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Monday, December 20, 2004 CE

Peru



Seeing "The Motorcycle Diaries" reminded me much of my own trips inside my country. I did not travel for months like el Che, but I saw many of the things he saw. I got to do several 2-week trips whenever I had vacations in medical school. And most of the times I travelled with a friend, as Che did. I had very little money and I got to experience hospitality. People there will never let you leave a place without eating. They do not ask for money. They are poor, but do not hesitate in giving their own bread for the visitor. As a person born in the capital city, I got to respect the people who lived in the mountains. The impossible geography made me understand how difficult communications can be. Roads are built every year, but the mudslides destroy them in the following rainy season. Deep canyons, 6000 m (20000 feet) mountains, vast plateaus, no oxygen.

Furthermore, millenia of history watch you as you visit the Inca roads, the old temples and fortresses. Machu Picchu is just fantastic, but it is not the only one. The country is just an open book.

While I travelled, the Shining Path guerrilla was terrorising the people. I saw abandoned fields, abandoned towns and lots of fear. I had to speak in English with my friend so that people do not understand what we were talking about.

I will soon go back to visit my country again. I know that I am just visiting...

5 Comments:

Blogger aphrodite said...

The picture you posted looks like that of a fairy tale! Wow, what fertile, green beauty. It fascinates me to think of the history you have set foot upon. With every abandoned town comes a story. Some stories we shall never know...my imagination goes wild creating my own myths as to what may have happened in the "ghost towns". Can you explain what you mean when you say that you saw "lots of fear"?

8:12 AM  
Blogger Doctor Marco said...

Hi, Aphrodite. Let me explain you. People in the buses, who were talking a lot when we left Lima, as we approached the town of Ayacucho, were silent. I could sense tension in the air. Just in that trip, the bus was raided 8 times. The police and the army would enter the bus at gun point, they would order all males in the bus to step out, to form a line and to give them their national ID cards. They would take the ID's and come back after 10 minutes and give them back after all males would tell them the 8 digit ID number off by heart. At one point in the trip, we stopped in a police station. It was midnight, the altitude of the place was 4700 metres above sea level (15500 feet), the temperature was -10 Celsius (about 14 F). They did the same thing with the ID cards, but this time, they told us that the bus could not move because there was combat 2 or 3 from the place. I saw the local people, used to altitude, starting to vomit in plastic bags. It was cold, I asked an Indian lady to lend me a bit of her blanket to cover my legs. I remember may nails looking blue from hypoxia. A policeman, who was travelling with us, who was very talkative at the start of the trip was silent, I could tell he was afraid, but no one said a word. I was not only observing, I formed the line when I was ordered and gave my ID card when I they told me to. I saw and suffered in my vacations what those people had to suffer every day of their lives.

6:20 PM  
Blogger Gindy said...

http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn6829

3:05 AM  
Blogger Gindy said...

My sister went there last year. She is big (as a hobby) into mountain and ice climbing. She talked it up. No doubt about it. When I was a kid in school, for religious reasons we spent quite some time on Ancient Egypt, it's religion of the time and the pyramids. It is only recently I have begun to look into the South American pyramids and structures as well. The similarities are amazing (in my opinion). Let me know when you post your pictures.

8:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

azize delam,I wish to visit ur country one day!
boos

1:02 PM  

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