Day 20 – Villa Union to Mendoza


As the song goes, “On the road again …” – this time before dawn. An early start does have some advantages besides making sure you are on time for each control. The primary benefit is seeing the sunrise, especially here in the mountains. Today we have some 635 kilometers to travel and two Tests, not to mention our daily ration of dirt and dust.

But when you see something like this with the sun just starting to light the mountains, it is all worthwhile.


Even the clouds (we have seen very few as I’m sure it rarely rains this time of year in this area) add to the spectacle.


Just as a reminder, these are really rugged mountains …


Tight curves, narrow roads and a little speed insures everyone uses all of the pavement, especially in the corners …


More nothing which we have become accustomed to, however, what might appear as a little haze is actually dust hanging in the air – I can’t imagine breathing this every day …


The Austin marches on – never quickly but ever onward. This car was built in 1923, is always there for all the Tests and arrives at the destination each day – well done Ralf and Kurt.


We stopped for gas (imagine that, us stopping for anything) and were joined but several other participants who had similar needs.

This BMW 2800 CS was never really cut out for this duty but it has kept up each day. Roger and Maggie had cooling problems with the car but came up with a novel fix – keep the hood slightly ajar – good one!


Mark and Yvonne had trouble with their S Type Jaguar early on but got it straightened out, caught up with the rally and have stayed right with us ever since – great job guys!


Chris and Mark in their 1928 Ford Model A are always present at every challenge. It is not easy driving all day in one of these cars trying to stay up with much newer vehicles which operate at much higher speeds. They start before dawn almost every day.


What is this, a new entrant? This truck pulled into the fuel station loaded with vegetables and looking for a number to put on his door – go figure, a vintage vegetable truck …


The gathering of the cars before a Test – this one some 52 kilometers long – fortunately, it was over a paved road.


Very sad to see but it is everywhere here, piles of trash just left by the side of the road. None of this mess was ours.


Long straight roads left time for a quick picture even on a Test …


But the road was not always straight … Lloyd and the trusty Caddy tamed them all – great job and an excellent time on the Test.


Back to the mountains and open spaces – they are never ending and leave little to talk about.


Well, every once in a while we do get the chance to drive on dirt and generate the dust we all love so much. This road had the added benefit of being quite narrow and without guard rails. Imagine meeting an eighteen wheeler coming the other way – someone has to back up and you can bet it will not be the truck. Fortunately it was Sunday and we saw very little truck activity today.


It must rain sometime as that is snow atop this mountain …


Just love the snow on the mountain peaks – a nice change in the landscape – it’s hard to separate the clouds from the snow …


Liz Wenman getting ready to start the cars on the second Test of the day – this one very short (only 3 km) and on dirt, of course with some tricky turns. Again, Lloyd did an excellent job negotiating the Test.


What is this, a bike race out in the middle of nowhere?


This must be the Peloton – these guys were serious and really moving along. Good thing the temperature was only in the 90’s (F).


The color in the mountains makes for spectacular photos …


And for the readers who are interested in the industrial side of these countries, this is a major refinery just outside Mendoza.


We are staying at an Intercontinental Hotel in Mendoza, always a great choice. Better yet, we are going out to dinner at an Argentinian steak house – can’t wait! And the best news is we have tomorrow off – hard to remember what it’s like not having to race off to somewhere else every day.

A quick recap of the rally to date: 29 cars were at the start, 6 have retired, 5 are now touring (no tests and shorter, better roads) leaving 18 still rallying although a couple of them take a day off every now and then and join the touring group. You can check the current results at the organization website

One last comment for the day – we are having a great time!!!

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One Response to Day 20 – Villa Union to Mendoza

  1. John Layzell says:

    Again, many thanks for keeping us armchair wannabee ralliers up to date. Wish there was a little more info on some of the challenges the cars are encountering, only as a preamble to how they are resolving their challenges. Like the open bonnet/hood of the overheating BMW. Good stuff!

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