Monday, April 19, 2010

Another "Adventure" - Part Six

Look closely at the map above. Do you see that red circled A that marks the city of Tacna? And then do you see the road leading south from Tacna which suddenly forks to the left and the right? I'm sure you can see where this is leading. Unfortunately ... we didn't!

It wasn't until the white-capped ocean waves appeared to our left and the vast, flat plains of sandy desert stretched out to infinity on our right that our solitary drive (there were no other cars in sight) began to feel somewhat Twilight Zone-ish. It was Martha who broke the silence, saying somewhat apologetically: "I have taken the bus many times, and maybe I just haven't paid close enough attention ... but I have never seen the ocean on my way home to Iquique before!"

On a positive note, we did see some of the most unique landscapes on that drive. Talk about barrenness and beauty! There were some puzzling aspects to the scenery, such as the dozens of tiny cement shacks standing neatly side by side yet seemingly deserted. And there were the signs boasting that we were headed for the prime "balneario" - bathing resort - of southern Peru, but it certainly didn't look like much. (Or perhaps we simply couldn't appreciate its worth when realizing where we were meant realizing where we were not!)

We finally turned around and stopped at a small gas station for directions. The directions we received were the kind that tell you the person giving them probably doesn't drive! So we stopped next at a small store for confirmation. Fortunately, these directions were a little more straightforward and we were able to return to the fateful fork in the road and tardily take the right path toward home.

Knowing what to expect at the border and experiencing it in the light of day made for a much smoother experience. This time the van was even searched by police dogs which the kids found pretty fascinating! Unfortunately Owen was rather tired, hungry and grumpy at this point and created a bit of a show wailing for daddy when Pedro left to finalize the van paperwork. No sooner had I whispered a stern, "Do you want the policemen to come over here?" then I was indeed surrounded by four uniformed men asking questions: Why is he crying? Who is his daddy? Where is his daddy??

Aaargh ... Suffice it to say I was not too happy with my child in that moment.

1 comment:

John & Perla said...

ROFL! That's classic... "Knowing what to expect at the border..."

That's exactlt what I was thinking when you were talking about the waves on the left! At least you will know what to expect when crossing the border. Don;t they always ask "And where did you visit while in Peru?" "Oh here and there, and the beach for a bit." WHAAAA-HAAA.

Sorry, you may not be laughing yet. But we are.


I have story like this on one of my blogs - it involves a taxi driver!