The 2013 Mototaxi Junket has just reached its shuddering climax. Field report brought to you by Mr Duncan.
The tiny beachside village of Colan proved to be the perfect location for our intrepid adventurers to relax, sit by the pool and drink copious amounts of ice cold beer. What better way to end such a trip than with a sunset beer on the beach?
'One for Every Mile' rolled into the dusty town of Colan on Tuesday evening, 10 days after setting out from Urubamba - something that has never been achieved before. Then, to cap it all off, 'Trashcan Sinatra' were hot on their heels about an hour later. The latter team's effortall the more impressive as they took somewhat of a wrong turn and ended up driving through the centre of Lima...the only way they could recover from such a traumatic experience was to stop off at a 5 star spa resort and sit by the pool in white towelling bathrobes.
After these first few, a trickle of arrivals gave way to a flood of dusty, wild-eyed and slightly smelly teams. Team 'Que Manera Di Piura' arrived only hours before the finish line party, pushing their mighty steed the last few kilometres as the chain gave up the ghost on the home straight. Each evening the finish line bar would be filled with an ever increasing number of Junketeers eager to swap stories on breakdowns, bandits and the merits of chicken and chips as Peru's national dish.
Special mention in dispatches must also go to 'Couch Surfers', who managed to roll their Mototaxi on the finish line. Impressive guys, very impressive.
It is amazing what you can find for a party in a small village, dancers were booked, fireworks ordered, decorations decorated, all in the name of a good time. You could feel the anticipation build as the locals witnessed yet more and more teams arrive, word was out on the street that a 'grande fiesta' was about to occur and the beach telegraph hummed with news of teams driving through the night to make sure they wouldn't miss the big night.
As we all knew, the party lived up to expectations, the people of Colan welcomed the teams with open arms and much laughter. The evening kicked off with a grand banquet, followed by the (by now) compulsory awards ceremony. A hotly contested trophy was the 'Happiness in Peru is a dry fart' award, which went to a member of team 'Lima Peru've Cusco Crazy' although it seems there were plenty of other contenders- we won't go into details here...
What better way to start the dancing properly than to blow some stuff up, we which did, with aplomb. The sandy streets reverberated to the sounds of explosions as an impressive array of fireworks lit up the night sky, whilst team Modern Nomads showed a healthy disregard for all things Health and Safety by attaching fireworks to their Mototaxi and pulling doughnuts in the street, much to the assembled crowds amusement.
This was definitely the cue for the party to ignite, much dancing ensued, the music an epic mix of dance floor classics and Peruvian favourites. Somewhat timid at first, the good folk of Colan only needed a little persuasion to join the Junketeers on the dance floor, after that, there was no stopping them.
It all proved too much for one member of team 'Gobi Desserts Revived' who was obviously slightly 'tired and emotional' having earlier won the 'Mechanic of the year' award for blowing up their engine 3 days from the finish (hence the fetching orange overalls).
The dancing and drinking went on long into the starry night, morale was sky high, all the roadworks, breakdowns, bad driving, sleeping rough, mud and dust were forgotten as instead, legends were born, myths created and horror stories recounted by teams going misty eyed in reverence at what had been achieved. Such thoughts were best summed up by Team 'Precarious Paddingtons' , who when asked about the adventure as a whole, stated ' It was terrible. It was brilliant. It was brilliantly terrible'