Thursday November 17, Day-5

Puerto Madryn to Esquel, 760 kms

Not far, after leaving Puerto Madryn on the way to Esquel, is the little town of Trelew. Here in the middle of the Patagonia Desert is a Welsh community. the street names are in Welsh the people speak Welsh, the school teaches Welsh and everyone looks like they came from the UK not so long ago.

Here we have short stop and will be served high tea of course. Even though it is barely 10am.

I am feeling a lot better the cold seems to be receding and we are getting in to rally rhythm.

on the streets of Trelew we are getting plenty of attention from the very good english speaking people that walk around. they had a few blocks closed off so we could easily park near the restaurant. Here car 62 (ranked #2) a 1971 Datsun 240Z with the navigator Travis explaining everything.

At the end of the tea we get a dancing performance from the local youth. Which seem to have a clear Argentine influence:)

After Trelew we head west into the Patagonia desert proper. first hills than more mountainous massifs, which we will cross at the Paso de Indios. All arid and hardly ever a tree in sight.

Every time we pass one of the old timers we are glad of our roof.

We are also very happy to have windows that close off almost everything. And still slowly, the car’s inside is getting covered in a ever thickening layer of fine dust. I see on the internet that our tracking device is doing fine, again, for those interested click on the link below. if all works well you can see our position change every ten minutes.

We had a great arrival in the small town of Esquel where again the police had closed of a number of streets to accommodate the cars around the hotel. We met up with the Beale family, who live outside Esquel on a beautiful estancia along the Futaleufú river, that has lots of trout in it. All of the three sons have become fly fishing guides and Nico lives in Esquel. We let all the grandchildren sit in the car and had a great time reconnecting. Afterwards Nico helped us and a couple of friends walk to a very nice restaurant to eat delicious Argentine steaks. Somehow eating from a buffet with 90 other people at 12 persons to a table is getting a little tiring and always noisy.

As far as the standings go, not much change we are doing increasingly better on the regularities, but so it seem are most others. On the racing circuit, (picture left; shows not our car but a 911 with a much bigger engine, that we still handsomely beat:) we did quite well and came in at 4 minutes and 8 seconds, but the so called bogey time was 4:41 so we got the 4:41. The Bogey time is to discourage people from trying to go to fast. So if you go faster than the bogey, you still get the Bogey. Unfortuantely the rally authorities had set the bogey too high and a whole slew of competitors including all the ones around our standing got the bogey. A bit diappointing because I was quite happy with our performance in the little Porsche 912 with its Volkswagen engine.