Thursday, March 6, 2008
Won´t ever do this again...
María, Perú Wednesday March 5th 7pm
Check below, as I have blogged twice back to back. This is because internet is scarce right now. I would read the one below first. There´s so much more I want to blog about that I´ve journaled about, but just don´t have time right now.
First off, Mom I won´t ever do this again. Don´t worry. So after we arrived in Balsas we started looking for another truck. Balsas, home to probably some 400, is certainly not what you call a metropolis. We asked every single truck that passed if they were going to Leimembamba and not a single one was headed that way. Well it was about 3 oclock and we finally found a car that would make the 5 hour journey.
There is no highwasy between Balsas and Leimembamba. I would go to say there is no road, but rather a wide dirt path, note the pic above. We drove up said path into these mountains for three and a half hours! I actually don´t think I´ve ever been on a higher mountain in my life, and we drove over it! Magnificent views that you see above in the picture, but that´s not what I´m writing this blog.
I´ve bungee jumped off the second highest jump in the world, not as scary as that ride, I´ve jumped out of a plane, not as frightening. Riding a bull might be the only thing I´ve done as frightening as that ride. The bull lasted 3.5 seconds, this 3.5 hours.
I mean we were on the sides of these mountains in a car with cliffs that dropped 300 yards on the other side. Then we would see an old landslide, those were especially tricky because he would drive over them and we would be on a bit of a tilt! A tilt! I don´t even like thinking about it!
Well I was nervous going up, butterflies and all that, but when we reached about 8,000 feet is when I got freaked. I didn´t show it, but I had unlocked the door and noticed my hand was on the handle of the car door ready to jump out if the car slipped. Why? Because there was fog. Actually fog is the wrong word, we were in the clouds. We couldn´t see anything! I´m talking you could see 10-15 feet in front of the car, but that´s it. In the dark, in the rain, 12,000 feet up, scary as hell.
I´m glad to say that when we finished the ascent and started going down the mountain, there were no more clouds. Thankfully the clouds were rolling up the side we were ascending and then blowing over us on the way down. Our driver in Spanish said, ¨Phew, thanks goodness the danger is over. There´s no more fog!¨ Aside from legitimizing the fear, this relieved me because I didn´t want to feel like a wuss, and now I didn´t have to because even he was scared! We then drove down the hill for an hour and a half and thankfully arrived in Leimembamba!
1. I stayed at the nicest hostel in Celendín. The picture above is the ring they have in the center of the hostel for gallos? What are gallos? That´s right. The ring is for cock fighting.
2. They are currently playing Total Eclipse of the Heart in this internet cafe.