Drama on the Panamericana, 5wks to go, “Victor Meldrew says” and Bandits on Ice…

Good morning folks

Trust you had a mighty fine weekend.
A weekly round-up from the city of Combis, Chaos & Cristal.
Have decided to keep it brief this week. It was becoming a bit too wordy.
I have no idea how many people actually read my ramblings.
If you like it, please say so, likewise if you think it’s all a load of bobbins & that I should save my ink, please say so.
Or if you want more of something else, please say so too :-)

Drama on the Panamericana…
The Panamericana rumbles away all day & night about 200yds from my front door. Slithering down the entire continent & locally from the north of Peru, all the way down to the Chilean border & beyond. Unlike the usual limping chaos of the major avenues & alleyways, the Panamericana is more like a motorway, albeit a very unpredictable beast.
I was on a Combi one night, when the Chofer had to slam all-on to avoid a fork-lift-truck doing 5mph. I’ve seen punters reversing down slip-roads to get back on & there is a constant flow of ancient trucks, long-distance coaches, fruit&veg trikes, boy racers (no traffic lights to worry about) & any other vehicle you can think of. In theory there is a fast lane & slow lane set-up, but nobody takes any notice of it.
Yesterday morning was heading out for an early doors ride,  normally I avoid the Panamericana like the plague, but it was early & a bus had just prevented me leaving at my original exit so I headed on south. A bloke in a yellow Tico-taxi was doing about 30mph in the middle lane & a bus was breathing down my neck. The inside lane was taken by a wagon carting sand (which I getting a faceful of) & the other lane was free, so I checked my mirrors-blind spot-mirrors & went for it.
At that precise moment a coach undertook the guy in the fast lane, so my route was blocked, just as I tried to get back in I was terrified to see what looked like a milk crate directly ahead, in the split second that I had to react, I noticed it was actually 4xplastic bar stools tied together. I couldn’t go right because of the Tico & the coach was blocking my other escape route, so I hit it with my left foot, full on :-/
Imagine stubbing your toe at 45mph! I was wearing trainers (I don’t have any boots & a size 44 was the biggest I could find when I went looking) it hurt!
I broke my left ankle in Tenereeefeeee 20yrs ago & although it’s pinned & plated, it’s never giving me any grief, but I felt it yesterday.
I pulled over & ripped my trainer & sock off, and started doing a comedy hop-around. Adrenalin kicked in, I started to panic, what if I’d broken it? I tried walking on it; no crunching, sore, but bearable.
I’ve recently taken out insurance, but it’s not active yet. No work would mean no pay, who’d get the Nipper’s nappies?
Then I suddenly realised, what if I’d been 6 inches to the left?!?! I would have hit it full-on with my front wheel!
With the coach so close behind me, it didn’t bear thinking about. I’d been very lucky indeed.
I carried on with my ride, which went without incident & seeing dozens of runners out & about, I did think it might have been better to have gone for a run instead!
I did however have a great ride out to Morro Solar in Chorillos. More pics to follow on the FB page soon!

imageMorro Solar Cross. Made of old pylons & lit up light a giant Christmas tree at night.


Remove sunglasses before going through pitch-black potholed tunnels if being chased by a Mototaxi!

Lima Maratón, 5 weeks to go…
Entry in, number 1288, your time is (almost) up.
My poor old legs don’t know what’s hit them (& after yesterday morning, neither does my ankle!) From zero to a moderate 40 mile week No science, rhyme nor reason in my training, I am up against it timewise so it’s a case of shoehorning as many miles in as possible between now and 17th May, without my knees exploding or my body falling to pieces!
I always worked on a 6 week rule; 6wks to get fit, then 6wks specific training & then 6wks to peak. That was back when running was what I did most.
Now I’ve got 6wks, full stop!
As traffic is so bonkers here, i.e. no very free moving, I often wondered if it was actually quicker to run home, than bus it (& give the Clunk a bit of a rest). So, I’ve been running home from work, wherever that may be, each night.
It’s not very inspiring scenery wise, but in places the pavements are so shot to pieces, so it’s a bit like off-road. Motorbikes on the pavement (who’d do that) & unpredictable ice-cream-trikes spice things up a bit.
Will I make it to the start line???
Watch this space…

Never ignore a drip-drip-drip…
10 years ago I went on an awesome camping trip in New Zealand with a good friend called Amanda. Our plan was the Abel Tasman Coastal Trail. The first day went well & after a few sundowners, we rested our heads to the pitter-patter of rain, which got heavier & heavier & heavier.
I’d committed the schoolboy error of pitching in a bit of a dip. I’m not exaggerating when I say we almost drowned & we had to bale out in the early hours.
Fast forward to 2015.
I was reading the Nipper a bedtime story, when I thought I heard water. The washing machine was on & it is a big noisy beast, so I thought nothing of it.
10mins later I saw water flooding out of the kitchen door. In Peru carpets are uncommon (it was a good job in this case) & houses are generally tiled, a special kind of tile, which when wet, is a surface slippier than ice covered in grease! We don’t have a mop (what I would have given for a squeegee), so I started to mop it up with a tea towel & wring it into a mini-bathtub.
To my horror I then saw that it was going out of the front door, into the hallway & into next door :-/
I bunged up their door with some towels & carried on with the epic soak-&-wring session. As there is no light in the foyer (& there is a gradient down to the exit gate, which by this time was absolutely treacherous), I was convinced that somebody was going to dash down the stairs, slip & break their neck.
3hrs later it was all sorted, no one died!

In other news…
Sometimes you really want to take a photo, but it is just too obvious!
Saw a bloke getting his sandals polished by a Shoeshiner in San Isidro; it looked like he was having a nightmare, as the customer was also wearing white socks!

Victor Meldrew says…

I don’t like to moan (& I’ve not mentioned traffic, nor combis yet, actually I have), but sometimes it is best not to bottle it up.
There are some cultural differences here in Peru, some I can get my head round, others I can’t fathom out & others, which do my nut in!
This week my moan is about noise.
If you go to any electrical store, you’ll see giant speakers which would probably be too loud/noisy/big for a place such as Toff’s/Ziggy’s/Barnum’s (showing my age!)
It seems that are a best-seller, as a lot of people makes a right royal racket at all times of the day/night/wee hours. Fair enough if they’re having a party, I’ve no problem with that, but when you get salsa boomed at you at 5:30am, when your neighbour gets their morning shower, it’s a bit too much.
I’d like to dedicate this SONG to the bloke upstairs who was drilling (for oil by the sound of it) last night at 11am.
Victor says “Piense Varon!”

I deliberately left the best until last!
If you need some inspiring reading, check out the mighty BANDITS ON ICE Website. Naviguru is one of the best & most enteraining Adventure writers I’ve ever known (& he is an awesome bloke too!) Their blog about their recent ICE RUN is unmissable!
Read it now, work can wait ;-)

Have a superb week.
More next Monday.
Johnny, Lina & the Nipper :-)

4 thoughts on “Drama on the Panamericana, 5wks to go, “Victor Meldrew says” and Bandits on Ice…

  1. Jane Daniel

    Awesome blog as usual, should have sneaked a company squeegee in your luggage! Take care speak soon x

  2. Johnny Bravo Post author

    Thanks Jane :-)
    It did cross my mind.
    I would’ve given a months wages at 10am in Tuesday night, even for a knackered squeegee!
    Hope all is well.

  3. Lloyd Hannis

    Great read, Johnnyboy. As you know, I can relate to many of the things you write about having lived here for longer than you! It’s good you write about this stuff so you can compile it all in to a book later in life for would-be globe trotters and expatters… maybe they’d think twice! However, it’s all part of the adventure, that is, until it becomes everyday living and salsa at 3am, 5am and again at 11pm starts to get on your nerves.

  4. Marko

    Hola JB,
    Thanks for another awesome blog, the “Panamericana incident” sounds like a lucky escape even though you didn’t come out entirely unscathed!
    Stay safe Amigo!
    Marko :-)

    p s.
    Following your post about the impending Tea shortage I remembered that I’d sent Yorkshire Tea to a friend in the States via an internationally known on-line retailer and thought it might be possible to do the same for you.
    How long do you think it took for it to dawn on me that an Goggle search for Amazon & Peru wouldn’t turn up trumps with Yorkshire Tea? :-/ !!!


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