out of Bolivia and into Peru
11.02.2007 - 17.02.2007
Stitches are out. Shoulder is regaining full range of motion. Groin pains from the horse fall subsided. Teeth still glued into place. Guess it was the proper time to say goodbye to Bolivia with one last adventure...a little mountain bike ride down something named ¨The Death Road¨ or ¨The World´s Most Dangerous Road.¨ (read the first link, it´s pretty good)
3345 metres of vertical descent. Over 60 km and 4 hrs of riding. Starting from a misty mountainous peak and guided by gravity down to a surreal tropical jungle. More than a few hairpin turns that could leave you in a 1000m freefall if your tires slid out.
The weather? Ice cold and raining hard at the top. Hot and humid at the bottom.
The riding surface? Slick wet asphalt for the first bit and then rocks for the majority of the rest.
The views? Unbelievable. Even if we were subject to look at the remnants of buses that had driven off the cliffs or gravestones at the side of the road for bikers who weren´t as lucky.
The thrill level? Never clenched onto handlebars and brakes so tightly. Never had a better time on two wheels. It´s official, bikes are only about a gazillion times better than stupid horses.
Oh, and the accident? Wouldn´t be normal without one, right? 15 minutes to go. Tearing down the final stretch. British girl in the group gets a flat so we pull to the side to break. I sit by a 10m waterfall and motion Jodie to come next to me. ¨That rock is sturdy, yea?¨ she asks. ¨Of course,¨ I reply as she takes a seat. 3 seconds later she is tumbling down the rocks and I hear the familiar scream. I desperately lunge for her, trying to make a heroic grab, only to find myself now freefalling as well. Crash, boom, bang. Somehow we land relatively vertically. Somehow, like the horse incident, sore butts and minor scrapes are all we incur. I don´t know how we got so lucky again...if you can call it luck. Seriously, I don´t know how the two of us always get into such predicaments in the first place. Definitely climbing that liability depth chart. At least it wasn´t the 1000m drop.
Well I´m in Peru now...unexpectedly. My Bolivian visa had another month on it but the volunteer work didn´t pan out and there was enough Carnaval excitement here to lure me away. And cool canyons to climb.
I still don´t really know the whole story behind Carnaval. But I dug the numerous parades, dancers, bands, and costumes...the latter ranging from overstuffed animals to Eyes Wide Shut type. And yea it wasn´t Rio but I was quite pleased that Puno´s version didn´t involve any gay floats. I hate those things. Amidst the spectacle, however, are little brats who like to spray tourists with ¨artificial snow¨ from aerosol cans, which is more akin to shaving cream. The amount of times I want to smack these little shits is countless. Trust me, you would too. On one rainy night, I was alone on a street corner when 3 teenage girls walked by. I was cold, hungry, wet, and generally not in a great mood. Then one of them pulls out the can and covers my whole front in foam. Bitch. I fake lunged at her like I was going to attack her. She jumps back, trips, and falls ass-backwards into a giant puddle. Her friends go to help her. I laugh and basically step over her. That´s right, go back to whore island.