Good morning folks
I trust you had thee most splendid weekend & that this finds you in top form.
The weekly round-up from the city of noisy noise.
I start thinking about this on a Monday & patch it all together on a Sunday night.
A busy old week, here it is in almost chronological order…
I was reading recently about a person who said they had “lost their mojo“.
For me, Mojo’s is a bar in Leeds (if it’s still there?) Or a 1970s sweet. But what is a Mojo?
Is it a mystical magical power? Does it control us in some way? I don’t know, but I think I’ve lost mine recently too.
I feel like I’ve gone off the boil, lost a bit of spark, drive, focus, direction, motivation & enthusiasm. I’m just going through the motions.
I used to be a daydreamer, but that’s stopped of late too. I’ve just been in a constant stinking mood & bickering/snapping, it’s not like me.
Hopefully my mojo will come back, I miss it…
Touching the Void
In December 2003 I went to the cinema to watch “Touching the Void”.
It was the day after a Work’s Christmas night out & I was supposed to be Christmas shopping, but a raging hangover was threatening to finish me off, so the cinema was a far more attractive proposition. I forgot all about my headache when I saw the film. I had read (& loved) the book, but the film had a huge impact on me.
By the end of it I’d decided, I’m off to Peru!
7 months later (to the day) I was touching down at Jorge Chavez airport. I’d somehow got an upgrade to first class (first & only time it’s ever happened) & I was a bit tiddly. They do look after you up front! We had already flown over the Andes & the jungle in bright sunshine & at 6pm we touched down in pitch blackness!
I hadn’t done my homework & had half expected to be surrounded by mountains & llamas (honestly, I was clueless), I found myself surrounded by a LOT of traffic, most of it very old, rickety & very, very close. Arriving to a place at night is always great as the next day you see a totally different picture.
Now my one & only plan that I had in my head was to walk the 10 day trek that is “The Cordillera Huayhuash circuit”. An airy adventure on foot, also captured in the classic book “Inca Kola”. I never did get round to it, but I did a lot of other things that I never expected nor imagined. It was put on the back burner.
The second time I came to Peru I simply didn’t have the bra$$. I had to work & so a trip to the mountains wasn’t possible either.
Now, packing back in January 2015, I brought the bare bones kit, so that if the opportunity did arise…
However, a bombshell was dropped recently at work & that was the theme of holidays. Here in Peru you have to work 1 year full time & then you get a month (in one block) off. I’ve already done 7mths part time, but that doesn’t count. It looks like my month off (assigned, not chosen) will be December (& always December).
The problem with this is that December is summer. Hot & sweaty in Lima & pouring down with rain in yonder fells. It’s just not the time to do it. Now I was born & brought up in the Lake District, so I don’t mind a drop of rain, but up in the hills here rain causes havoc with landslides & all other kinds of havoc, so it looks like the Huayhuash will have to wait, again.
I do think that this has caused me to lose my “mojo”. I only get Sundays off, so a bigger trip is tricky. We’ll have to wait & see…
All of the above has started to affect my behaviour a bit. Some other people have passed comment, I’ve noticed it myself & I don’t really like it.
Losing my head on the Clunk has been a common theme over the last year. The incessant traffic monster does not bring out the best in punters, especially on 2 wheels. Frustration reigns here. So many things drive me bonkers on a daily basis.
Sir Chris Bonnington wrote the classic book “Everest - The Hard Way”, here it is a case of “Everything – The Hard Way!”
Recently I’ve become a bit (too) outspoken in some matters, for example at work.
In the past I have been a “Yes Man”, if asked, I’d say yes & do it. The holiday carry-on has annoyed me & I’m finding it harder & harder to hold my tongue (when I really should just keep it shut).
I’m not going to go into this too deeply here, but some people don’t just split hairs, they could quite easily split the atom.
I’ve had it before in other jobs. The people (in question) are just doing their job, but sometimes you just think “Just give me a break won’t you!”
I need to chill out a bit I think…
Friday morning saw more red tape wild goose chases!
2 months ago I had to do some “tramites” (untangle red tape) with my Visa/residency at my second home, Immigrations. I had been told that I needed to pay the fee at the Banco del Nacion, the state bank which has queues longer than most free bars I’ve had the good fortune to go to. I was dashing around, running late for work, so after queuing for 3omins I decided to bail & paid it the next day & then went back to Immigrations the next day. After queuing again I was then told I didn´t need to pay! So I made 4 copies of everything (one day I will include a photocopy of my backside) & joined another lengthy sluggish queue to apply for refund. I was told it would go into straight into my bank account in 45 days. 45 days later I received an email, can you come & collect a cheque! So I made a morning before work dash to the pressure cooker that is central Lima, to the Ministry of Economy & Finance. The same old routine; take a ticket, wait, join a queue, join another queue & then be told that the woman I needed to see had gone out. Wait, wait, wait, then told to go upstairs, wait, wait, wait & then told again that the woman was not there, wait some more, told to go to end of corridor on left. Progress! So I walked into an open office & everybody is staring at me! What am I doing, who do I need to see? I presumed that the woman I needed to see wasn’t there, so I tried to explain this & then a bossy little dwarf barked me into her office! “Where have you been!” she barked at me, (it was a statement, not a question!) 20 minutes later I had a cheque in my hand & hotfooted it straight to work, arriving very sweaty indeed, but just in time!
My mate Lloyd
In June 2004 I touched down at Jorge Chavez airport, I had travelled with a fellow volunteer Lloyd from the UK.
(Now, we were on the same plane & I think he’s never really forgiven me for being “upgraded” & not going back to see him in cattle class!)
I’ve been to-ing & fro-ing from Blighty to Peru & back, whereas Lloyd stayed here (& he’s still sane, which is credit to his patience).
Everybody in Lima is mega-busy & the mad traffic doesn’t help either (even short distances take forever to travel).
I met up with Lloyd for a rapid lunch on Thursday & we put the World to rights. He’s a really, really good mate & I don’t have too many of them here.
Moral of the story! No matter how busy you are, always make time for your mates
I love shopping (for Clunk goodies) & I absolutely love good customer service (from people who genuinely love their job).
In Leeds I am spoilt with the likes of GetGeared
mega friendly & helpful people who look after you.
In Lima I don’t have much time (or spare bra$$) for shopping & customer service here is virtually non existent.
There is one man who is a big exception to this rule & that man is Jorge from Honda Desert Racing.
He is the man who sorted me out with my SuperClunk boots & last week he emailed me (personally) to let me know that there is a HUGE Easter sale on at HDR.
Temptation & curiosity has got the better of me, so I’ll meander on down for a nosey. (If he somehow talks me into buying a CRF250, I will be in serious bother!)
Adventurist Night Out!
The Adventurists. The fine folk who are responsible for my obsession with Mongolia, Micras & mini-motorbikes. Fighting to make the World less boring & a very nice bunch of folk too. They have a very tempting website right HERE.
Mr Dan got in touch with me last week, he was passing through town, did I want to meet up for a cerveza? You bet!
So on Saturday night I met up with Dan & Alfonso ( Peru Adventurist’s conveyor of chaos). Barranco Beer Company is my favourite boozer in Lima. I like Barranco, it’s a pretty laid-back, some-may-call-it Bohemian place. I’ve got a lot of good memories there.
All of the Adventurists are sociable, likeable sorts. They do something very unique & they do it very well indeed. It was a fine night of tippling & non-stop talking of adventures; past, present & future. Salubrious for the soul, harmful for the liver & superinspiring for the imagination.
The only drawback about Barranco is that it is the far side of town for me, so it was a last bus job. Best laid plans…
I left Wick’s (we moved on) in good time & started running towards the bus stop. Running, running & running, until I saw a sign for Chorillos, which meant that I had gone in completely the wrong direction. I saw a bus heading (loosely) in the direction that I was going, but almost like a mirage, I never quite caught it, back through Barranco & almost to Miraflores I ran, then I saw a cab & talked intelligible nonsense to the Taxista all the way home. I don’t know what language he must have thought I was talking, I’m not even sure myself! Needless to say Sunday was a l-o-n-g day, but it was worth it. I think I just got my Mojo back too
Hopefully a video that should put a smile on your face on a Monday morning
I saw this knocking about on facebook a while back & it popped up in my “memories”…
My favourite film of all time is “True Romance”. Christopher Walken plays a very scary gangster called Don Vincenzo Coccotti. (and in my top three films is “The Deerhunter”).
shows a different side to him!
Have an awesome week.Cheers
Johnny, Lina & the Nipper