Tigres, clouds, plantains, rain, mud, and waterbombs
finally left velcrobamba, they dont call it that for nowt.good goodbye, my old matey raf gave me 20 bucks and cleaned my chain for me, top lad.
Hit the road, crazy big up hills, but the road was mostly paved, good riding, arrived to the next town, headed for the main park, and asked the padre of the church if I could sleep just next to the church, deal done. There was one guy that I got bad vibes from and I was thinking he was gonna try something during the night, he didnt, was maybe just a weirdo, and not a theif. The whole town, tiny place decided top have a huge water bomb battle, chasing people and generally causing water mayhem, running around with shopping bags full of waterbombs! Because I was in the square all the people kept me awake longer than I would have liked but, it was ok, I got some reading in, and it was a super funny place, everyone was laughing, it was strange, like everyone just cracking jokes and having a good time..
my days intention to the world, a prayer of sorts, I gave thanks for all the blessings so far, and now I want to discover all that is beautiful and powerful.
A man approached me in this town and told me the were 2 tigers loose further ahead, just the other day they ate two gringos from holland on bikes also, I was like no te creo! I dont believe you, and he was like seriously, seriously, and walked off, later I saw him again, and he was like fucking tigers, seriously! I asked a kid who was seated close by, I was like its a lie right, he was like yea sure, but I doubt the kid even knew what day it was.
Just before bed, a beautiful girl in her 20s wearing a black hoody and sweats was talking to a kid, I looked at her over my book and said goodnight, then she did what most people dont do, she approached me and said excuse me but could I ask a question, I said of course, I like questions..where are you coming from on your bike? followed by many other ?s and me trying my best to explain my ways to her and the kid, we talked for a while and then they left, it was late. I thought how humour can be a powerful thing, it can unite a whole village, thwart disputes, and lighten the daily load…and also the only person apart from kids (who gave me a biscuit) who who was nice to me during the 5 hours I was there was the most beautiful girl in the village, and that was a beautiful thing. In the morning I was reluctant to get up at first light, and stayed in the warmth of my bag, then it was getting later, people starting to do there business, walk past me like who is this bum sleeping on the street, anyway I was like fuck it, Im gonna sleep until I decide not to, then I heard a loud buenas dias, looked up and it was the girl from last night, smiling, wearing a beautiful pink dress, she was walking by fast, as if to go to work or something, I waved and smiled and decided to start my day with that good energy rather than waking up just because people are walking by looking at me weird.
hit the road
up hill like a mutha
a man on the steep hill side is working his land, hes pretty far away but I can hear him shouting.
Tigers, Tigers! there are Tigers ahead, when you go down this next hill! turn back! turn back!
I was like wtf!
Tigers I shouted, ahead?
fucking tigers they are gonna kill you!
I instinctly carried on, looking at the man, as he continued to shout, I was going at walking pace, steep and rocky road..maybe I will find someone to ask before I get to the down hill was my only idea…
whats back?, nothing…very few cars to hitch a ride…I cant go back…my machete is pretts sharp, they are fucking tigers, you wont know it until it is biting yor face off…come on, even in parts of the amazon its hard to find tigers, as if they are gonna be here near the road…yea but 10 like miles that way is pretty deep jungle…yea but they would kill a cow or horse or something first right…ok there is a good chance you are gonna die, they would never know what happened to me, eaten by a tiger I would just dissapear, they would be sad, they shouldnt be too sad though, death is not all that bad, yeah death is to not be feared, and a tiger death must be some kind of warrior privledge or something right, fuck yea. ok so im free then, ok im ready to die, but I wanna live, vamos…
further up I saw a farmer, the second person in hours after the man on the hill, he was herding his cows, and I hurried to catch him up,
hey whats the deal with the Tigers?
Tigers! you have seen some?
looking around his shoulder instictivly.
No but two people have told me there are tigers loose further ahead, I dont know if they are joking or what?
I havent heard anything..
one time an engineer did get eaten by a tiger, but he was in the bush, who told you?
this man just…
oh the old man on the hill
yea hes crazy, he doesnt know what hes talking about
and yestarday in yangana a man told me the same
well I live in yangana and havent heard anything, usually that kind of news flies around so I would know
plus there are people working on the road ahead,
cool, thanks, I`m off then, chao
so for a while I thought I was gonna get eaten by tigers, and then I kept looking for tigers, then I forgot about it as the road turned into one big shit, and im talkin royal shit, mud, rocks, rain, one of the worst I have seen, if not, and it was climbing up hill right across the mountains. Only drank a litre of water, its what I left with and there was no other place to get water, no people, no houses, climbing like a mother, which was crazy as I thought it was all down hill, a few hours later im entering the quote cloudy zone, heading into the clouds and still going up like wasted tired… I had some self dried bananas that kept me going, I was pushing the bike and the lot, starting to loose the will, then a car stops, we talk, and the wife wants to give me some plantains, I can see it, and the dude is like no they are not ripe enough, forget it, and im like no please dont forget it, and then she looks at me and raises the plantains, and im like yes please, perfect…then I made up the platano song, got my energy back and continued riding through the clouds singing.
I like platanos
they give me power
power to ride
power to sing
ripe platanos, I eat raw
there is no other thing like it
not even my wife
but in spanish it all rhymes..
me gusta platanos
ellos da me fuerza
fuerza para andar
fuerza para cantar
platanos maduro, yo como crudo
no hay otra cosa
ni siquiera me espousa
Then the road went from bad to holy shit, and at one point I was like wait a second im going down hill, and then I started to make a finally going down hill song, but the road called for complete concentration, cloudy coudnt see anything, corners so dangerous its literally unbeleivable that people ride them, you could not pay me to take a car on that road, on a bike its ok, super slow, squeezing the brakes so much your hands cramp up, it was insanely steep as well…anyway finally made it down, lost some crazy elevation, and made it to the next town. I burned through two tires, but had spares, and was going through a set of break pad a day, due to the grit.
Bakery first stop, the woman was inspecting my 25 cent coin for maybe a minute, I was going to offer another but didnt, also I wanted to bitch slap her with my wad of cash, but didnt, get a life…uff dioreaha gotta go…
I had to wait for the immigracion guy to finish his volleyball match by the river before he would stamp me out. Then the peru dude was playing solitaire, and said this doesnt look like you, I was like yea its old, he was like give me yor signature, I was like, ok, I think I remember how I used to sign 8 years ago, did it, he seemed somewhat satisfied, go check with the police, I did, how long will you stay….maybe 5 months, 5 months what the hell you gonna do in that time? You see im travelling by bike, peru is huge, a lot of mountains, here you say you work on internet what exactly does this entail… I write stuff….ok so you really want 5 months, yep..ok….welcome to peru…