Archives story: Sisters’ daring roadtrip across South America

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Two Donington sisters had a daring hitch-hiking road trip in South America when there were fears they were about to be apprehended by bandits.

Sally and Diana Wray began their trip in Rio de Janeiro - with a route that networked through Argentina, to the Chile border and a road south along the Andes. They went back via Beuno Aires, Bolivia, Peru and Lima.

Some of the memorable events included sleeping in cowsheds and speaking on Bolivian radio. But it was when they were alseep in a friend’s car waiting to cross the Panaguayan border that they were woken by approaching bandits. The border guard leapt to their help, gun in hand - but then realised the ‘bandit’ was the local chief of police.

In Bolivia the sisters met the president and drank champagne with him. Their trip ended when Diana injured her ankle on a climb up to Machu Picchu in the Andes and had to be led down the 45 degree slope on horseback - a journey that took 10 hours. Back in Donington, Diana said she planned to write a book about their adventure.