DAY ELEVEN CONTINUED......................

With the sun rising higher at our backs, it becomes evident that we're finally getting close to yesterday's route, as there are two destroyed race cars with no one in them. For the next 6 hours we bounce down a hairpin mining road that was, in actuality, a dry riverbed.In the early afternoon,we exit the mountains and enter the great sandy ocean desert. The Pan Americano, rutted though it is, looks quite welcome as it stretched long and empty past the horizon through the shimmering hot sands that lay between the frigid Pacific and the Andes. The Rallye has over 3000 miles of desert to go through now, until it reaches the vineyards and forests of Central Chile.
The oceanside desert is the starkest I've ever seen, more barren than the Sahara. There is absolutely no plant life.

The driving becomes truly insane even though we are on a paved road. Fifty mile an hour winds howling down out of the mountains shift giant sand dunes out into the highway. Some of them are five feet high and can flip you right over. Occasionally there is a pickup truck with a plow on it but trying to move the dunes is futile when they blow back into place in a matter of minutes.

In the mid afternoon the Toyota is speeding along at nearly 40 mph. At this rate we may even have a shower tonight. I am caked in filth and haven't shaved in 5 days. This Toyota is shot to shit. There are no spare tires, shocks, brakes or steering. Something is seriously wrong with the transmission. There are two gears left, second and fifth.

As the sun sets over the Pacific we enter Lima. Some stay at the Hilton, others go to another more traditional hotel in Miraflores, a beach area that in a Down Under comparison would be Santa Monica as opposed to Downtown LA.. A great hot shower and then a well deserved whiskey at the bar! Surprise! It turns out we will have two days off because so many of the cars are in extreme need of repairs. There won't be any city this big until Vina del Mar,Chile, 4000 bone breaking miles away by the route we're taking.