San Salvador de Jujuy to Calama. Here is what the race stage
is about; The Dakar leaves Argentina provisionally to cross the
Andes mountain range via the Paso de Jama pass. To reach this
point, the climb will start during the night. Once they have
crossed the border, the crews will ascend to an altitude of 4,800
metres, i.e. the same height as Mont-Blanc, without crampons or
ice-picks! In sporting terms, the arrival in Chile also heralds the
entrance to the Atacama Desert and the first off-track racing of
the rally. The start of the relatively short special stage will
take place at 3,300 metres. At this point, the vehicles will have
to handle stony terrain as the dunes approach. As for our team, we
will be chewing rancid coca leaves to fight altitude sickness and
get us in the right mood for the day. We have a short day, crossing
the border to Chile and overnight stay up there. More about today
later tonight.