My poor van, we’ve bonded so much on this trip.  Back in March my mechanic in Halifax tried 3 times to adjust the throttle properly and couldn’t manage it, so ever since then it’s been sluggish accelerating for the first push from 0-20km/h, with a big cloud of black smoke spewing out the back each time. All the way across the country it’s been struggling bravely… drastically slowed down by steep hills, strong headwinds, high altitude. I’m amazed it’s gotten me this far, and much as I’d love to drive something with a bit more oomph, I’m loving my loyal little hamster more than ever.

Fortunately I reach the In-Koh-Pa Mountains just as the day is cooling off: as the road starts to climb there’s a sign telling drivers to turn off the air-con to avoid overheating, and as the climb continues I see several dozen car-sized scorch marks on the shoulder, where cars have literally caught fire. The mountains don’t look solid at all, they look like mountain-sized piles of gravel. Near the top of the climb is the coolest little tourist attraction, an old rock tower built in the 20s that houses an odd assortment of relics from all over the world, as well as a rock garden carved by some old eccentric into tunnels and passageways and goofy animals. I love it!

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