This morning we got up to prepare for a flight over the world famous Nazca lines. Picked up by a bus at 7:15 am then to the airport and a plane to take us up.
Very hard to see but a nice flight.
I’ll take more notice with my son Brooke, who has helped set up the website and posted all the daily reports, when we will hang out and explore in some more detail, the Peruvian treasures together. Thanks from us both Brooke.
At midday, the rally recommenced and our start was at 12:18 hours. A short day of 218 kms across the desert and some hills to our first Regularity at Rio Grande. Just a few miles out of the blocks we were asked by police to pull over. We did. He started to speak in Spanish of course which went completely over our heads. He was saying that we should have our headlights on and we didn’t. We advised that we will turn them on whilst he was saying that we would get a ticket for not having had them on. It would cost us 370 Sol’s. Quick as a flash Steve uttered some gibberish and reached for his wallet from his back pocket. Of course there was a minimal amount of money in it and he pleaded poor that there was only enough for a feed for us both. The cop smiled widely and asked us to move along.
A short Regularity was a 5.9 km event up a seldom used unkempt sealed public road. There were few problems but some bends on an incline. The average speed 60 kms per hour. We found the finish was not too distant from the beginning and we finished in 3 minutes 17 seconds, 17 seconds too slow! Still, better than over the one minute threshold which would have cost us maximum points. Good fun too as Denise was pushed along strongly.
Then on towards Paracas along a good straight two way road that carried the daily traffic of many lorries in both directions.
The desert winds were blowing quite well and as the trucks passed the vacuum created caused our car to pull into them and then back outwards when they had passed. Really difficult to drive. Then without notice a blowout on what seemed to be the front right wheel. After fighting this problem to maintain motion in a straight line on the road, before pulling to the side of the road the problem was in fact the right rear wheel which had blown due to a cut or rupture of the tyre. We were quick to make good and all went well when a lorry passed us and blew the boot lid back onto the car breaking the left hinge. Damn! A quick tie down with a stretchy cord secured the lid down for the rest of the journey. Good thing that the rally is nearly at an end. It’ll hold out for the next and final day into Lima. Due to this problem however, put us behind in time to meet our time control in Ica.
Pushing the car hard past the trucks that we had previously overtaken and hooting and gesturing to get others on the road to move over we drove through red lights (carefully) and got to the control on time to check out for the last leg of the journey. The organisers of the event know how long it should take to get to each control point in a particular time so in peak traffic you can be assured that the trip will not be an easy ride. Accordingly, we approached this section with aggression to ensure that we got in on time to the final stop. This required the same approach as the last leg with many toots and honks and getting through the lights at the last of moments before they changed colour.
You will be aware that Denise is a right side drive car so whilst driving on the right hand side of the road, the driver can’t see what’s on coming. He relies on the navigator to confirm safety in passing. But he needs the car to move over to the centre line to see if it’s clear to pass. A terse NO. Means don’t pass. And a GO, means just that. It works ok.
So we got in on time at a hotel resort set on the Pacific Ocean. Had a shower and will have a beer this afternoon. Believe it or not, the consumption of alcohol has been hampered by these establishments not having sufficient beer supplies on board. Ironically this has meant less intake even though we have not had a beer now for a day or two. Otherwise all is well and we will look forward to our last day tomorrow, a 260 km section. Buenas tardes.