Readers Drives - The Inca Trail 2001
The pictures associated with this story from Jonathan, speak volumes. An event like this has been added to my bucket list. What an amazing event to have been part of. Wonderful motoring, culture, scenery and an amazing sense of comradery. I loved reading this but the pictures made it come to life!
In 2001 Mrs P-F and I were in South Bolivia going up The Sundance Trail with about 100 other rally cars on HERO's Inca Trail. For some reason we cleared the border early and so were the first rally car on the road, which was closed by the authorities to all other traffic. Therefore, we were going pretty quickly.
There was a huge unfenced drop on our right and a vertical cliff on our left. The surface was dry gravel, so quite slippery. We were taking a fast left bend at about 130km/hr when a blue local pickup came straight towards us, leaving not enough room to its right for us to pass between it and the deadly drop. In a nanosecond, Mrs P-F went for the correct line and thank goodness the pickup moved left just enough for us to pass OK. A clear 'Oh Heck' moment.
Later that day we found that a following Dutch rally car had a similar issue but with less luck. Their Volvo Amazon was reduced from 5m long to 2.5m long, and it later shared a 6m shipping container home with its replacement, a Suzuki Jimny jeep. The Volvo crew were OK, the Bolivians less so.