San Pedro de Atacama a crossing into Chile high in the Andes 510 ks. Left the lovely square of Salta in the rain again to an area just 16ks away that was good dry gravel, no sign of rain, this was our mornings regularity. Wide level gravel, with some gullies, 2 x railway crossings, we started with 2 cars and a digger in front of us so it was a slow start to our average speed of 60k/p/h, and the odd horse on the road but we were 6seconds early in the end so not too bad. Really huge cati along this route.
Along to De Los Cobros, amazing lunar landscape, huge sand hills, tall cati with greener plants around the river and working railway. We rose to 4102m at Abra Blanca. At the time check at De Los Cobres there was a cash only fuel station the last fuel for some 300 ks. A huge flowering catus.
It took 3 goes to get out of this small towns and rally cars were going around in circles, but now we had 255ks, over the border at Passo de Sico to Chile 170ks on gravel reaching 4396 (photo) then 4575m 15,009'. Jim did v v well, sometimes in 1st gear, N did have to tweak his SU Carbs, left filters in for a while cos so dusty, but they had to come off, didn't change jetting it was really too dusty to get into that. Scenery around every bend was like nothing we have ever seen before, I hope some of the photos and go pro images give some flavour. In order to meet our times we did not go off to the salt lakes, others did and saw the flamingos there, we will have to visit another year. Dish of hills with the dry, or drying salt lakes and bright yellow tufty grass. Along this route there were small home/farm stead.
At Socaire, the time check village they had a lovely church and TEA!!! we got there just before our time of 16.40 perfect.
As we went further down it got hotter and dries, no vegetation to seen at times, passed the Tropic of Capricorn, windy, we saw donkeys with apparently nothing to eat, and 2 dogs in good condition on a journey to we know not where with apparently nothing to drink.
We got to our wonderful hotel Tierra Atacama at San Pedro de Atacama just before our time of 18.00. Jim had gone so well we did no work on him as tomorrow is a rest day. Sorted out laundry, hand washed a few things and had a lovely meal. Only 1/2 of us are at this hotel and there are several non rally folk, the meal was much less rowdy.
Thanks today to Dirk & Alexandra NL but living in Miami who should have been on the rally in a '58 Mercedes, but it didn't arrive, it was redirected due to a hurricane, so they are taking part in pick up, and they took some heavy tools and our clothing, and Colin & Brian, USA whose '29 Buick is out of the event and they are continuing in a hire car, they took our spare tyre, all in all we were a lot lighter for the high climbs. Many cars did have some issues of course, but I believe they and all the people made it OK
The hotel is at some 2,600 metres the coca tea here is good. All drinks on ERA. The last photo on the link is the view from our room here
Photos on:- https://sway.com/xBEhuXKUrxdqAuXa
Some links to you tube below (in edited as yet).
DAY 16 28.11.2016 Monday Salta Argentina to San Pedro de Atacama Chile 581kms 363mls O.P.=6 C.P.=1 M.S.=N/A
Fund Raising for Prostate Cancer Research
Aston Martin In Motion for Movember www.justgiving.com/Mary-Antcliff
Overall Position=O.P. Class Position=C.P. Team Position=T.P.