Saturday, September 29, 2012

Plan B

The finish line is a week away and we have 2,000 kilometres to go, much of it along dirt roads and through the jungle with river crossings and cocaine bandits. It's not that we're not up to the task. It's not that we're concerned if the mototaxi can make it (we’re pretty sure that we’ll spend plenty of time getting it fixed in any case). It's the simple math of covering that much distance at a maximum of 35 kilometers an hour and still making it in time for Pisco Sours on Saturday a week from now.

Sitting around the table with Leo and Cesár we discussed the option of getting a lift back as far as Lima, from where we could head south under our own steam and possibly make up some of the time that we'd lost. Weighing up our alternatives, like Von Schlieffen, we decided to go to Plan B (seriously, don't worry about this bizarrely obscure reference - ed.) and head back to Lima and on towards Cusco.

It was at this point the full benefits of the mototaxi as a mode of long distance transportation finally became clear to me. This adventure is not about the destination, not about being first or last over the finish line, but about the journey. As frustratingly unreliable as the mototaxi is, it is in many ways the perfect adventuring vehicle. Here’s why: although we prepared ourselves for superficial repairs, brake cables, flat tires, oil changes and the like, each time we broke down something had failed catastrophically and we were forced to find help. And each time we found help we found the nicest people. People that through their own good graces gave us the time to put us back on the road. The minimalist, unsupported nature of this trip has given us incredibly rich insights into life in Peru. A view we would not have had any other way.

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