Travelling by taxi in Peru is amazing.
It’s possible that, if you’re not 16, with friends, adrenaline and excitement bouncing off the cab walls, you won’t find it as amazing. Instead you should probably just stare out the window and enjoy the striking landscape.
Enjoy that while I recount a few of my fond taxi memories…
Donkey on the Road- Swerving round every corner at Jenson Button speed, one of our Guiders gripping the dashboard for dear life, four of us squished on the backseat with no seatbelts. Imagine, it’s a Guiding situation from hell and broke every rule in the book. Suddenly there’s scream from the back and the breaks are slammed down. Donkey on the road, of course.
Other than the awful driving (that I can safely say is worse than my first time behind the wheel aged seven) a donkey on the road was only the beginning of our very many life-endangering taxi trips.
Puppy on the Road- Take the donkey experience, replace donkey with puppy, times cuteness by 1,000,000, amplify screams and increase force of breaks; you have the puppy on the road experience.
Taxi Man in the Trunk- The end of our 3 day Inca Trail was over. We’d just made it down from the wonders of Machu Picchu and were so ready for bed. Only we go to meet our taxi and find ‘the minibus no work’ and ‘no fix’. Grreeaaat. Across the car park comes another taxi man, ‘you come in mine’. So we went in his. There’s five of us, our new taxi driver and a 3 hour drive back, but we’re used to that sort of thing by now. It was when we were half way through our journey that we started to hear a voice coming from behind us, from the trunk. Our Guider looked worried, my friends and I decided to knock on the trunk cover for this little voice. The little voice would knock back. Over 3 hours later, when we piled out of the car and walked round to the trunk, did we find that the broken-taxi man had found his way home with us. Only in Peru.
Comedians on the Backseat- Not as exciting as nearly hitting donkeys and puppies or hiding someone in your trunk, but essential for any foreigner. If you don’t speak the lingo, you’re funny. Half the time we were chatting in the back of the taxi we’d look up to find the taxi man looking at us with creased eyes and a little giggle going on. We felt pretty self-conscious about it in the early stages of taxi rides but after 2 weeks worth of them, we felt like comedians.
Nearly Dying- The road in and out of Urubamba involves a VERY steep, VERY windy road. One of those roads that you see a BMW cruising along with a sexy voice over, or even Jeremy Clarkson testing out the ‘vroom’ on some spacecar. Or even a taxi full of girls. or even a massive lorry on the wrong side of the road. It was a close call and yet my main thought was “how awesome would it be to die in Peru…?”. Oh naivety.
So there’s some beautiful memories of Peru, all from the back of a taxi. Hope you enjoyed my many close calls, please share any taxi adventures of your own, although it may be hard to beat Peru’s number one transport services.