Tuesday, September 25, 2012


In the event a truck filled with mechanics happened by and they universally agreed that Jim and Ben´s clutch was indeed knackered. The good news was the driver had taken a team of Canadians up the mountain earlier in the day, so he was used the shenanigans of theMototaxi Junket already. He offered to take the lads back down the mountain where a fully armed mechanic could repair their mototaxi and they could be on their way again. Jim and I exchanged phone numbers so that we could text our statuses with a goal of meeting up later in the rally.

Meanwhile Livin´ La Vida Loca Moto and Thunder From Down Under carried on to a mysterious restaurant and hotel at the end of the universe, some two kilometers from where we´d been stuck. Our little taxis ground out the last couple of thousand metres and we found ourselves at the door of a building straight out of an Indiana Jones movie. The wind howled up the valley and the dimly lit threshold led the way past the banging wooden door into an even more dimly lit alcove. To the right was a restaurant of sorts. Long tables and rows of plastic chairs surrounded by Inka Cola bottles. Ahead was the reception bordered with ancient calenders and Spanish versions of the Watchtower. To the left lay a long corridor in ultimate darkness. A quick hit from the flashlight revealed two huge truck batteries powering pretty much everything for miles around.

A room for four at 20 nuevo soles sounded like a bargain. Dinner was served promptly and consisted of fried bully beef, Cristal beer, and rice. It was pretty delicious. Bed and then breakfast in the morning before the off. Another 200 metres of climbing followed by a long downhill run into Huancabamba.

After an altercation with my carburetor requiring removal, rebuilding, and replacement, the Aussies were keen to get going. Having learned on the Mongol Rally that downhill driving is often more dangerous than uphill, I took it incredibly slowly. Enthusiasm and youth have their benefits and sometimes their downsides. In this case a little too much speed saw Thunder from Down Under bounce off the track, catch the edge and flip twice before nestling is a stand of tall bushes. No serious injuries thanks to a couple of cheap motorcycling helmets. With the help of a half dozen locals we managed to manhandle the mototaxi out of it´s tree and back on the road. Within an hour we were in the helpful hands of a skilled crap vehicle mechanic and all was well. We hit the main square to celebrate the dodging of death and living la vida loco!

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