to go in the morning.

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