Good morning Folks
I trust you all had an awesome weekend.
A busy week here in the city of Combi chaos. Didn’t get anything done that I planned, but that is Lima (& me) for you!
The Adventure Travel Film Festival.
A quick shout out for an Awesome event happening this coming weekend, in London.
I love adventure, travel & films, so this would be absolute paradise for me.
Unfortunately I am working Friday night & until 7pm on Saturday, so by the time I get there, it may be over!
However, if you are able to drive, ride, fly, run, walk, crawl, hop or hitch (special prize for longest hitcher), get yourself there!
This is no ordinary film festival. The organisers, Austin & Lois are two of thee most amazing & inspiring people on this planet & they have put on a mighty fine spread.
Check out the epic trailer right HERE & get thersens there!
More details HERE…
Lima is a place of hustle & bustle (understatement), so a lot of the time it’s head-down & earphones-in. I walk to work (bliss) & don’t spend a fraction of the time on the buses as I used to. Every day I see things that make me stop & wonder.
A Combi reversing the wrong way up Av. Javier Prado, a punter crossing the Panamericana (when there is a bridge 10yds away), the taxi that stopped in the middle lane of the Evitamiento (toll-motorway) to let a punter out & more.
They are all commonplace.
On Wednesday however, I stopped in my tracks, as did a bloke walking towards me. He looked just like me (& unsurprisingly vice-versa!)
Unlucky bugger (before you say it!)
Now you often get people saying, “You look just like so-&-so, or a friend of mine, or someone I know”, but to actually see a person who looks like you is a bit weird. Even his mates were looking at him & me & him.
We never spoke, what would we say, but it was an interesting few seconds & put a smile on my face
A morning in the Nick!
Very close to my second home (Immigrations in Calle España, Breña) lies the might fortress of the PNP, (the Peruvian Police force); an imposing building if ever there was one.
Told the Nipper to be on her best behaviour!
Due to some incredibly frustrating red tape, the Nipper has had some bother with her Visa. It’s all sorted, sort of, but the problem is that we cannot cancel the entrance Visa, without leaving the country. She’s a bit too small to pop on the bus to the nearest border herself & we’re trying to find out a way to get round it, which is how we ended up inside the office of the Foreigner & Immigrations Police.
One hour later, we were none the wiser, but told to go back in a month.
As & when we ever leave Peru, I think the Nipper will need to get her disguise out!
5 days into my new training regime & my legs feel shot to pieces!
All of my running is done after work, so it’s usually 10/11am by the time I get out. It’s winter here, so it’s ideal running weather & the roads are a bit less barmy at night. Hoping to get a good month of running in, before I wander out onto the hills. Made a friend at a local running shop, who is part of a group who run out into the mountains on a Sunday morning.
Work to do, but I can’t wait!
I was further inspired by this news today. (Article in Spanish).
A 95-year old Peruvian athlete who just won Gold medal in the 100m, clocking under 20 seconds. An amazing achievement.
(Think I’ll have to knock the SuperNoodles on the head, just to get to that age!)
Victor Meldrew says…
Three words “Green Cross Code!”
In case I hadn’t mentioned it before (!) the roads here tend to be a little on the chaotic side. I have had three very near-misses from cars hurtling the wrong way down a one-way street, one of these was a week after I’d bought the Clunk & it was on a blind corner, so needless to say I was a tad shocked!
From a very early age at Primary School, we were taught the “Green Cross Code”.
Now I was brought up in the sticks, in a small village in the Lakes, so traffic wasn’t really an issue. I will never, ever forget the day (circa 1977) that the local village Bobby walked into the school playground. A giant of a man, 6ft+ in full uniform. Suddenly he did a fancy flip & started walking on his hands for a good 20yds & then flipped back & said “Hi kids, I’m PC Singleton”
A collective “Woah!” from all of us there (it was a small school; 40 kids in total & only 6 in my year). From that day we were taught the “Green Cross Code” & we all had to pass our Cycling Proficiency before we were allowed on the road…
“I won’t be there when you cross the road, so always use the Green Cross Code!” said the Green Cross Code man (who was also none other than DARTH VADER when he wasn’t preventing road accidents, and also David Prowse MBE, in real life & what a puzzling triple ID that must have been! At 6’5”, a similar height to PC Singleton).
Even at my rambling standards, this is extreme rambling…
Anyway, one would think that in a city where anything goes (& although I’m not proud, I do ride on the pavements where necessary), it would be at least prudent to glance, but NOBODY does. I was Clunking down the road, eyes going in more directions than Marty Feldman’s, when an OAP suddenly steps out in front of me. Luckily there was a sloped ramp up on to the pavement, as I couldn’t swerve to the left, as there was a taxi overtaking (on the wrong side) another taxi. People just do not look, & that puzzles me, a lot. Self-preservation is low on the list!
Always look out for the ones that look!
Whenever I’m out riding the Clunk (& also, but to a lesser extent, driving), it’s vital to expect the unexpected. Taxis are the most unpredictable, as are maniac Combi drivers, trying to pick up a fare across 6 lanes of traffic.
I always try to get to the lights in Pole Position, out of trouble.
Chugging down the snarling bottleneck that is Av. Canada, I was tailing a car that was acting a bit erratically.
I made eye contact in the mirror, so felt sure that the driver had seen me.
Then, without warning, she swung left & swerved right, so she was at right angles to the traffic, & me & the Combi charging up the inside of me. I slammed all on (disc brake on the front & drum on the back & locked up like a good ‘un). None of us had been going especially fast, maybe 40ph tops, but all of a sudden, we all had to slow down dramatically. I somehow managed to haul the bike right & just missed her; the Combi on my inside had worse brakes than me & went straight into the side of her, in a kind of slow motion s-l-i-d-e. I wanted to stop & see that everyone was ok, but there was a taxi parked on my back rack, honking his horn for his life, so I had to carry on.
I’d seen her look again & she can’t have not seen the Combi. I did think about flogging the Clunk there & then!
10 minutes later a bus jumped a red light when I was crossing a main avenue. Automatically/instinctively (my only option) I swerved into the wrong lane & then hopped across the central reservation, back onto the right side, without thinking.
Then I thought, this is all bonkers!
The Mongol Rally 2015
The Ralliers were fine, the car wasn’t quite so lucky :-/ (Photo courtesy of THE ADVENTURISTS)
This 2015 rally is hotting up nicely, (especially for the Porsche team above, all of whom are safe & sound).
3 years after tootling across the Finish Lina at Ulan Baatar, the Mongol Rally has been a huge void to fill & not a day goes by without me daydreaming about it, (with the exception of Kazakhstan, it’s more a case of nightmares).
Never, ever underestimate the mighty 2CV (Photo courtesy of THE ADVENTURISTS)
Reliable Reliant (Photo courtesy of THE ADVENTURISTS)
Here is the latest UPDATE.
That’s all for now folks
Have a superb week.
Johnny, Lina & the Nipper