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Published: March 19th 2012
Inspecting the correct VIN numbers
Here we are all safe and sound in Belen, Argentina.
Considering the boat only berthed on Sunday, then the container transported on Monday, and we were driving North by Tuesday afternoon, was a great achievement, by all the people involved on our behalf, especially by Gerardo.
We made a run for Tongoy, arriving around 10.30 pm.
The next day was another big drive up Copiapo, but by doing that, we were back onto our original schedule.
We left Copiapo at 8.00 am and got into Tinogasta at 7.30pm. This was a big day for us and the cars, we topped 4747 metres, with the Absolums, little Citrenetta gasping for every bit of thin air that was available, but with love and kind words from Paul, managed to crawl over the summit. See photo.
We are all just having a ball, I will leave Raewyn to extrapolate over that past few days.
The day the little cars were released from captivity was the real 'start' of the adventure for us all - even though I succumbed to a tummy bug that morning, and was very grateful for a late check out from the
The dash up the coast to Tongoy (3rd time for the 380km trip) took us into the darkness, but we were very glad to see the little fishing village that we nearly call home. Fell into bed for a few hours, then set off from Tongoy to Copiapo, another long day in hot conditions. We detoured around an obvious truck fatality on one stretch of road, but the little 2CV's took their own detour from a long line of huge trucks and bumped our way back onto the highway again.
Melean and I solved the problem of burning hot feet in the car, by soaking our socks in cold water before departure - heaven for an hour before the socks dried out completely!
Now we were back on schedule again and the next challenge was the Paso San Francisco. Leaving Chile was a breeze, the interest generated by the little cars made the paperwork relatively easy. We had our packed lunch by Lagunda Verde before the summit, and although the lake level was well down on previous years, still a spectacular sight. The obligatory photos at the summit were hurriedly taken and we pressed on towards
Another gas stop.
We get huge interest when we stop for gas
the Argentinian border.
Only took 45 minutes (I think we were the entertainment for the day). On our descent, we noticed black clouds looming over the mountain peaks, soon to become a lightning storm - our path was right through the middle! Once past the rain and lightning, we were surrounded by snow flurries and slushy road for some kilometres. Thanks to our weather guru Paul for the diversity!
String and Petal - please note that Bear came in very handy for stuffing (sorry Bear) into the air vent during the snowy bit...... He appears to be enjoying the ride!
The big concern for the day was our petrol consumption - each car carried an extra 20 litres which we had emptied into the Citroens before the Argentinian side of the border, so we had a fair way to go before the next (possible) gas stop in Fiambala. Paul and Melean reckoned they would run out well before then, so we tailed them all the way ready to syphon some from our car which was getting used to Argentine driving tactics by Rosco to conserve fuel......We were pretty pleased to see the gas station in Fiambala, where
Refuelling the thirsty one
High altitude sucks the gas
we all topped up - Paul put in 25.1 litres! (capacity of a 2CV is 25 litres) go figure! Final leg to Tinogasta on full tanks, with no stress!
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