Today we were scheduled to leave Santiago, but before we did, we had an event at the residence of the British Ambassador. He had kindly invited the team, several high profile members of the government and representatives from KPMG to a very smart breakfast in his palatial abode.
After arriving and being introduced to the distinguished party, we were ushered through to the classical style dining room. The breakfast was conducted while I presented the project to the audience, and even though you may expect the focus to be directed more so on the food, the opposite was in fact the case, and this was reflected by a set of some of the most astute observations and questions to date.
With the breakfast/presentation concluded, we went outside where the press were waiting to view the car with all the dignitaries eagerly clamouring to have a quick ride around the courtyard in the SRZero! It is amazing that even though the SRZero has the general wear and tear of a car that has driven a good 30,000km in total, in other words looks a little shabby, it still attracts an incredible amount of attention and admiration!
We were also joined by a troop of smartly dressed school children who were also keen to understand more about why we were in their city with this car. So, once the press interviews and pictures had been concluded, we went back into the residence to give a presentation to all the school children. I would say that this was probably the youngest audience we had addressed, and I was a little worried that some of the material may be a little too advanced for them to full appreciate the concepts we were talking about.
However, I am glad to say that these young teens proved me wrong, and while some of the precise technical understanding may have been beyond their reach at present, the concepts of why we need electric cars in our society was fully grasped. For the first time, we were really able to pitch the idea of inspiring and encouraging education in science and engineering to the people that really needed to hear it, and I am hopeful that they can take something away from the experience which gives them the motivation to really pursue their dreams.
After some more press interviews following the presentation, the time had come to depart Santiago. For our 250km drive to Talca today, we were joined by our friend Chris Carver who had spontaneously decided to fly out and meet us here in Chile. Incidentally, he is the brother of Andy Carver who supported the project with some of the stunning early photos that you can find on our website.
So, along with the temporary addition to the team, we headed out of the city towards the south on our final push towards Ushuaia! Unlike previous drives where I had much to comment on, I’m afraid that there’s not much I can say about today. The highway was straight all the way to our destination, and while the vegetation got slightly more temperate, the roadside was almost continuously lined with industry of some description…quite a change from the hundreds of miles of complete isolation we had in the desert mere days ago!
Arriving in the city of Talca well within daylight (this seems to be becoming a very positive trend nowadays) we put the car on charge, dumped our stuff in the hotel, and headed out for a quick bite to eat.
Many thanks to the British Ambassador for hosting us in such style this morning, and for the other Embassy staff that helped so much to make our visit so enjoyable!