Over the Mountains and Through the Snow

We left Izcuchaca around 3:30 Sunday afternoon. We had to go back to the house only half a time (because it turned out that the thing wasn’t forgotten, only misplaced), so that could be considered a smooth start. Overall, the trip went pretty well, I would say. We arrived safe and sound at Simon’s just after 6:00 Monday evening. That’s not quite the 19 hours that other people can do the trip in, but I went through Lima and came out alive, so I count that a complete success!

We took four breaks in total, I think, so not too bad with a young family. Driving through the night really helps with avoiding lots of bathroom stops. I drove until 1:00 a.m, then China took the graveyard shift from 1:00-4:00. She then drove from around 10:00-noon, and I finished out the trip. Those nap times were absolutely necessary for me; I am apparently unable to stay awake and drive for over 24 consecutive hours.

There were no great calamaties on the trip, merely some discomforts. Only one child got carsick—great improvement from the last trip! Steph had administered various medications to avoid carsickness, and it seemed to work. Poor Walter did end up with diarrhea the last couple hours of the trip, but Steph had a handy-dandy bucket along for just such an emergency.

China had the privilege of driving through snow storms. I was tired enough that I could hardly worry about how she’d do in the icy weather as we went across the ridge of the Andes, but when she jerked me out my sleep with a cry of, “Shawn! Our left windshield just broke!” I definitely felt more than a little worried.

Turns out, it wasn’t the left windshield that broke, merely the left windshield wiper. A big difference. Poor girl had to finish driving through the rain with only the right wiper—but the whole windshield. Count your blessings.

I learned that I am not a skilled tie-er of luggage. I took a picture of my beautiful Christmas package perched atop the van before we left, but I dutifully did not take any more pictures afteward. I retied the the thing at three of our four stops, as it was leaning dangerously over the edge of the roof each time. But it made it. That’s what counts.

We were happy to see our friends again though I was saddened that Simon didn’t run out to greet me. Poor man had fallen out of an avocado tree that afternoon, and x-rays say he has a fractured bone in his arm. I guess the excitement of our coming was too much for him.

After saying our hellos, we took Leonela to her mom’s place for even more joyful greetings. China will also be staying with Leonela at her place.

We have a few visits with some other families on the schedule so far. We’re excited to see everyone. I’m just hoping none of them want to pick avocados.

Dane washed the van Saturday so it would be ready to go.
Esmeralda will be watching the animals while we’re gone.
The best the luggage looked the whole trip
Headed out
Stopping for a supper break by the road
Happy, sleepy traveler
A row of boys
My midnight nap during the snow
My afternoon nap
The view from my window
Stopping for lunch on Monday
Willow was very happy to be free of her car seat.
The ocean in the distance
Made it!
Taking Leonela to her place
The blue light is Leonela’s mom’s house.
Leonela’s room
Flowers to welcome us to our room
and a Welcome basket