Good morning folks
I trust this finds you in mighty fine form and enjoying the bank holiday weekend.
I am in fact scribbling this weeks ramblings a day early, a wedding to go to on Sunday brings everything forward a day, but the blog must go on!
A fraught week with a few highlights, but as a friend here said to “Don’t just dwell on the positives, LIVE the positives!” He is right, enough of my grumbling, there are a lot of people far worse off and you have to make the most of what you have got
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OF THE WEEK…
Missing this in Taddy this weekend
But as a consolation, Big Names are coming to Lima!
Plenty of fresh air on this bus.
Nipper gave herself a sticker manicure.
Coffee Burger George!
FLT pit stop on Javier Prado.
View from the top…
Nipper’s new shoes
This weeks blog has been flung together a day early, as we have been invited to the Wedding of the Year (actually my only wedding this year and since about 5 years ago too).
My friend/colleague is getting hitched to Sylwia down south, a wedding on the beach!
Runners, riders and full SPs next week…
NEW ROUTE UP THE SENTINEL!
There is a hill/heap of sand that dominates the skyline of these parts.
People just call it “el cerro”, the hill, but it intrigued me for years…
Its name is CERRO CENTINELA.
From a distance it looks to have a semi-built castle on top, but when I asked absolutely nobody knows what it actually was/is. About a year ago I found a way up it and the reward is an aerial view of the city and insight into a half-built something. A grandiose wall encompassing the foundations, with gates and mysterious passageways, of what could have been a very impressive mansion, with steps hewn out of the rock and a switchback road from the valley below, it must have taken some backbreaking graft, but it is unfinished and deserted, a mystery?
My original route up/down was part of my unfinished project “Doubtful Round”, a tricky road crossing (a blind bend dual carriageway) followed by dodging two generations of junkyard dogs and a slog up some near vertical sand gets you on the ridge. The road crossing gets hairier every time and I did find an alternate way down at Christmas, but it goes through an army base/social club, not ideal (I snook out last time, never to return!)
There is a dusty shantytown at the other side and I gazed and gazed and figured there MUST be a way, so I ventured in and with a rock in each hand, dodging the canine ambushes (who were never in danger with my crap aim) found a way up the sandy side, marvelling at how sand can remain on such a steep slope, like a beach at 60 degrees angle!
Up is a slog, down is a giddy blast!
From there it’s a two mile pedestrian dodge back home, looking like I have been beside the seaside, beside the sea (when we’re about ten miles away from the coast!
New ground is always good
SNUBBED AND NOT SNUBBED
I was in the park with the Nipper last week, attempting a World scooter-round-in-a-circle record when I heard a group of four youths talking in English (American accents), not common in my parts. Possibly missionaries, maybe volunteers or unlikely (very lost) tourists?
I asked them if they were from the US and they ignored me completely. I asked again and one said “Yes”. I commented that it was nice to hear somebody speaking English and they walked off, at a rate of knots! I consider myself snubbed!
Then this morning, the Bairn and I went to a different park and saw a lady juggling (not literally) a baby and a two-year-old. I started a conversation and we found ourselves talking about allsorts. My mood (which has been pretty dark all week) was lifted and I found myself smiling (not done much of that this week either)
My Spanish is bad and getting worse, it’s my dodgy pronunciation that is the problem.
I’ve got some absolutely brilliant colleagues at work; salt of the Earth folk, but tea breaks are short and conversations are snatched.
One thing I really, really do miss (apart from a decent pint, pies, a postal service, green grass, muddy mud, sleep, P&Q and my mates/family) is banter. I do find myself homesick here, just through lack of communication and a bit of a laugh from time to time.
I do have some great amigos here, but gatherings are infrequent and my problem is that when I drink I become incoherent rather swiftly, and all the things that I wanted to say, I forget!
So if I do see you in Blighty in August 2018, get ready for a proper chinwag :-)
NOISE – Part 549…
New levels of noisiness this week, apart from living on the set of Auf Wiedersehen Pet, an upstairs neighbour has been replacing his floor (3 days of pick axes), plus the usual midnight rows and tantrums above.
Here is a quick soundtrack, it’s only 14 seconds long, but it does last from 7:30am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday. Nice!
Noisy noise video :-/
STAGE DEBUT AT 44.
After a crash course in acting, the BIG DAY arrived on Saturday!
When I first enrolled for this course I naively imagined reading a story from a book, wrong, wrong, wrong!
I was given a story “The Wolf and the Moon”, a tale about an ambitious, but unrealistic daydreamer of a wolf (ring any bells) and a lake, a mountain and the moon itself.
The course that followed was a steep/overhanging learning curve. Voices, projection, gestures, movement and remembering lines. My day job is not likely to change!
I discovered that I cannot do different voice for a start. I needed four different character voices and a narrator voice. I tried a woman’s voice, but couldn’t hold it. Tried a high voice and again couldn’t sustain it. So the Lake got a parody of a Mancunian accent, the Wolf was reet Yorkshire and the narrator was Cumbrian. The mountain was a slightly deeper Manc accent and I tried a Welsh accent for the Moon, but it lapsed back into a Northern mixture.
I’d read this story about 20 times and come out with a different version each time. An appalling memory leads to improvisation.
On the day of the performance we were given a microphone (which I’d only ever used in Karaoke), but this was a proper MC Hammer/Burgerworld Drive-thru headset!
Our coach, the ever-patient Miguel and guitar backing by Jorge had worked extra hard to get us ready. I was the only bloke and probably the least-able of all, but I gave it my best shot and the kids loved the Wolf Howl
Leaving the house extra early is never a guarantee of arriving in good time here, so after an hour I jumped the bus and took a cab, arriving 10 minutes before curtain-up.
The rest is a blur; 70 kids between 11-15 years old. I was 5th up on stage and probably left them more confused with my story than they have been in their lives so far!
Today, an auditorium in Pueblo Libre, tomorrow? Probably never near a stage ever again!
Coincidentally I clocked two years of service at my job today, whether I’ll have a job on Tuesday is another matter…
Just back in from a run-of-two-halves in yonder cerros.
Started in a very murky, pre-dawn fog, drizzle and not exactly cracking flags and then suddenly broke out into blazing sunshine and blue skies at 3000ft.
Then I saw something I’ve only ever seen once in my life; a broken spectre, which I think is a shadow cast onto the clouds from the sun behind. The one day that I went as lightweight as possible (no camera), typical!
(Not my pic, but looked something like this!)
The rest of the run was back in the clag, swirling around, not knowing what was up nor down, as it was down to about 20ft visibility. Interesting, especially when the hounds of the hilltops were close…
An interesting transformation is occurring up on the tops, instead of looking like the surface of Mars, it’s all starting to turn green, summer is slowly losing its stranglehold. Autumn is-a-coming.
Next week: DESAFIO HUAROCHIRI Race 1
I miss my little red C90 Clunk
Out of all my hare-brained trips, my mini 9-day jaunt up Bonny Scotland was one of my favourites; Ride all day through some of the most amazing scenery in the World, stop somewhere, camp, eat, sleep and repeat. No pressure and unmeasurable fun!
Mr. Ed March is the absolute King-of-the-Clunks.
He’s already ridden from Malaysia to Blighty (trailer HERE) and is currently embarking on a Panamericana adventure from Alaska to Argentina, (he’s not passed through Lima yet).
He is one of my heroes, as is Austin Vince (Mr. Mondo Enduro).
This is the VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Have an awesome Bank Holiday.
Johnny, Lina & the Nipper