The closing ritual for the last Mototaxi Junket was conducted with usual aplomb. At the 'temple' of El Maizal, Master of Ceremonies, Mr Oscar ensured the sacred pisco sours and Chela Heda (cold beer) was flowing freely.
The members of the congregation had come from thousands of miles. Some had come on the back of pick-up trucks, hurtling along at 80 kph on mountain roads, clinging on while the trucks teetered on the edge of thousand foot drops. Some like Pete from team Rubber Duckies had been driving 15 hour stints to arrive on time.
The elated worshippers sat down to the customary banquet of cobayo and causa de pollo before the service began in ernest. The band struck up and the dancing begun. Parables were told of library cards being used as driving licences and being overtaken by busses on blind turns, along narrow mountain passes.
Shaun from 'Pink Panthers' became a hit with the locals for his kilt and pasty white legs. There was a Pisco Sour 'cocktail off' between junketeers, after which the service moved to the house of worship that is El Discotheque and things became a bit hazy.
As is traditional with the closing ceremony some hymns were sung to thank the Mototaxi gods for their safe delivery. The songs of praise included Tom Jones' 'Sex Bomb' and '500 miles' by The Proclaimers. It's not clear if the mototaxi gods were happy with the verses or not.
Finally the symbolic 'burning of the mototaxi' began. A giant firework-encrusted multi-storey pyre of sticks, with a giant replica mototaxi atop it, was set alight. This time sacrificial fire was all the more poignant as it would be the last. As the fireworks reverberated across the Sacred Valley a spiritual silence spread amongst the group. Not least of all because they had drunk the bar dry of Pisco.
By this time the Junketeers had been worshipping hard for many a long hour and the ritual singing, dancing and drinking had taken their toll. There were a couple of casualties, but for everyone involved it was a truly fitting send-off.
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