Day 22 – Santiago to Termas de Chillan

 

Today began like all other days, 600 plus kilometers to the destination, two Tests and whatever else we might encounter along the way. We tried leaving early to make sure we were on time for the first Test but apparently not early enough. Since it was still 1 ½ hours before first light when we departed, we experienced some unanticipated challenges. First, there were the people walking to work or the bus stop in the dark wearing dark clothing and walking in the same direction as traffic. I guess that was a pretty equal arrangement – we couldn’t see them walking and they couldn’t see us coming. Daylight came around 7:30, just in time for all the children to be on their way to school. They were joined by adults on their way to work – all of the apparently trusting that cars would not hit them. On a more positive note, they would all wave and seemed happy to see these weird old cars trying to make their way through the crowds.

Waiting for the bus …

 

Our next problem was road construction. Apparently, they just stop traffic in one direction for about 10 minutes at a time without regard to whether there is traffic queued. This makes for what seems like interminable waits when you are in a hurry.

 

 

Large numbers of children, all nicely dressed, on their way to school – good to see …

 

The Tests:

The first Test was a Regularity / Jogularity Test of the type they do in Europe and the UK. The point of these exercises is to arrive at a certain spot at exactly the right moment based on a calculated average speed – the problem is, you don’t know where the timing spot is located. Confused? Yep, me too. This Test involved an uphill climb with 16 hairpin switchback turns and Lloyd did an excellent job negotiating the route – it was a wild and fun ride from my seat. There was no time for pictures but his time was excellent.

The second Test had to be canceled as it was discovered the route went through a small village with a school right on the road. Better safe than sorry. Of course, it was on gavel and this was what it looked like as we just drove the road – that is dust in the air (as it is everywhere) that distorts the picture.

 

Lloyd thought we were perhaps experiencing an overheating problem with the engine so we stopped to check things out (“we” stopped and Lloyd checked). He finally came to the conclusion that the temperature gauge was lying and all was well – good news.

 

The afternoon was spent in more pleasant and softer surroundings – farm land with real corn growing this late in their summer.

 

Our destination tonight is located in what must be a spa and skiing resort area. The mountains have vegetation- a nice change from the raw rock we have become accustomed to.

 

Oh, there was plenty of rock also but then, people have to ski down something in winter.

 

All sorts of little restaurants and social gathering places (bars) on the way in – just like what you would expect from any modern ski area anywhere in the world.

 

Just for the record, the name of our hotel should any of you want to visit …

 

The pools and mountainside right out the back of the hotel – very nice…

 

Apres ski anyone? What a beautiful fireplace and sitting area. Sorry we are here for only one night.

 

News from Pit Lane:

Steve Hyde (# 25) and his Mercedes are back in operation – he passed us waiting for a construction site to open in the oncoming lane and went right to the front of the line – very creative Steve (he didn’t want to be late) – Steve was last seen this evening re-torqueing his new cylinder head – good idea;

Mark Buchannan (#22) in his ’67 Mustang is still experiencing multiple problems which range from front wheel bearings to clutch adjustment to rear end fluid levels but he continues to soldier on – hang in there Mark!

The Outlook:

Tomorrow is another long day – 550 kilometers and two Tests, fortunately both are short.

Our Yellowbrick is recharged and back in operation if anyone is following us on the Results page at www.hhclassicrallies.com.

Not bragging and really don’t want to bring on bad luck but we are still tied for 1st place overall (just in case you were wondering).

Got to get some sleep …

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3 Responses to Day 22 – Santiago to Termas de Chillan

  1. John Layzell says:

    Continue to enjoy your news from the pit lane. I owned, and loved, a 1967 Ford Mustang for 25 years, but cannot imagine taking it on a trip like yours. Mark obviously already knows this, but if it starts to overheat, turn the heater on! Is this tougher than P2P?

  2. Tom Fergus says:

    Chuck, thanks so much for these daily updates. It’s a personal tour of these places with color commentary you would never get on the travel channel. Loving it!

  3. Jim Hope says:

    Enjoying your updates. First thing I do when I get to work. It will be interesting to hear if you run in to any celebrations about the new Pope when you get back in to Argentina.

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