DAY 10 CONTINUED.............

The going got tough as we rose higher into the mountains. A bridge over a 300 foot deep ravine consisted of two logs laid side by side, extending for 75 feet across. A good balance was required as one could tell by looking at the 12 crosses erected on either side and the mangled wreckage on the rocks below. A large fully loaded dump truck crossed from the other side so we knew we could make it.

The route was impossible for us to finish in time. The day's road map was very vague. Obviously we missed a turn somewhere and by mid afternoon we were completely lost. The 1977 Toyota Land Cruiser was having severe problems. First we broke one shock. Then another one. 20 mph was the maximum we could do on this so called road. Two tires were blown and torn to shreds so we were riding on two very patched up spares.

Around three o clock I began to drive up a dirt road that seemed promising. After an hour and a half and thirty miles the road ended, turning into a sheep path that led to some cliffs. By 6 o clock we were back to where we started at 3 and the sky was growing dark. Taking a turn to the south (according to the setting sun) we eventually came to a military checkpoint. It was certainly not a race checkpoint because no one in this area had ever heard of the Trans Amazon Rallye. In fact most of the local people had never seen gringos before. The soldiers found us to be great entertainment and demanded we drink with them. Declining was impossible and we were handed large jelly jars full of fiery corn liquor. That got our courage and strength up for the night ahead.