Miles Today 0 Total 35,616
Our second day in La Serena was spent basically in hibernation. We went out for a walk and a bit of food, but we both basically slept most of the day, and caught up with the Dakar when we could. Coverage is better here in Chile, but still hard to decipher, so we have relied on the internet when we had the chance.
Saturday 18th January 2014
Miles Today 287 Total 35,903
We set off this morning, after a very disappointing breakfast. If I ever see another bit of ham and cheese on a toasted stale bun, it will be too soon. We were aiming for catching a spectator stage of the rally, but our first stop was petrol. Now I have followed rallying before, Colin McRae was my all time hero, and I spent a lot of time traipsing around Wales and Cheshire watching out for him, but this was unbelievable. On going into the petrol station, the trucks were there. There were hoards of locals, all hanging around, taking photo's of the vehicles, quads, bikes, cars and lorries, and then us, on our little old Wallace. Kids clamored round, asking to sit on the bike and have their photo taken and then taking ours with Wallace, it was quite surreal, but absolutely pulled you into the atmosphere.
|Clearly we were just tourists close up but the locals didn't care. They just loved it all.|
|Fill her up son!|
|You can see Susan waving, don't think it is a rude sign.|
|I'm taking the easy route home.|
|Our first stop to watch some of the competitors race past. Nani Roma, the eventual car winner.|
|This young guy was Austrian and sailed home in 12th place, well done.|
|It was weird following, and overtaking them on the main route.|
|The real star of the show.|
Having booked into our hostal, it was okay. It was a student residence normally, but apparently, here, certainly in Chile, this is the most expensive time to come. I don't know how it all works throughout the other South American countries, but here, it is now summertime, and as of mid December, the kids are on their summer holidays, which covers Christmas, but they are off until March. When they go back to school, they only get a couple of breaks throughout the rest of the year, all short, so we have effectively landed in Chile at a very expensive time of year, and found that most of the reasonable priced hotels, certainly by the sea, have been booked for ages. Again, we should have done more research, but hey all part of life's rich tapestry.Once we were settled in, we headed straight up town to the celebrations.
|The pose we do best.|
|We couldn't get close to him so this is Mark Coma on video receiving his trophy as winner of the bikes.|
|Sober Auzzies, not for long though I bet.|
We were completely taken in by it all and ended up going to bed about 2.30am. Great fun.
Sunday 19th January 2014
Miles Today 151 Total 36,054
Not quite so much fun this morning. Hostal Hard, honest that was it's name, excelled in the cheese and ham stakes, not. Coffee was good though. We are heading south now, we need to get down to the lake district in Patagonia and then Ray wants to sit and watch the glaciers fall into the sea. We have worked out that we have about 2000 more miles to do, bring it on.
|Looking down on Valparaiso.|
|The greenery started to appear.|
|My favorite kind of farming.|
We are currently in a small town called San Fernando and are leaving to somewhere South....