|Miguel Llorente in Cuba.|
Miguel was driving his Mercedes 300TD wagon, "Livingstone," on a mountain road when a truck rounded a corner in his lane. He swerved and his right wheels dropped into a concrete drainage channel. Then the beige wagon was slewing back across the roadway into a Kenworth 18-wheeler and down into a ditch, coming to rest on its roof atop a rainwater reservoir.
Passersby pulled Miguel from the car and waited with him for an ambulance. After a short stay in hospital he still has back pain, but amazingly, he didn't break any bones or suffer other serious injuries.
Livingstone? Not so lucky. The 30-year-old Mercedes in which Miguel set out from Kansas months ago is a mangled mess. Its inner structure held, however, and he credits that safety cage for saving him.
The accident hasn't taken away our intrepid traveller's keen powers of observation, or his zest for writing. On his This European Life blog, he offers a compelling account of that day's events, telling us, for instance, about the Kenworth driver whose own quick yank of the wheel prevented a head-on collision that would have been worse yet, and who waited outside the hospital to know that Miguel was all right.
But without money to replace Livingstone, Miguel fears his PanAm expedition may have reached an early end. He has approached Mercedes-Benz, hoping the manufacturer can somehow help him resume his trek to the tip of Argentina. Anything with a diesel under the hood and a three-pointed star above should do this good friend of the marque just fine.
Gullwing and a prayer
The young man and the 300SL
Watch it and weep