Day 5 – Vic

So as you may have remembered, we
found Vics bike abandoned, laying on it’s side half way into the
lane of the incoming traffic, twenty feet past boulders that had
bounced into the path of one of the worlds highest and windiest
roads, the Argentina Chile pass through the Andes. When we all
managed to get to the saftey of our lodgings, Vinc’s whereabouts
had snowballed into a real issue as rummers of an accident and
death on the road reached us and our team were obviously panicked
and guilt riden. Why he had been allowed to leave ahead of the team
we questioned and was he really fit enough to be even attempting
this trip as the oldest member of our team? Swift action was
required and our team leader Kevin reached Vics daughter in the US
and then the American Embassey to report the missing person issue.
Every year people die on the Dakar and this is a real national
concern with the race so the Embassey then contacted the Chilean
FBI, who put all systems to go in their missing person hunt on the
pass. There was little any of us could do and as we were so
exhausted we had to collapse and wait to discover, what we prayed
for, would be good news the next day. Five hours later we all
assembled in the lobby for the news that Vic was safe. The winds
had blown him and his bike from the road several times and finally
after he had hit rocks, he decided his life was in real danger and
the day of riding had to stop. To escape the elements he flagged
down a coach which was heading back to the boarder, where he then
transferred to a returning bus to the nearest town, 150km from our
team. The hotel had received the report from the FBI and Vinc was
woken with the news of our whereabouts. Note to self – take the
location of where you’re heading with you when you cross between
countries!! So after that little incident we all breathed deeply,
re kitted up and set off on the three hundred mile route to
Iquique. We now had the support truck and Vic on board so a
smoother day was ahead of us. The route was incredible, passing
Carro de la Cruz, one of the driest places on earth with a hundred
miles of blowing sands and electrical pylons, down to Tocopilla – a
very poor industrial town on the waters edge. As we cut through the
pass to the town the ocean burst in front of us, cluttered with
huge mineral shifting tankers and small fishing boats. There was
little to see but shacks and a gas station, yet lining the roads
were some of the coolest graffiti pieces I have ever seen – amazing
where creativity resides right! The route north up from Tocopilla
to Iquique was spectacular. We sped at 130km an hour for 200miles
along ocean hugging perfect meandering roads, seemingly carved for
our bikes – what a dream after the misery of the previous day! We
met the race at our destination, as helicopters circle over Robby
Gordan’s orange Hummer as it descended the highest sand dune in the
world. I thought he was an absolute nutter until minutes later, one
of the trucks followed him over the edge at a speed nearing 200kmh
– with no use of breaks, gas or steering – incredible! After two
hours of race wrap up we headed for local fair and camping by the
ocean. It was there I discovered the two man tent I had ordered
online and never unpacked, would struggle fitting even two members
of the pigmy TutTut tribe of Zimbabwe, never mind a 6’2″ Brit and
to the amusement of the gathering crowd, it actually looked more
like I was wearing a plastic dress than a tent, as I lay struggling
for my life like some escape act of David Blane! Only one thing for
it – take one of Zhanna’s muscle relaxants she had packed just
incase I couldn’t sleep. Ahhh bliss….

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About willindakar

Every few years I try and embark on a trip that takes me to places, both physically and mentally, far beyond anywhere I have been before, as a CEO or father. Climbing the highest summits of Antarctica and Europe, diving with Great White sharks, Motorbiking the highest road in the world are a few of the boxes I've ticked - but the trip i am about to depart for should be one of the most testing. Riding with the hardest land race in the world - The Dakar 2011.
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7 Responses to Day 5 – Vic

  1. tk says:

    so thrilled to hear your friend is safe.

  2. zhanna says:

    It was soooo good to hear your voice today baby! That made
    my day!!! Funny about the tent. Love you so so much! Ride on baby!
    Kiss, -me 🙂

  3. Natasha & Vitaly says:

    We are so proud of you! We will keep our fingers crossed to
    see you back soon. Best wishes on the ride ahead. Love you, Natasha
    and Vitaly!

  4. Mike Parise says:

    Sigh of relief for Vic.
    I saw the pic’s of the sand dune from Jim. UNREAL. I can’t wait to see his video.
    Keep up the posts. Good stuff.
    As always, have fun!

  5. Natasha & Vitaly says:

    We are so proud of you and keeping our fingers crossed to
    see you back home soon. Wish you the best on the rest of your trip.
    Love you, Natasha, Vitaly

  6. Jeremy Graham says:

    Great news on vic,your tent experience reminds me of when you and were inter railing and tried to camp at the ‘chambre d’amour ‘ campsite outside of Biarritz,trying to get the two of us in a two man tent..
    Glad you’ve got the support you need now,hopefully things will be smoother.
    J

  7. Jason McChesney says:

    Glad to hear Vic is ok. Reminds me of the movie “127 hours”
    that saw last night. Lovin your blog & adventure – ride on,
    have fun & keep safe.

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