' (un)certainties

Friday, 4 April 2014

We've moved!

But don't worry, we've not moved far. You can find us just here. Please bookmark our new site!

Monday, 31 March 2014

Shattered: Hitchhiking from Ecuador to Bogota

 We are shattered. Exhausted, often finding ourselves apologising because we're too tired to speak Spanish or sometimes even English.

We arrived in Bogota nigh on two weeks ago, as highly illegal cargo hiding on the open-air bed of another giant Kenworth truck. Due to fairly strict regulations, hitchhiking is fairly difficult in Colombia. I needn't highlight what these regulations are because in practice they don't matter. Not even the law will stop Colombians from helping people. People from all walks of life have broken the law to help us here: professors, farmers, eldery gentlemen, police officers, musicians and truck drivers alike. The road was tough, with a lot of waiting and a lot of doubt. We even discussed the possibility of catching a bus at one point (funded by my dad, who was in Bogota and was willing to transfer ticket money). Sat under the eaves of a petrol station watching the rain pour down after that offer, we came pretty close to giving in. But that is not what this trip is about, and in the end we decided to get back out there. Immediately we were rewarded with a huge bunch of bananas from a driver who didn't have space for us but wanted to help.

Friday, 31 January 2014

A Little Post from the Big Desert

Just like that we wrote off Bolivia. It was a tough decision but in all honesty came with a wave of welcome relief in the relentless sun of the Atacama desert.

We had been trying to find out as much information as possible on our hitch up, and each person, of course, said something different. The general picture we got was:

We will be kindnapped by drug smugglers on the border, who will take us to perhaps the friendliest country on earth. It will be raining the whole time, but only in the afternoon. It will be so easy to hitchhike- the easiest place in the world, no less!- but, it is the most difficult place on the whole continent to hitchhike. The people will hate you, but they are the friendliest people you will ever meet. Most of all though, you will die on the roads.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

The Uncertain Way Home

Cold, wet, tired, hungry, happy.
Everywhere now I feel it. I hear it. Constantly. Everything has changed now. Of course it hasn’t, but my view has shifted and just like that things have begun to align, to fall from nowhere and softly into place.

I’ve been trying to write more pieces about our travels, but it is becoming forced, especially when internet access is so scarce and actual typing time so limited. More than that, as I look back it feels too close and I find myself dazzled by the brightness of it all. I wonder if perhaps I will be able to see it all more clearly from a distance. Which would be fitting as there is a great deal of that to come.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Why You Should Always Get Up to Take a Piss

Genny and Ingo's house
As I piss against a tree it all comes splashing back. Less than a year ago my work involved a lot of sitting down and a lot of typing, as did Emma's. We had all of these ideas.. On those cold winter days with numb hands and heavy heads on the way to work,

we dreamed and plotted and talked and talked. I admit, too, that I never could quite believe that a lot of it would happen.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Hitchhiking to Ecuador Part Five: The Final Run

On the final day Amilkar lets us ride in the front cab with him. He explains that the police are "tranquillo" in the south and so will not pull us over.  The cabin is pimped out. I am talking disco pimped. The seats and dash are covered with thick white fur as is the floor, and the walls are studded with jewels. After a long day of Spanish, Jenga and discargar Amilkar puts his 1990s mix CD on. This confirms once and for all that Colombia truly is in 1994 - think mullets, track suits leisurewear and Friends. At 7pm we arrive in Amilkar's home town, Ipiales. Amilkar then gives us an alpaca hat and fleece blanket as he is worried we will be cold in Ecuador and Peru and then takes us to our couchsurf host by taxi. Amilkar is truly one of the most selfless and genuine people I have ever been lucky enough to meet. We both agree we must find Jenga and get it to him on our way back up to Colombia.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Hitchhiking to Ecuador Part Four: Busted

Usually when we saw police at military checkpoints we would dive into the back of the truck to hide. Amilkar had warned us that is was illegal to carry people in the back of his truck and he only had one seat in the front.

This time, though, in our tired state we just laid still. As the truck slowed over a speed bump I looked straight at the Po-Po through our small flap of folded-back tarp. We felt the truck slow further and then pull in.
Immediately grabbed what we could and dived over several rows of salt to lie as flat and quiet as we could in the darkness.