Good morning folks
I trust you had a mighty fine weekend.
A lightning quick round-up of the weeks happenings in madhouse central.
As always, a week full of franticity and a bit of an escape at the weekend.
Drama in the street!
Whilst walking to the supermercado with the Wee One we spotted what looked like a monkey in the near-distance! As we got closer it looked like a monkey, which had been run over, by a taxi with two flat tyres. As we got closer still, we were both relieved to see it was only a stuffed monkey! As with most things here, I am none the wiser…
Five seconds of fame…
Got a surprise midweek!
I was “tagged” in a photo on facebook from an article that had been in a national (sports) newspaper “El Libero”, I went to “el kiosko” to buy a copy but my inability to be able to pronounce it (and the fact that it appeared to have sold out too) put a stop to my vanity!
Think the last time I got my mugshot in the paper was when I passed my “Cycling Proficiency” at primary school, when I was 8 years old.
Put it away!
Lima is run by different “municipalities” (councils) of varied degrees of (in)efficiency.
An invisible geographic line can make a huge differences in the services you receive (binmen, security, rules and house/rent prices).
I live in the noisy world of Salamanca, in the district of Ate. If I look out of my window (before two big blocks of flats were built) I can just about see San Borja and Surco, both quite a bit more upmarket (doubt they’d let the likes of me in!)
If you go to San Borja, there are always a million “Serenazgo” guards about, in flash 4x4s, or riding on the pavements on Honda Storms. Serenazgo are similar to Community Support Officers in the UK.
In Ate, we seem to have one battered old riot car (a saloon with chicken wire windows) which drives down the street every morning at 5am honking its horn. In all districts they drive around with flashing (strobe) lights on at all times, a nightmare when driving at night.
If you have any bother, you can ring “SERENAZGO”.
In most other districts, there are rules about noise, not here.
If the “Serenas” (also the word for “mermaid”, of which these donkeys are of equal use) actually answer the phone, they’ll normally say “It’s the weekend!” and if they do go to a 5am noisefest, they are usually “paid-off” with a beer and some food, oh well…
There are some cultural differences here. I am just about getting used to people spitting (men and women, equality!) Not everybody, but you see (and hear) somebody every day gobbing.
The thing that I can’t stand (such a prude) is blokes taking a leak in the street, indiscretely.
Getting caught short once in a while is one thing, but treating a busy road as an open-air-khazi is another.
Not in Ate!
Every day I go past “the dirty bend”, a corner (right on the limit of “Ate” with “San Borja” where somebody dumps an absolute shedload of loose rubbish every single night, which the dustmen are picking up in a morning and a row of parked taxis all taking a pee, in full view of passers-by. It’s just awkward to explain to a three-year-old.
The sad irony is that this all takes place opposite the public loos.
Maybe people are just misreading the sign!
I’ve seen a lot of anger on the roads this week. Traffic is bad and seemingly getting worse, which I won’t go into, but style of driving comes into it massively.
Four times I’ve seen what is always a one-sided shouting match, between a motorist who has been drastically cut-up by a Taxista or Combi driver. On the bus one day I heard a manic beep-beep-BEEEEEEEEP and suddenly a car cut across the bus I was on (in the middle lane) and stopped to block the combi. The irate driver got out and started banging on the driver’s window who seemed completely oblivious and emotionally detached from the world. After a few (lame) swearwords, the angry driver got sick of talking to a brick wall and got back in his car.
(I was guilty of outbursts as such when I used to ride the Clunk here, I don’t miss that side of things).
Saturday arvo was fiesta time for the Nipper. I’m still quite new to the world of kids parties. I was a bit frazzled from a long run just before the start and I can never quite fathom out just where kids entertainers get the energy from!
My good mate Declan was having a Do for his twin boy & girl and the Wee One was giddy to get out to a knees-up. She loves getting her face painted, something that didn’t seem to be around when I was a bairn. I always think of “Phoenix Nights”.
It was all suddenly over and home we went…
The first Trainspotting film (1996) was a classic, one of my all-time favourites. It came along at a pivotal time in my life, just after I had left home and my social life was a bit bonkers. Happy, happy days!
(No heroin I add, just a bit too much ale) It wasn’t just the film and the actors, it was the soundtrack, and although films always deviate from the book, the book was a belter and the film was equally as good (a rarity in that respect).
I must have seen it 30 times at least…
Roll on 20 years and Trainspotting II was announced, the same cast and a screen version of “Porno” by Irvine Welsh. I couldn’t wait, but I had to!
Released in January 2017 in the UK, it just didn’t seem to arrive in Peru and then continued to not arrive! A lot of films here are dubbed, but Trainspotting should/could never be treated this way. It just wouldn’t make sense…
Suddenly and in a low-key way, it was here, but not everywhere, only in two cinemas with two showings. I was terrified that I’d miss it, (and a badly filmed bootleg DVD wouldn’t be the same.
Sunday came and a chance to get a babysitter, so we were off. Lina had only seen the first one once, a long time ago, so she wasn’t as giddy as me and I was giddy.
If you’ve not seen it I won’t spoil it, but it is BRILLIANT (and in fact you may tend to swear a bit after seeing it, so I’d say it was %$£*#g brilliant!)
Desafio Huarochiri #2
Just as the dust settles from race #1, race #2 is next week!
Up into the hills of San Andrés de Tupicocha at 3603m (11800-ish feet above where I am now).
It’s a warm-up for the week after…
The Andes beckon…
Once I’ve got my breath back from Tupicocha, I’ll be getting the overnight bus straight from work up the road (10hr overnight bus) to Yungay for the Ultra Trail 69.
A 50 miler in the Andes.
Have I lost my senses? I think, yes.
I’ve done some long runs before; the Bob Graham Round and the Lakeland 100 (as well as some fairly disastrous two-day mountain marathons over the years). Nothing at altitude though. Although the race starts a bit lower than Tupicocha, it goes much, much higher. Up to a lofty 4780m/15682ft in old money.
Providing my lungs don’t burst &/or legs drop off, I’ll then catch the night bus back to Lima for work on Monday. Ambitious plans…
To wrap-up my weekly ramblings of nonsense, here is something seriously impressive!
Kilian Jornet is something of a legend. Champion skier, runner and an outstanding mountaineer.
On top of his list of incredible accolades, he has just run up and down Mount Everest in 26 hours, without oxygen or fixed ropes!
On his busy, busy “to-do” list (now he’s ticked off Everest) he has also written “Bob Graham Round”. Can he really beat Uncle Billy Bland’s 1982 record of 13hrs 53mins?
Nobody has come within an hour of getting close (and some of the very best have tried), but the Spaniard might just be the man to do it.
I am watching this space…
That’s all for now folks!
Have a week full of awesomeness.
Johnny, Lina and the Nipper
p.s. Not Kilian Jornet, nor Everest, but here are a few snaps from above and below the clouds on my local slopes on Saturday…
Must have smelt bad by this point, this hound normally tries to eat my ankles!