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As I’m sure you all know by now, Chile is a very long, thin country and driving from Tocopilla to Pichidangui in two days is like a summary of the four weeks and three days (?) that have gone before as well as of the other many trips since 2001.

‘Look, there is the spot where in 2006 we met Juan & Flo in 2006!’

‘There, behind the road fences is where we used to stop, above Los Hornos’

etc.

It was quite an ambitious goal to do the c 800 km today in one go, and it was very much a matter of discipline as we drove through the dealbatas around Carrizal Baja – my five images today were all from here, nothing special, just a reminder how you can randomly take some nice images anywhere along this road, from around Tutorial to past Cardinal Baja.

We made sure that we stopped for fuel when it was available, rather than when it was needed, and that included fuel for us – i.e. the cake shop opposite the Copec in Vallenar.

The setting sun provided a great end of talk slide somewhere between Los Villos and Pichidangui. We made it to the cabanas at Rosa Nautica where again the owners recognised me and greeted us like long lost friends, around 21:00 hrs. A quick run back to the harbour but the two restaurants there had shut up for the night since we had driven past.

Plan B was to drive back to the Pronto on R5, north of town, but by now, having done most of the driving, my batteries were drained. The Supermarcado was still open so we bought a bottle of Casillero del Diablo, some cheese and biscuits that made sure that for yet another night, the boys did not go hungry – a prime requirement for any cactus trip!

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