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Vignettes of a Lazy Traveller

¿Tranqueeeeeelo, no?

ARGENTINA | Friday, 27 March 2009 | Views [492] | Comments [1]

My right knee is jammed up against a 50kg sack of dried corn kernals, My left squashed into a 50kg bag of potatoes. One hand holds my hat firmly on my head, the other grips a rusty bar. My arse is balanced on one of two spare balding tyres that spin forward and back as we go up and down and down and round and down and up and up and upupup no. The truck stalls.

"Lucian!" yells the driver, Darío (DarIo not Daario) loud voiced and laughing. Lucian is apparently the name of the old man in a cowboy hat sharing the back of the truck with me, mi amiga, 5 months of supplies and an old lady who shields her face from the wind and sun with a blue polarfleeced jumper. He motions for us to get out, so he can locate a rock to jam the wheels (this fails) and so we can lighten the load for the 1970's tank to get up the hill. After he has rolled backwards a good 100m, unloaded old lady number 1, older lady number 2, and mother and child, gets a run up and up she goes.

Dumbo is the name of our chariot. "the best!" Darío says loudly and proudly. He explains that most people with their 4x4's don´t come out this way...they don't want to hurt their cars. "Is Dumbo a 4x4?" I ask. Darío snorts.

He pulls over at the top of a little incline. Sticks his head out the window and looks back at us. "Todo bien?" "si" All good. This road, he yells, has been a highway...now..."caminito feo": ugly road.

Lucian laughs and his eyes crinkled even more at the edges.

As we go down a roller coaster of a road, I have one eye on the oncoming cactuses and prickle bushes and one eye on the wooden crate of something heavy precariously perched above Señora's head. As we go over a particularly large pothole I just grab it before it topples over and at the same time as 12 pack of 3litre coke falls against my left leg and a bottle of kero tips over near my right. Señora helps right the kero.

We stop next to a group of trees, a cliff, 5 horses, 13 donkeys and about 5 brown faced men waiting. We stiffly get out of the back of the ute and sit down on a rock while they unpack the supplies, to load the donkeys and set off on the 6 hour trek to their village in the mountains.

"¿Tranqueeeeelo, no?" says, Darío, in the quietest voice I've heard yet.

I look at the sky, the napping donkeys, the trees, the much closer mountain.

"Si, Tranquilo."

Tags: corn, darío, lucian, potatoes, tranquilo, ute



you and your stories are beautiful :)

  Alanna Mar 29, 2009 4:38 PM

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