unfortunately a glitch with our Satellite phone provider has meant we have been cut off, silenced, muted, quelled, cessated, smothered. Hoorah we hear you say! Peace at least. Reather disappointing for us but nevermind, whilst we work out how to resolve the issue (which means we need to be sent a new SIM card to the middle of nowhere) fear not the progress continues. Today we have a smidgen of internet access (each page takes 8 minutes to load, really!) so we can share a little of our new world before the machine grinds to a halt for 4 hours over the siesta period, perhaps never to resume churring and clunking its way again. We have crossed the Andes for what we hope will be the last time now, dropping from 6000 feet (2000m) over the last two days and ruing the decision not to fit brakes to the trailer! We are seeking Argetinian flat lands to see if we can get the monthly mileage up after four gruelling but astounding months in the mountains of Chiel and Argentina. And flat they are. Extending to the east and north we can see the heat haze being thrown off the desert which will be our new home. Fate has it that the only reasonably direct roads to take us there have another 3 weeks of twists and turns around the foothills of the Andes before we can truly hit the flat roads we are seeking. Water and wind will be our new foes, and already we have come close to running out of water on this moonscape. We can carry 25L max, but at the cost of 25KG on the trailer so it will be a constant battle to predict from the innacurate maps and the profusion of informed (or otherwise) local opinion what our optimum load should be. The wind too is a serious challenge. Whilst our sturdy tent survived the first night of the notorios winds which reign here, its occupants failed miserably to acctually sleep during the battering it took. That makes the next days 6 hour running stint pretty tough and general “mal humor” is difficult to avoid at times. New challenges indeed, but we´ll work it out.
We hope to get the connection thing sorted but you can enjoy a little quiet from our side in the meantime. Sorry Carol to have not called on your birthday and Benjy too. We hope to connect either way 154km (100miles) North in Chos Malal so look forward to speaking then!!