011012 BLOK (the ride from Arica,Chile, to Tacna, Peru)
We were up at 0700, after not a great sleep.
All, a practiced drill by now, going like a 'well oiled machine.'
You practice. You become more efficient! Until it becomes second nature.
But, I made too much Avena porridge, and couldn't finish. Oh, those plain and simple muffins in Arica, they got my attention! I'm the muffin wo/man!
I loaded, but with changes (I'd sent some things to Lima, things I didn't need), had to adjust with new bungie cords. But, in spite of, out the Jardin Del Sol Hostal, by 1015 (0815 in Peru).
It was overcast, but no rain. I haven't seen rain in so long, I've forgotten what it's like. I never put my fenders back on Mr. Fetes, as don't need. No water, except in the ocean.
I met a older fellow cyclist up ahead. We stopped and shared information, and fotos. He had a tripod, and we self-timed a duet.
We exchanged email addresses, and his name turned out to be Werner, from Brazil he said. He was sixty years old, and all German. There are so many Germans in South America. He was going slower than me, I thought something was wrong… He said he'd come down from Argentina, and was going to Lima. He said it wold take 15 days to crank from Tacna to Lima, which is about right, but moving. We went off before me, but then stopped shortly for a foto. I never saw him again, but will send the fotos.
This was the first time ever cranking across a border, Chile to Peru. And it took four stops at various 'Aduana' (Customs) between the two governments.
You finally figure out, if you're older and wiser that all governments are a conspiracy against the people! They increase their involvement in our lives, until we can't live without them. Thus, more jobs (security), and more things they do for us not very well!
Here what we had was many documents, numbers, checking on the computer, stamping, asking questions. But, this was relatively painless compared with the same drill in China. Plus, we know how to do it.
I sympathize with those who want to reduce the size of 'the monster,' but practically impossible as too entrenched. The Conservative Republicans run on that very idea, to reduce government, taxes, etc., but they don't (when in office). R. Reagan in 1980, had pledged to do that very thing, and ended up increasing the size of the Federal Government, while Nancy was divining from an Astrologer from L.A. It's us that's the problem, not them, as they only reflect, us… And oh, is there 'trouble in River City!'
Borders, flags, Nationalism, a problem! But, humanity still too stupid to figure it out. At least 99% of them.
It was one of those Full Moon days, when it's both dreary, yet perfect (for cycling). The absolute barrenness with the steel gray sky, made for interesting light ('frequency'), sometimes difficult to describe as a feeling. I had basically an easy time until the end, when I could have used the 'famous' southwest wind. The two lane highway (in need of repair) did have a bicycle lane, although so badly in need of repair, I stayed mostly on the white line, going back and forth.
After five hours, and only short stops for fotos, toilet, and drink (always combining the three), I was ready to have it end. The last 15KM were up slightly, but then I was in Tacna, my first Peruvian city. This was the first time in three months where I'd done any weight for distance. The older the more your muscles forget, and you have to start all over again…
I had 'pre booked,' the Hostal TeKora Inn, and had the address. I even had a map, all courtesy of Carlos, the best InnKeeper I've had the pleasure of staying, in a long time… I RECOMMEND JOSTAL DEL SOL IN ARICA, CHILE, AS THE BEST! WHERE EVERYTHING HAS BEEN THOUGHT OF, AND EVERYTHING WORKS. EVEN THE HOT WATER IN THE SHOWER. Additionally, it's like a library filled with so much information about Chile, and where to go, do, shop, etc.
But, now in Peru, and curious, how much different from Chile…? Not much at first glance, but we'll know more in one month…
I had to ask several times for called Arias Araguez, but finally found it. Luckily, one way in my direction, I cranked out a ways but never found #662, I thought it was… But, then I decided to walk back on the sidewalk, having seen another that looked good. On the way back, however, there it was looking good, Hostal TeKora (like Maori, in N.Z.) Inn. It's the first time I can remember the word 'Inn' being used with 'Hostal,' I guess I was curious. Also, for the 'word,' 'Kora,' as Buddhist meaning 'to circumambulate' a holy mountain (we did 'kora' Kailas).
The women on duty, very friendly, trusting, as they gave me a room and key without paying first. I hadn't stopped on the way (hadn't seen) any cajero automaticas (ATMs). But, they explained where they were, back on San Martin toward Plaza de Armas. I got a little nervous, however, when the first three didn't work, similar to Areca. But, at 'Mutli-Red,' I was able to withdraw 200 Soles, or something like $80U.S. Things are less expensive here in Peru, versus Chile. I think it's because of Chile's mining prosperity. Peru, need to grow and sell more cocaine, but of course 'bend over,' for the U.S. Government. We've become too arrogant!
Different country, Peru, different currency (Nuevo Soles), different electrico 'plugs,' but the same good chocolate cake!
I had dinner at a place I'd cranked by looking for the Hostal, 'The DeVinci' Italian and Pizza restaurant. Think about it… I'm in Peru, dining in an Italian restaurant, eating risotto del mar. The chocolate cake was the best, light, and just right. I'll be back for more!
I noticed it was colder in Tacna, than in Arica, and I was wondering why, as on 70KM a part. Maybe because Tacna, of course in a different location, but also up from sea level, maybe 500M ASL.
Walking back from The DeVinci, it was misting, and I was lamenting the fact I'd sent all my winter stuff to Lima.
Stay tuned, as we discover the world! (by bicycle)!