Sunday, 3 March 2013

Arequipa to Arica with Border Crossing Today

Stage 13 today and the hire Corolla is going well after yesterday 'private members only' off roading expedition..

Apparently Arequipa is another Heritage Site and some crews were taking taxis around town for a quick peek..

I hear that a crew or two went off for a quick pray and a blessing in the Monastery.
Didn't see all the Orgs this morn at brekkers so just wondering if the some of the Organisation went off for a quick 'confession' this morn. I don't think 3 hail Mary's and an Our Father will let them off this hook!

Our 7.30am start ended up being an 8.30am one lol
5 mins from the Hotel we ground to a halt for a rather splendid photo shoot.
Wow a snow capped live volcano..

We were on a mission today and the Chilean Border was a calling.

A quick hire car exchange has been arranged at the border. We were all hoping that the hours that we had spent sipping Coca leaf tea (in between oxygen whiffs) along with other members of Le 'Splinter' group in the simply stunning surroundings of Hotel Monastario (sorry to keep on about it but if any Rally Organisations or any peeps are out there plotting and planning a trip to Peru then Cusco is an absolute must along with a rest day in Hotel Monasterio) will now pay off..

Jose and Maria have sped ahead this morning ferrying some of Le 'Splinters' to the airport to catch their plane to Arica and they are going to pop into the Hertz office in Arica to hopefully speed up our Authorisation Letters to enter Argentina with the hire cars.

I hear that the rally have employed 'Fixers and Interpreters' but not sure what they get up to. They certainly haven't 'fixed' anything for us as yet..

It has been noted that one may have a touch of 'prader-willi' as he certainly seems to have his fair share of visits to the buffet carts of a morn and an evening for that matter..
Another pastime seems to be 'making movies' of himself and any grub that may be on offer. Ah suppose he is a growing lad and will prob work it all off one day..

The other fixerooney seems to rather enjoy swaying and humming away to Celine Dion love songs whilst trying to make quick getaway from struggling Rally Cars at 2am in the morning.
But to be fair to him, he was under strict orders by his master or should we say mistress at the time!!
Am sure they are actually 'worth their weight' tho to others lol

So very glad we have Jose and Maria to help us with along with their 'mother tongue' and diplomatic skills.

It wasn't long before we were passing some of the remaining crew in their wicked machines. Brave souls are they - all deserving GOLD medals to have got so far.

Then as we turned a corner, traffic ground to a halt. Out we clambered to investigate and found one poor Peruvian guy had managed to set his tyres on fire on his new truck.

When we arrived they were desperately trying to put the fire out.
They had used up all their fire extinguishers and were then trying to put the flames out with buckets of dust and soil from the side of the road.

David tried to help them but this fire was fierce and we quickly decided to make a hasty exit from the scene before the petrol tank exploded. Just hope that he was adequately insured...

Off we sped in hire car # 1 (Leg 1 - Cusco to Arica) leaving the burning tyres behind.

Yippee, it turned out to be our lucky day today for a change.

We arrived at the border to drop off hire car #1 to our new Cuscodian friend Caesar.
A knight in shining armour, locally known as a Colectivos just happened to be waiting to taxi us to the hotel. A fee of 150 sols was agreed (approx 30 quid) to ferry us the final 25 km to our hotel.
He whizzed us through border control, filling in all our paperwork at both borders.

We were ushered past the rest of the rally queues (some had been waiting over an hour to just get into Chile so were a bit disgruntled)

In a very short time we were speeding off to our Beach Hotel in Arica.....

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