On the road

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Text by Karla Gachet

It’s been almost a month since we left Guápulo and headed south. Leaving was the first battle won . After so many farewells, no one believed we were ever going to leave. We required the help of a grown up, Victorini, for tuning up the road-runner and making sure the trip would be in the Vitara and not hitch hiking. The gifts before departure were the most diverse and practical: the stamp of the virgin, speakers for the ipod, a hand-woven poncho, antibiotics for vomit and diarrhea, an Eskimo style hat, mints and pistachios.

 

We left with a triumphal optimism, ready to conquer the south. Three hours away, in Santo Domingo, our car broke down. Luckily, it was only a lose wheel.  In Santa Rosa, Machala, an albino man gave the car its first oil change and we were ready to cross the first border.

 

“Welcome to Peru.” We had crossed the border! And then we crossed it six more times. Each time we got to the other side we were missing one paper which we had to get, of course, on the Ecuadorian side.  Huaquillas, the land of confusion, where nobody knows or cares which side they belong to. The streets are full of vendors and policemen. After spending a few hours tiptoeing back and forth, our papers were finally in order and we continued south.

 

The beach of Máncora seemed like the ideal destination for our first stop. We encountered slender bodies, raw-fish ceviches and a million motorbike taxis. The sun, wind and warm water all spelled out paradise. Until we got robbed. The odyssey to find the robbers was worse than the theft itself. “The officer in charge of the investigation is Saavedra, he will help you find the thiefs.”

 

While Ivan posted notes of a juicy reward around town , I climbed on the back seat of a truck, behind Saavedra and another officer. “You do have to pay for gas you know, we wont help you for free,” of course.  After hours of worthless search and of listening to Saavedra sweet talk a girl on his cell phone, “I’m your black destiny babe… are you alone… what are you thinking about…,” I understood it was all a bad joke. They took the only suspect to a “torture room” and came out smiling to let me know, “Nope, not him.”

 

OK. We’re out. A friend gave as a contact of a person in Lima who would help us find equipment. The landscape from the north towards Lima is pure desert. After the first thousand dunes, you stop paying attention. The most popular Inca of the desert is Inca-Cola. We drank a thousand of those along with the tastiest fish in little restaurants along the way. Life was smiling back at us as we crossed the desert and enjoyed the beautiful sunsets.

 

And then we got pulled over, again and again and again. The

reason? You name it. “Your license plate is to light…” What?  A few bribes later we got to the jungle of Lima.  Miguel took us to the ¨polvos azules” or blue powders. Here you can find everything your heart ever desired, super, super cheap.  A hug to Miguel and his girlfriend, and we continued the journey south to make it in time for the Oruro Devils celebration in Bolivia. The Bolivian border was another nightmare, yet we arrived to Oruro right on time. After many hotels and motels we made it to our second destination. But Bolivia is a whole different story…

5 Comments

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5 responses to “On the road

  1. Claudia

    I had a big laugh with the Inca-Cola joke! I am loving the pictures, too!

    Best of luck during the rest of your journey!

  2. luis

    Nia,
    No sabes lo hermos de lo que estas haciendo. Te admiro mucho porque estas haciendo lo que quieres y eso debe de darte la satisfaccion mas grande del mundo. TE amo con todo mi corazon. Como quisiera que este aca o yo alla. Que hermosas las fotos y que hermoso que ya se como mandarte comments. Veras que soy un poco de la “sin computer or technology generation.” Vimos la pelicula hecha en Ecuador y me dio tantas de ganas de estar alla. Estuvo en la pelicula la senora que le entrevistaste que todo el acordion y que es cieguita. Que hermoso cuando le vimos se llama “Cuando me toque a mi.” Quemas como esta el Kashinski? MAndale besos y abrazos de mi parte. Ls chicas como siempre llenando mis dias de alegria y dolores de cabeza. Hasta la proxima entry baby.

    • tothetip

      que hermoso q ya decifraste esto de comentar en el blog.. estamos en santa cruz llegamos ayer.. hace un calor que siento que si no estoy en la sombra me voy a derretir!! quiero hablar con las chicas, ahora ya voy a tener de donde.. te escribo para coordinar, diles que les amo mucho y siempre pienso en ellas!!! te quiero mucho ña!! y si, esa peli es cheverasa y si es la señora laurita del acordeon, yo tambien cuando vi casi me caigo del susto..

  3. Jonah

    …what a ride, ay?

    Always thinking of you two, always smiling when I do.
    🙂

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