Wednesday, 5 July 2017

The heart of Peru

One of the reasons that I enjoy solo so much is because often folks around let down their guard and most respond in a very different way to perhaps a group and even a pair or three. 

My interaction with others is different too especially the women. Yesterday there were two very familiar situations that had a very similar feel to my experience of hiking solo across the USA. 

To explain. I was on a portage - this was THE  big one and one that meant that I had to get hiking poles and trail shoes on.... and the rest!! Anyway, the setting: 
 

Stunning and a steeeeeeep short cut pointed out by the locals meant I found myself skiing down the hill towards the next town in double quick time!!! So quick I beat the support car to the town and I had gained another hour of hiking time.... which would get me to the next town! Result! Only problem was that i had arranged with the support car to meet them at the first  town.
Luckily there were a group of lovely women resting on the hill / entrance to the town. 
 
I know, I thought, I could ask them to explain to the support car that I had continued to Chocabamba and I would see them there! Easy! Errrr ummm.  But at least my pigeon spanish and sign language/ drama / re enactment of kayaking, car, sliding down the hill etc did create the women and me to giggle! Please note : we were at the top of the hill where kayaks are unknown, cars are seldom and well,  random solo British women dont usually turn up in a sweaty mess and jump around waving hands and feet to explain the journey (or request). However, as I left them - I hoped that it would all become clear when two 'amigos' in a car turned up. Sadly, the car didnt stop  and so how well my message would have been retold could only have been crystal clear.... of course. 

There is more to this story, left for another day or book but needless to say students, my tent, freeze dry food, support car heading to the next town for dinner and a hotel bed resulted in me being ushered and welcomed into the community and home of the town/village of the ladies that I seemed to have entertained just 1 hour before. 

 
Here, through my translating app, the children were able to ask many questions and I was able to show photos of my journey from the mountains, Antarctica, Cyprus, USA and beyond! I skim now, but there is a whole chapter on this event as I walked through the wall of mud. It was a truly magical experience and it was really lovely to re-meet and walk with the same students up the hill to school in the morning as though I was a familiar friend. Sadly, I had to put on hold the idea of me staying on to teach them English as I had an over 6000km journey to complete too. 

(Although I will say that these students were walking to school at 6.15am .... for a 7am start and 5pm finish!).

This made my huge portage very worth while. 





 






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