While crossing the border between Argentina and Chile we came across the bike of Mohammed Balooshi parked up beside an ambulance. We looked inside to find the biker from the UAE taking on oxygen after struggling with the altitude of 4700 metres above sea level…
It’s been a strange last night and morning all-round with the cancellation of stage six. I was aware we would be going up into the clouds today and I was feeling good along the stretch of road we covered this morning. Then I had to stop to show my passport to the Argentinian customs people and that’s when I started to feel funny.
I felt it immediately when I got off my bike, I couldn’t walk, think or do anything. Where I am now is a further 500 metres up from the customs checkpoint. I was really feeling terrible so when I saw the ambulance I had to pull over and see what they could do for me.
When I got off the bike this last time I was really feeling terrible, I can never remember feeling this bad in my life. Everyday it has been a new thing for at this race. Yesterday I had a bee fly into my ear and I had to stop until a doctor came to help me take it out, it’s all happening to me!
I can’t even bear to look at all these snowy mountains up here because I just want to get out of here as soon as possible. It’s beautiful landscape but the sooner I reach some lower ground the less risky it will be.
Another thing at the back of mind is disappointment that today’s stage was cancelled because I was really hoping to come into my own today. As I was filling out my roadbook last night I was getting a good feeling about things because I was seeing dunes, dunes and more dunes. That’s the sort of terrain I’m confident on rather than what we’ve had so far in Argentina.
All these things must be happening for a reason and I know that I’ll have plenty of opportunities in the coming stages to ride the dunes. Now have to say thanks to these lovely Argentinian doctors I have found who gave me their oxygen mask to use, I now have the feeling back in my fingers and toes!
We caught up again with Mohammed Balloshi at the bivouac in Copiapo after he arrived safely in Chile. Check in for regular updates on Mohammed and his path to Peru right here at Red Bull’s dedicated 2012 Dakar Rally website.