Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I´m not sure how to put pictures in places yet, so the following pics will explain themselves below.
Goodness gracious a lot has passed since I last wrote. I went to the desert in Lima and stayed a night, went to a Peruvian beach called Mancora, crossed the border into Ecuador in the craziest town I have ever seen, passed probably 45-50 hours in buses, spent a couple of nights in a very colonial town, Cuenca, Ecuador. My friend Eva had her passport stolen, so we have been in Quito getting her a new one, and honestly I have not had any time to rest. Nonetheless, it has been great. Everyday is great.
I have to tell you about this one afternoon evening that happened. We have stayed in hostals in MachuPicchu, family houses in Peru, bed and breakfasts in Cuenca, and huge colonial buildings in Quito, but nothing compares to where we stayed in Agua Verdes, Peru. In my opinion, the following is what traveling is all about.
So right now I am traveling with a friend, Eva, and a friend of hers from the United States, Amy. Eva works with malaria in Iquitos, Peru and has a bunch of Peruvian friends. So we were also traveling with them. Well, one of them, Juan Carlos, a doctor that works in the jungle says that instead of staying at the beach in Mancora, he has a friend we could all stay with just north of here in Aguas Verde. We stay that is cool and head out.
Now "just north of here" really translated to more than an hour car rides away. So I figure in my head that this must be some place to stay to drive out of the way for so long. We finally get to Aguas Verdes and pull over in this gas station when Juan Carlos tells us to get our bags out because we are here.
So now I am thinking, well thats nice, his friend is going to pick us up at this gas station. Meanwhile Juan Carlos starts heading for the baños (bathrooms), which makes good sense only he is still carrying his luggage. Well, I thought that makes sense too because you never want to leave your luggage lying around, especially in South America where it will get stolen. Only by now he has turned his head around and beckoned for us to come along.
So we head with him only to find out that his friend Koya works at the gas station and lives behind it, and so we have reached where we are going to stay. So we walk in and I notice it has two rooms and two double beds, everything else is concrete. Before I could count how many people were there, Koya asks me if I want to go get some food with him.
Now I´m hailing a mototaxi with Koya. A mototaxi is a motorcycle that has been rigged to have four wheels total, with the back two wheels carrying a cart in which Koya and I are going to ride. I look over at Koya, and think if the mototaxi is the best idea becuase he is HUGE. I´m not sure what the guy does at the gas station, but it probably has something to do with lifting engines with his hands. We hop in and ride to the restaurant and thankfully don´t tip over.
We get back to the station with the food and eat. I meet Koya´s son, Fauviano, who is climbing our mountain of luggage and playing with his pet turtle. Then Koya turns on the television, and puts on a DVD. I´m hoping for the latest Johnny Depp or maybe Shrek 4 in English, but it turns out to be a music DVD of none other than Def Leppard. And its loud. So now as we are ¨pouring some sugar¨ Koya pops open the Cristál. Yes Perú has a beer named Cristál. Awesome.
I´ve known for a while now that it is very rude to turn down in gift in South America. Especially food or drink. What I learned that night is that it is Peruvian tradition to keep passing a liter sized beer around until it is finished. Then you get another one. Then another one.
While all this is going on Koya keeps playing different music for us to enjoy. Starting with Def Leppard we then went to White Snake, and Nirvana. Then we go on to AC/DC and Judas Priest. Next it was Iron Maiden and Motorhead. And I swear Koya, whose email address is Koyametal@something.com (no joke), and Juan Carlos are just in Heaven listening to this. Meanwhile I´m sitting next to them with a turtle crawling all over me just mesmerized that they know all this music.
We keep drinking more beer when Koya puts on this last DVD and tells me I will like it. Well I really haven´t liked any of these bands minus Nirvana, but I´ve had an incredible time watching them, so I tell him I´m excited. Now this is the first band of the night I hadn´t heard of, if any of you have, may God have mercy on your soul. The band is called Sepeltura and they are from Brasil but sing in English. We listened to one of their best songs, which might have one of the better song titles of all time. Sorry Mom, but the song was called The Orgasmatron. Watching Sepeltura play The Orgasmatron I was thinking that at any minute that Devil from Guitar Hero was going to jump out the television and rock me until I became dust. Thankfully that didn´t happen.
Well now it was time for bed and I counted eight people. Remember two double beds. But also remember the Cristál. The concrete floor treated me nice that night.
All this said, I don´t think Koya and his wife Mercedes could have been better hosts. They paid for all the food and beer, and I hope someday to return there and enjoy some more time with that family.
So now we are in El Coca, Ecuador. I just bought some tickets to Nuevo Rocafuerte that leaves in the morning. 12 hours of canoe-boat tomorrow, then a couple nights there, then a few more nights in boats until we get to Iquitos, Peru. We are officially in the rain forest, so after we leave El Coca, I won´t have any internet for a while. So don´t expect updates until February. The reason we are taking boats for the next several nights is because there are no roads. That´s a reality check. Love it.