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Rally Live: Grand Prix of South America, Day 8

Rally Live: Grand Prix of South America, Day 8

Uyuni to Huatajata

Following in the footsteps of the 2016 Dakar Rally, we left Uyuni on a chilly but bright morning. The road snaked before us, continuing to demonstrate to us the breathtaking scenery. As we wound around the largely deserted countryside on fast but flowing roads, we found plenty of overtaking opportunities as we rattled past ancient Toyota HiAces and rusty pickup trucks, often overladen with boxes, bales or even people. By now, we are used to seeing wils lamas but there was some excitement as wild ostrich were spotted. Not any easy feat as nature has coloured them to blend with the scenery.
Anyone For A Chilled Drink? Locally Made!! Would You Risk The Consequences?
We climbed to just over 4000 metres today, and believe me, that’s high. Most participants seem to be coping with the altitude with reports of only shortness of breath, headaches and a little dizziness. We can always have a few puffs on the bottles of supplied oxygen and Dr George and paramedic JJ are on hand if required.
Happily we sped through La Paz, stopping only for traffic lights and tolls. Interesting how many participants managed to go the wrong way up the one way street….signage not a Bolivian strong suit. No damage done we progressed through the dusty streets with most buildings being a mix of red/orange brick and shiny corrugated steel sheets, we didn’t feel like lingering. Traffic was not good, and there was sometimes a queue at the tolls. However on the upside, and there is usually an upside, we did have time to admire the small, impromptu and colourful markets, mainly selling fruit and local produce. Plus ladies selling tubes of juice and bunches of flowers at the roadside.
Participants were scheduled to undertake a short gravel test of only 4km today, but as the 24 hour car (that’s the car that runs one day in front of the participants to check that the roads are all good), became stuck in the gravel, the organisers decided on a little reroute and kept to the tarmac. Good call. All amendments are notified to participants via WhatsApp and the organisers are to hand to make any clarifications.

That’s What We Call A Road Book Amendment

Let’s have a quick results catch up and breaking news on classes. Classes first… there are now two official classes: one for cars manufactured pre 1950 and those post 1950 to 1973. We have an unofficial class which some wag has named the Hertz Hire Challenge. This class is open to any participant who has had to leave their gorgeous vintage car due to overwhelming mechanical issues, but, who rightly so, wants to continue the adventure. We’ll keep you posted.
And finally, on arrival at our wonderfully appointed hotel on the shore of Lake Tittikakka, we find a replica boat of the Tigris which had an 11 man international crew who sailed between 6,800km (not as far as we are driving), in 1978. And yes, it’s made of reeds.