Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Moments out of Atacaman Time

If ever I needed proofed evidence as to why our visited countries In South America are such easy places to travel through, I have it today. A few days without connectivity has the inevitable glutted clog of mail. Virtually all is cleared in moments. Only there is one that will squander and spoil our afternoon.

We're heading for Lima, to store our cycles and fly to Florida for a family wedding. We've already booked some accommodation. Frankly I thought that was all that was required of us. A simple business transaction. You offer a service that we require, we make a booking, you accept, we pay, in advance and in full. End of story. Simple? Not.

Today we rode along the coast, sea on my left, giant sandunes to my right. We collect tuna fruits from a fruit hawker. We stopped and constructed some lunch. Stopping right on the edge of the sea, breakers surging over giant worn boulders. Five dolphins perform a swim past. A normal cycling day. We arrive in town and select an accommodation on a whim, actually we reject the one we stayed in two years ago: it had a very enthusiastic happy hooker at two in the morning. The rate is discussed, she offers a discount, we move in. End of story. Simple.

We haven't been asked to verify our identities, asked to provide a copy of our photo passport page, only to learn that these are no longer considered adequate evidences as to who we believe ourselves to be. Now we need to connect to a network...only that account hasn't been exercised often enough.....Two precious hours have been stolen from me, still I'm not sure as to why we need to provide these details. I say we, but of course it's the Navigator who is performing this task, her patience fuse is longer than mine.

Now I'm being led to believe that we're being asked for this information as it will increase the vendor's trust in us, the visitor. Which has got me to thinking. 'Trust'; what an unquantifiable, integral element in travelling. I trust that I won't get mugged. To date we haven't been. I trust that, that lorry has seen me. He has. I trust we'll find somewhere to stay tonight. We always do. I trust in our bodies' defences, as we stand on the corner eating street food. "Cipro' works wonders. I trust that we'll get fresh supplies of the essentials. We do, always finding the oats and coffee. I trust El DueƱo, the hostel owner, to trust us to leave his place in the way would like to find it. He does, we do. We all move in a world that seems intent upon spreading mis-trust, governments and guidebooks being the prime villains. A trust that is so closely related to 'risk'. Risks that require elimination, or so we're led to believe, when its management that's needed, for they are the spices that enrich a travel. All those trusts that can't be numerically measured, but rely on a basic human humanity and the simple fact; The vast majority of people are decent.

But what is really bugging me, is simple. The tablet is tied up with all this trivia, when what I would like to be doing is editing the photos from today's brilliant ride.