The Continuing Adventures of The Little Red Truck
Having found our way out of Valenar this morning, we continued heading south. The first target was a national park around an area of cloud forest. After leaving the Pan-American highway, the LRT appeared happy with the 20-odd kilometers of dirt track to get to the park entrance, even managing a power slide around one corner, though that wasn't completely deliberate ... your honour.
Once in the national park the going became a little tougher with some fairly steep trails coated in loose gravel. The LRT was rather less well behaved, skittering all over the place and making at least one of the passengers rather nervous. At last the trail head was reached and the LRT was switched off. Only the LRT doesn't like to switch off when the key is removed from the ignition. Oh no, the fantastic design means that the engine needs to keep running to pump oil through the turbocharger as it cools down, so as Olly and Caroline disappear down the path, the LRT is still happily burbling away to itself - if a rather knocky diesel can ever be described as burbling.
On returning from a rather short trail, Olly and Caroline are relieved to find that the LRT has managed to shut itself down at some point in their absence. Having persuaded the engine back to life they set out back down the trail. Part-way back what do we spy by the side of the road? A BMW that is looking rather forlorn having managed to dig itself in up to its axle. Hmmm, where have we seen that before? On this occasion however it is the LRT to the rescue! Much wheel spinning and diesel smoke later and the proud LRT is successful in releasing the BMW from its humiliating ordeal.
A couple of hundred kilometers later the LRT is tired and finds itself being driven through the snaking city streets of Val Paraiso. Unfortunately its navigator has no information about which streets are one way and in which direction. In desperation the LRT turns into Carmstrong Avenue: allegedly the steep road is two-way but with cars parked all the way down one side and scarcely room to get past them the LRT hopes nothing will be coming. All of a sudden the LRT gets a horrible sinking feeling in the pit of its sump. That looks suspiciously like a set of steps in front of it rather than a nice smooth road surface. Hmmm, maybe reverse is in order? In disgust Olly and Caroline abandon the LRT, still burbling to itself, on the side of the street and proceed on foot.