With our time in Huanchaco coming to a close its time for these little ducks to soak up some relaxation before the next step in the adventure, Huaraz and Cordillero Blanco. Cordillero Blanco is a region of the Andes that shares a title with just a few others as a particularly amazing part of a particularly amazing mountain range, a giant among giants as it were. Combining elements of altitude, hiking, untamed wilderness and famed allure for those who dare to venture it’s a naked flame to these moths, typifying just about everything that we seek in South America and indeed the world. With the somewhat distracting allure of whats to come, we attempt to set that aside in the pursuit of appreciating the now.
Back to business, a final meal is in order; for celebrating Huanchaco but moreso for the closing of a dream travelling gift, that being the newfound friendship with Piotr and Ola. We meet people all the time on our travels and in the shared world of isolated separation from all comforts a familiarly rapid friendships form; Tomas and Sarah sprint to mind, our stoic German friends from Mexico. Travel engenders transient associations: sating the pervasive need for social attention that isolation from security brings, as Tyler Durdan would say, it’s ‘single serving friends’; but not this time we think. Heaven forbid, I think we just may have found mates that could breach the gates of a more socially fortified existence, an idea rarely permitted in the parallel social universe that is travelling abroad.
But back to the food; it was unanimously determined that we need to more or less replicate the first meal we had here, soups, ceviche and who could forget that awesome whole fish. With a meal to eat befitting the company to farewell we dine in style freshened by the Pacific breeze that we’re fondly familiar with. But we want to linger longer than we are able, we are off for another hateful night bus tonight. Passing up the preferred option of the local bus but as we are running a little behind time we need to go for a taxi and fork out the few extra soles.
With fond farewells we are in the taxi, ready to embrace the upcoming mountains, Cordillero Blanco here we come. In the taxi, not ten minutes out of town the taxi breaks down, bugger. We are stuck on the side of the road and with time ticking the taxi driver admits that we will need to get another taxi; here’s where the fun starts. In the process of transferring the taxis we are confronted by a couple of guys on the side of the road; with pulses racing a couple of hurried punches are traded before they flee the scene… along with the taxi.
It always feels like a long time on account of the number of emotions that are processed but it’s only a few seconds in truth. Our triumphant beating off of the assailants has been shown up as nothing but a well set trap, and we were caught completely. With two taxi drivers and the two others all choreographing a well worked routine we watch as distant tail lights carry not only a stolen innocence but just about every worldly possession we have. The feeling of embarrassment is palpable and right now thats about enough of that topic, moving on kids, nothing to see here.
Slowly processing the enormity of the shit-fight in which we now find ourselves, we beg our way onto a corporate bus picking up its shift workers. We drag our sorry looking faces into the nearest hotel we can find at god only knows what time, we now have now way to tell time, of course. With feelings of anger, vulnerability and despair preventing the sleep that should have been we await the acceptance of a travelling experience to feed long tales. For now romanticism is swamped by all flavours of negativity, the silver lining as distant as the tail lights that I can’t seem to purge from my vision.
What a nightmare…. Id still be crying by the side of the road.