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May 18, 2009

Miami, FL - Barbados
By Marcelo da Luz;

It was nice to sleep in for a bit. Well, not as much as I would like, no pressure to go anywhere early. Today, I'll be heading back to Barbados to renew the solar car licence. It will be a short trip, back to Miami tomorrow late afternoon, on the road on Wednesday morning towards the Arctic Circle making a stop in Washington DC, that's the plan for now. Arctic Circle, here comes the solar car again!

Lot's of people have been asking me why I want to go back to the Arctic Circle. The answer is simple, after I left the Arctic I found a cocoon in one of the trailer wheels. So, I got to bring the little fella back to the Arctic before it rack. Thus, my return to the Arctic. Okay, that's my story for now and I am sticking to it. No joke about the cocoon, I really found one.

I have been to so many places, the Arctic is MAGIC, worth going back twice in one life time :), if you been to a special place which leave a wonderful impression you know what I mean. Besides, the Arctic still is the GREATEST CHALLENGE on the planet for a solar car; 760km (450miles) of gravel, crossing the continental divide three times one way, the low angle sun in the horizon is not the place a solar car would dare to get to. Yet, we made it there last July/August during the wettest summer of the past 30 years. Oh yeah!, I can't forget the mosquitos, they were vicious. Looking forward to seeing all the friends I made getting there the first time around.

In the mean time, here in Miami land we got the solar array set up, battery is charging, bright and sunny at times heavy clouds blocking he sun occasionally. Great to be in Miami, I have the Miami Vice team song playing in my head since I got here. Not much happening today, the team is relaxing a bit.

I can't afford this trip to Barbados but I have to be there in person to do all the paper work. I had to fork out money I didn't have. Rob, managed to get me a body pass on American Airlines. Unfortunately, by the time I got the news I had already purchased the ticket. Thanks Rob and the American Airlines employee that offer the ticket, much appreciated. Hope next time!.

Time went by fast, emails (impossible to keep up), phone calls, meeting with the team I was suddenly rushing to the airport. Said good bye to Willy Wonca, by the time I get back from BGI he will be gone for a few weeks, taking a well deserved break from the tour.

Audrey kindly offered to drive me to the airport (thanks Audrey!). Luckily it was a short drive. The aircraft was late arriving at the gate, some major weather system in MIA causing delays, late departure from MIA, late arrival in BGI. Lidia and Ralph will be hosting me in Barbados, looking forward to meeting them for the first time. Lidia kindly picked me up at the airport (thanks Lidia).

XOF1 capturing solar rays in front of Audrey's home in Miami
Jamie showing has musical talent
Willy Wonca (upside down) and Valerio cooling checking out the pool. Yeap, the water was wet and refreshing!
Audrey's delicious home mad pancakes didn't last long
Photo op with bunny ears
Flower power Josh