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Published: December 24th 2009
Islas De Galapagos, Isla Santiago,
It only takes a bottle of Pampas Red Wine to get me happy, courtesy of Maria and Juan who kept it hidden in their backpacks untill El Momento Magico which I presume must be now, sitting on top of the boat in a small bay called Buccaneer's Cove at the west side of Isla Santiago, a beautifull bright sunset adds to our mellow mood though the flamingoes in the bay seem keener on getting a last evening meal before retiring for the night then admiring Mother Nature's last wonder of the day before darkness will descend...
The first bottle of Pampas goes down Gringo throats like they are lubricated with fig oil and gets our moods open and happy, exchanging travel stories as backpackers the world over do, experiences on foreign roads far away from Mother's cooking pods and washing machine, the Lonely Planet is our Holy Bible and Tony Wheeler our Oriental Baba in disguise. Darwin's The Origin Of Species a close second but only because of the location and therefore not so holy...
By the time the second bottle of Pampas appaers as if by macic On-The-Road stories have been
swept to and fro between my fellow travel partners with me being the only exception - though I'm excused cos I was sketching Juan and Maria in my naotebook...
Anyway, here goes my story;
India, Jog Falls, 05 oktober 1989.
It's early morning when I leave Shimoga irritaed by the annoying receptionist who had the evil nerve to try to overcharge me, and then when being caught out beamed at me mockingly asking for a "light tip, mister". I should try to keep my temper under control though, nothing so bad as touring the unpredictable Indian roads on a Enfield motor cycle with a bad mood.
There are no words possible to describe Indian roads..think of it like stray animals crossing the road at the random, roads where potholes are the rule rather then the occasion, a blockhead farmer guiding a flock of undernourished cows across the road forcing me to stop and wait, back again...but no wait he does want to cross, some of the cows think differently though and when the whole show is over my frustrations know no bounds...
There are no rules on the Indian roads but Right is Might with
busses and trucks always colliding being the mightiest...fine enough but please not while overtaking poor me...
"Sir, sir, please stop", a truck driver waving me down forcing me to an unwellcom stop...I already know what is next, ýou married, sir, what country you, how old you, ect...after dozens of crazy truck drivers wanting to test their minimal grasp of englsh on me, my crazy head feels like it gonna go nuclear soon...
By the time I reach Jogg Falls the night is as dark as the mood inside my head...off course no more free hotel rooms but a simple street seller appearing out of the darkness offers to put me up, free of charge despite my barking "HOW MUCH?"...
Near sleep and with a full belly courtesy of the wife, lying on top of a thin matrass on the kitchen table - the only room in the hut - while the couple snores on the floor in the total darkness that only hours ago ruled my mental processes...I come to the conclusion that today I have been thaught a Lesson In Humility by a simple undereducated Indian street seller and his wife.
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