The grass is always greener on the other side on the fence. This was especially true of Cochabamba, in relation to our neighbouring city in the lowlands: Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz literally did have grass that was greener, because our grass was dust. It was also factually accurate and scientifically proven that: 1) the girls were prettier in Santa Cruz, 2) the food tasted better, 3) everyone had more money, 4) it was always warm and humid so shirts were optional.
We continue Dad’s account of his perilous ascent up Mt Tunari. Here’s Part 1 if you missed it. Anyways, we’re half-way up… No sooner had I arrived than, of course, the others headed off, making a huge effort to appear to be enjoying the agony that no doubt they were all experiencing.
It looks like Magnum P.I. has opened the floodgates! Another guest Tale, this time from Dad, obviously reciprocating after many gracious, positive mentions on the site… For those who have never had the pleasure of climbing the famous Mt Tunari, at the end of the Cochabamba valley in Bolivia, I thought I would pen a few words to tell of our expedition some years back.
A while back I wrote about Joel and I racing his Honda motorcycle against my (event winning) BMX. I mentioned there was only one other time when I’d ridden that fast. Now is the time when we take the time to look at that time. I hope you have time… 0 Many years after my astonishing victory against Joel, during my high school internment, classmate Chris and I used to borrow his crazy uncle’s rusty old mountain bikes and cycle around the city.
DAY 1 Our adventure was underway at long last, and cresting the mountain, I gazed across the wide barren valley that would become our home for the rest of the day. The trail would wind down through the andean peaks, eventually disappearing into the valley far below, up and down hills for the next few days, past streams and tiny villages.
The Summer before my senior year, James hatched a plan to hike the Inca Trail with his brother Jeremy and they invited me along. It had been done before. Some of the grades at school had traversed it for their camps on previous years. The whole region was littered with white kids’ bodies.
Sam & Johnny were friends from school who were better than me at just about everything. By the time we were thirteen Sam was at least twice as fast as I was on the track, and he could dunk before I could too. It was amazing we stayed friends for as long as we did.
Americans love camps. It’s like their national pastime or something. When they’re not eating individual portions designed for entire Catholic families or shooting each other under the loving embrace of the Bill of Rights,* they go on camps. Americans have camps for everything. Summer Camps, High School camps, Wilderness Camps. Girl Scout Camps.
Obviously I had no real friends when we first moved to Cochabamba. This predicament lingered for a while, so I spent a lot of time in the school library like a nerd loser. In the first month, I’d read every single Hardy Boys novel they had, sometimes churning through 2 a day.