Tales of Adventure
Read stories of adventure from land-locked water lovers like you and me, sharing their SCUBA diving, surface interval experiences and more! No celebrities...just regular people living life; not waiting for an adventure to happen but creating one every chance they get! Become inspired, get off the couch, and quit talking about it...make your adventure happen. These people do it and so can you!
Before retreating with a warm smile and a salute, the driver mentioned that the bus would arrive in either a few minutes or many hours.
For several hours in this quaint little village, we languished on the main dirt avenue near many ramshackle shops constructed of discarded corrugated metal and bound together with bailing wire. As nightfall crept across the town, the generators coughed to life. Moments later, the naked, solitary light bulbs dangling from the rows of commercial shacks, flickered to life with a dull yellow candlelight glow signaling the start of the evening. Workers began emerging from all directions as they labored home to greet their smiling families and learn of the day’s news and gossip. There was no doubt that we were the topic of their discussions as fingers were inconspicuously pointed our way during the pauses in their conversations. We relished in these snapshots of daily life as much as the citizens enjoyed peering, smiling and jeering at us, the three pale skinned oddities.
Hacking, wheezing and billowing black smoke, a dilapidated, but strikingly colorful 30-person bus arrived. After some friendly interrogations to determine the intended destination of the vessel, we concluded it was our chariot back to electricity and running water. We clamored aboard the ailing vehicle that was packed tightly with intrepid locals heading to Puerto Maldonado.
As we began to map out a place to hunker down within the rodeo of people all seemingly vying for the same spot, the overwhelming aroma of the hardworking villagers took over our senses. The limited number of seats combined with the mass of passengers relegated many to sit in the aisle between the legs of those who were standing. We clawed through the stench and all three of us were each lucky enough to creatively lay claim to an uninhabited corner of a worn and torn seat. There we sat, perched precariously, clutching our backpacks for nine spine compressing, claustrophobic hours through the muddy, and pot-holed jungle roads. After dozens of seemingly random stops to pick up and drop off enigmatic pedestrians, we arrived at our destination at 1:30am. Alas, a frigid shower and a night in a stiff bed. It felt better than the Four Seasons.
The next day we enjoyed the usual idiosyncrasies of South American travel as we worked our way to the small airport to catch our plane back to Cuzco. Upon reflection, and in consideration of all the hardships suffered, it was a perfect trip.