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Market In Perú

Market In Perú

Travelling is always an adventure. Whether you are across the world or just across town, there are little anecdotes to be told. Let’s share them!

I’d like to ask a few travellers to tell me their best anecdotes on the road or abroad. On top of my mind, I’m thinking of:

Gail, who backpacked around the world quite a lot (and visit her for her great pictures!)
Renny and Diane, who always seem to be exploring awesome places in Norway
Bluefish, who is getting to know Denmark with her European hubby
Max, my favorite Portuguese girl
Linguist-In-Waiting, who traveled to Europe last summer
The Spitting Vessel, who seem to know so much about the world
Seraphine, who has just been in Costa Rica
An Argentinian family in Waterloo, Canada, who is bound to have some anecdotes! I´m sure the Zieglers family, also from Argentina, has some cool stories as well.
Agnes at her CosmicTreeHouse, and her love for India

Meanwhile, here are a few of mine.

  • In Lima (Perú), we took a taxi to go to the bus station. The ride was smooth, we were joking around with the driver, when suddenly, the car stopped in the middle of the freeway. Ooops. No more gas. Fortunately, a cop was nearby and got us into another taxi, while making sure we were not ran over!
  • In Monteverde (Costa Rica), every night there were a sloth in a tree right in front of the hostel. We took many pictures and nothing would disturb it! It just moved slowly from tree to tree, just a few meters from us. I had never seen one in the wild like that and found it quite cool.
  • At the Bolivian border, when one of the migracíon officer took my French passport, he asked me if I was a descendant of Napoleon Bonaparte. I was not sure whether it was good or bad and smile mysteriously. Then I got my exit stamp. Phew.
  • In Arequipa (Perú), we heard a guy screaming “caramelo con leche” all day, from the busy street downstairs. Eventually, we saw him: dressed as a green Santa Claus, he was standing in the middle of the traffic, selling candies. For the first two days we were at the hostel, he worked (i.e. screamed “caramelo con leche” on top of his lungs) until 10 pm. Our last day in Arequipa, we went to see him. He was a very friendly guy who had been working selling candies for over 20 years! Just imagine, standing in the middle of the traffic everyday for 9 or 10 hours, selling candies for a few cents… We bought some and they were delicious by the way.
  • So far, our longest bus ride was over 16 hours, to cover the 1,000 kilometres between Lima and Arequipa. We left at 6 pm and arrived around 10 am the next day. The scenery was awesome but sitting in a bus for so long is difficult! That said, we have done worse: 30 hours between Arica and Santiago in Chile in 2002, 48 hours from Ottawa to the Mexican border in Texas in 2003, and 3 days from Sydney to Perth in Australia in 2003.

So, write about your best travel story, whether it´s a three pages adventure or a two-line anecdotes, and let´s share the world together!

I´ll send a postcard from wherever I am to the best ones.

Have fun!

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

15 Comments

  1. Oh man, I have so many! How do I choose? *looks around* Should I even go first??

    OK, here’s one from 2007:

    I decided, after a major tragedy in my life, that I would celebrate my birthday in a different place every year. In 2007 I decided that I wanted to see the Midnight Sun. I chose Iceland (after I couldn’t get to Nunavut in June), but for a Canadian it’s rather expensive. Ever tried to do Iceland cheaply? I did, through a stroke of good luck (or random opportunity).

    On the first day within hours of arrival, I was on a whale watching boat and overheard a possibly Canadian accent. Turned out the man was a geothermal driller working in Iceland for an Indonesian company, and he was originally from a suburb of Vancouver! For the first time in the nine months or so that he was sent to Iceland, he had a day off because a botched inspection resulted in his well being shut down temporarily — that very day.

    “Why on earth are you on a whale watching boat?” I asked. “You’re from White Rock, you must’ve seen whales from the ferry to Vancouver Island.”

    “My buddy is from Edmonton, and he’s never been on a boat before.”

    They offered to drop me off at the hostel where I was staying after the Edmonton guy went back to their hotel, but the guy from White Rock had nothing to do.

    “Want to drive around Iceland? I have the company fuel card.”

    I’d been awake for nearly two days straight, but we drove as far as we could go in the company truck before he had to go back and sleep. We stopped at every scenic spot: geysers, volcanic craters, waterfalls, etc. He was always working 16-hour days, so had seen virtually nothing of Iceland. Because of the Midnight Sun, we saw a LOT…. for free!

    The next day his well was still not operating, but he drove around Reykjavik (it’s not very big), found me at a bus stop and we went to Hafnarfjördur. For the rest of my time in Iceland, he’d meet me after work to sightsee and bring catered food from the site (it was free!).

    So that is how I visited Iceland, while the economy was still strong, on the cheap!

  2. When it comes to luggage, less is always better!

    My husband and I naively packed two large suitcases each for our first extended stay (few months) in Thailand. We really thought we’d need a lot of stuff for that much time. The first month wasn’t too bad because we were teaching English at a school and our luggage stayed at the house where we lived for that month.

    It did present a bit of a problem for the teacher who came to pick us up from the bus station when we arrived because we had more luggage than would fit in her small car. We had to leave two bags at the police station nearby and come back for them later.
    After our month of teaching was over, we had to travel from northwestern Thailand to southeastern Thailand near the Cambodian border. The travel was by bus and we had to change buses several times. By the time we reached our friend’s house we were ready to chuck the luggage. Fortunately, our friend offered to keep the excess stuff while we finished our travels around the country. We were down to one duffle bag and one backpack for each of us.

    It was a good thing because after visiting our friend, we travelled to southwestern Thailand and then back into northwestern Thailand. We passed through Bangkok during these travels and on a particular occasion we took a shared van to Bangkok rather than a bus. We were assured that the bus station was across the street from where the van would drop us in Bangkok.

    When we arrived in Bangkok we found that the definition of across the street had been stretched. We were dropped off in the southeastern portion of a round-about and the bus station was in the northwestern portion of the same round-about. It was at least a mile from where we were dropped off to where we needed to be.

    Since this is Bangkok, crossing a street is hazardous when it is just you and you are not weighed down with luggage. With luggage it was impossible. Because of the size of this round-about, an elevated walk-way had been built all around the round-about and it was the only safe route to the bus terminal. We slung on our backpacks and then we dragged and hefted our duffle bags up several flights of stairs, through crowds of Thais who were alternately amused, annoyed and sympathetic. Finally, down several fights of stairs and onto a bus.

    The backpack that I carried had our laptop which we used to download all our digital pictures (yes, we took that many pictures). Prior to this trip when I purchased a laptop, I never paid attention to how much it weighed. I do now!!

  3. Oh, a challenge! I’m not going to back down! Let’s see…

    1985 – Argentina: I travelled, along with a group of kids from my school to a small city called Santa María, in the Northern province of Catamarca. After 24 hours on a train, we were taken from Tucumán to Santa María in a big truck (about 400 km in the middle of the mountains). It was really cold, but me and my friend Daniel decided to ride in the back, ‘macho style’. Consequence? Mild hypothermia. But it didn’t end there…
    The following day, another truck took eight of us to a small place called “La Quebrada” some 4,000 metres above the sea level, while the rest went to “El cajón” (2,300 metres below us). There, we worked for 10 days helping the locals fix a school with walls made of mud. Temperatures were extreme: 40C during the day, -10C during the night.

    Once we arrived back in Buenos Aires, it became easy to tell who had been to each of the two little towns. The parents of those who had gone to ‘La Quebrada’ walked just past us… they didn’t recognized us, so badly burned our faces and arms were! 🙂

    I left you a little gift in my blog… My five questions are coming tomorrow!

  4. Something like this? I think only I could come up with something like a bath bomb at customs.

    I’m so glad that you’re enjoying your trip, and I am definitely enjoying reading about it!

  5. In 2006 my mom came to visit us and we wanted to give her a grand tour of the mountains and fjords on the west coast of Norway. We decided to drive from Oslo to Bergen along a very scenic old mountain road which winds through the beautiful mountain landscape.

    Crazy as Renny is about photography we had to stop all over the place to take pictures of the landscape, the fjords, waterfalls, and even the snow topped plateau. You can see his pics here. At one point there was a nice wide new tunnel and beside it was ‘the old road tunnel’. Renny decided to explore the old road tunnel just for his idea of fun!!

    The tunnel was one lane, almost a little less then one lane if you ask me…totally black dark and so narrow I don’t think we could have opened the doors. I was so afraid that some other crazy Norwegian might also use this tunnel and be coming the other way. I began begging him, and in the end had a total Closter phobic fit so that in the end Renny had to back the car out of the tunnel again because I refused to go any further!!

    My youngest son who was sitting in the back seat thought the whole ordeal was totally cool! He said “Wow mom, you really had a cow!” then I laughed and said, “Yes, I think that would be THE definition of having a cow!” Thankfully Renny kept to the new tunnels for the rest of the trip and no more cows were needed.

  6. when we first moved to california from idaho, my parents came to visit. my mother had never flown in an airplane before.
    when we went to the beach, she started crying. i asked, mom are you ok? she hadn’t ever seen the ocean either.
    she was surprised by the sound of the ocean. until then, i had ever thought about the noise the ocean makes.
    now whenever i hear the ocean, i think of my mother.

  7. I love to travel and have lots of stories I guess. A quick one that happened log ago was when I was still in the army stationed in San Antonio Texas in 1966. I made a friend named Andras who was a Hungarian who grew up in Chili (long story). We decided to drive my car to the border town of Piedras Negras for a 3 day weekend. We parked the car on the street in front of our hotel and walked everywhere. There was a parking meter which we fed coins on Friday and Saturday. Sunday we figured was free like at home.

    When we came out on Sunday morning to start back we discovered that my license plate was missing. Andras asked a boy on the street what happened to our tag and he explained that the police had it. This was their way to insure that we paid our fine before we drove back across the border.

    We walked to the police station and my friend told me to wait outside while he talked to the cops. He disappeared into the station and after a few minutes I could hear loud laughter, then he came out with my tag. He said it was OK, he just explained to them that I was crazy. Whatever he said, it worked.

    As we drove back to the hotel for our bags we saw the policeman crouching down behind another car removing its license tag. On his hip in a leather holster was a screwdriver and a pair of pliers instead of a pistol. Live and learn.

  8. Thank you all for the stories! We are in Patagonia right now and my Internet connexion isn´t that great, hence the no reply yet. Getting there… thanks for your patience!

  9. @Gail at Large – Lucky you! I now Iceland is supposed to be crazy expensive (luckely, compact enough too!)… what a great birthday present! Traveling sometimes really dependsa on who you meet and on the chances you take.

    @Bluefish – Waiting for it!

    @Angela May – I´m sorry to say I laughed out loud when trying to imaginate you hauling the luggage, trying to cross the chaotic streets! 😆 That´s a good story. We have all made the mistake of taking too much luggage… I usually just take a backpack but I had a suitcase my first trip to China and I learned from my mistake.

    @Gabriel – 😆 Macho style! Ah these Argentinians… 😆 I can just imagine how you must have looked. You know, we are in Tierra Del Fuego right now (I´m a couple of posts behind on the blog) and I see these backpackers wearing nothing but sandals and shorts. Seriously… talk about hypothermia… 😆

    Thanks for the award, I will pick it up! 🙂

    @Kirsten – I going to read that right now!

    @DianeCA – Ah, these picture addicts!v We go to great lenght for a good one, don´t we! I´m a bit claustrophobic and I can just imagine. Brrrrr!

    @RennyBA – Renny, the subject of a good story 🙂

    @Seraphine – It makes sense, although it is hard to imagine for me because I grew up by the sea. Good story!

    @Tulsa Gentleman – I guess it is a sure way to make people pay! I have never seen that before though. I hope you thanked your friend .-)

    @Agnes – I am waiting! 🙂

    @Linguist-in-Waiting – Alright!

  10. Oh mon Dieu, j’ai completement oublie d’ecrire une article sur ce sujet. Je vais la faire des que possible. Desolee.

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