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Reisverslag Wwoofing near Lima
13 augustus 2014
Wwoofing near Lima
After my last salsa lesson and saying goodbye to my best new friends, I took a night bus from Cuzco to Lima, to be picked up and brought to the organic farm where I would be working. The bus was a little delayed and the phone connection kept failing, so the pick-up was a bit tricky. Hours later than planned, Martin (the farm owner) and I met, hopped in his friend’s car and drove to the first gas station. There I was asked to pay for gas (sharing costs made sense in a way) and we were off for 2 hours of driving. Usually two hours in a car would be without events, but this was not such a ride.
First off, I – a lone female traveller – was in a car with two male locals, practically strangers. There was the dark and unfamiliar road – I wasn’t sure what happened around me, but I did know we were far from any civilization. Then there was the alcohol and other substances the driver had been taking, or rather, still was taking. I was very much dependent on the two men and trusted mostly my new host, who assured me I was safe on the farm and also on the way there. I hád wondered out loud what I had gotten myself into…
At about two thirds of our route we came upon a locally famous part of the mountains. It was known for the thick mist at night. We had less than 10 meters of vision, but the drunk guy –praise the gods he was not driving anymore – wanted to keep a nice and fast speed nonetheless. My host decided it would be better to stop for a little while to clean the windscreen. You never know, it might even help. Anyway, I was asked to step outside of the car – the one with all my belongings in it – and clean it from the outside. As I felt compelled to do my share in this car ride, I actually exited the car, left the door open, telling myself the open door should make myself feel safer, or at least closer to my stuff, and cleaned the front window. If by any means the two men had bad intentions, this would be the perfect moment to drive off and leave me in the middle of nowhere. Again, I had given them money, all of my belongings were in the car and they had no real need for me. Luckily though, they help clean the window and told me to get back in the car. Although I still didn’t fully trust them, I was quite relieved.
After the 3 hour drive, we arrived at a tangerine farm and got to the cabin. It made me wonder how to carry out the activities of daily living. One way or another I was going to spend some time there, so I had to sell it to myself. The lack of full roofing was no big issue – if was warm enough, and dry. The lack of solid floor would make things dusty and dirty, but as long as you keep your hands and food away from it, it might not be too much of a big deal. Speaking of food, there was something that looked like a kitchen, but without any running water, sink, cutting board of pile of wipes. That was going to be a challenge, but maybe the men would surprise me with their cooking. The bathroom was in a similar room and if you knew how, you could have the toilet flush and the shower run. I never figured out the second, but sometimes cold water from the tab – there was one here! – is just as good as some cold drops from a PVC-pipe functioning as shower. After brushing teeth it was time for bed. It was not clean, but it did look warm and dry. It was.
The next morning I was allowed to sleep until I woke up, was allowed to walk around and explore the farm – a house that was rented to tourists did have all the luxuries - and had breakfast in the shape of an onion-avocado salad with lots of lime juice and salt. I was once again reminded that the Peruvians love their acid and salt, but it did not feel good to my stomach. Either way, today I got to help the employee, a friendly local man who spoke only Spanish. We chopped firewood with a machete, raked the driveway, asked about each other’s country and personal life and made jokes together. The work was alright, but I wasn’t sure if that´s what I wanted to spend one or two full weeks on.
Besides having to get used to the heat that the mountains didn’t have, there were two issues: my stomach was not happy and there was nothing nearby to help it get better, and it did not look like I would contribute to actual organic farming or learn much about it. Luckily Martin and I had decided upon a trial period of three days, he knew it might be boring for me without other volunteers and he would be heading to Lima to visit his family over the weekend. It meant there was a socially acceptable way to leave the farm. Being in bed all day, struggling to get myself some edible meals would neither be helpful to Martin nor fun for me, so after the second day I decided to join Martin for Lima.
The drive back was very similar to the one there.
In my hostel in Lima I looked back on my little journey to the countryside and realized that it had been some time since I had done anything like that. It was not always comfortable, or safe, but I did have an adventure and I did learn things. Jup, all in all I was happy that I went to that farm, and I was also happy that I was now in a safe hostel, in a warm and clean bed.
Foto's bij verslag (7)
14 augustus 2014 01:14 | Door: Hans
Goed dat we niet alles van te voren weten! Nog meer van zulke evenementen op stapel?
14 augustus 2014 10:40 | Door: Floor
Pfoeh Kaat..... Ik weet niet hoor! Nouja, een veilige reis verder hoop ik. En gun jezelf maar gewoon dat klein beetje extra luxe ;-). Liefs
14 augustus 2014 15:27 | Door: Els
Nou, een spannend verhaal is het zeker! Het feit dat je het gepost had gaf me wel het gevoel dat het goed af zou lopen met die autorit enzo. Zonder risico's te nemen, beleef je ook niets. Wat ga je nu doen in Lima? Liefs uit Den Haag
16 augustus 2014 19:49 | Door: Karin van der Meer
Leuk, reacties! :)
Pap, ik weet niet of dit het moment is dat ik begin over mijn tatoeages, motorrit, en grote roofdieren, of dat ik je geruststel met dat het feit dat bovenstaand avontuur nog noemenswaardig was. In ider geval maar goed dat je niet alles van tevoren weet, inderdaad.
Floor, als je wilt weten hoe de locals leven ontkom je niet aan primitive omstandigheden. Voor het grootste deel geniet ik ervan. En nu kan het nog. Over 20 jaar of zelfs 10 niet meer. Voor een deel komt de luxe dan wel, en voor een deel pak ik het nu in de vorm van verse fruitsap en internet in mijn hostel (waar mogelijk). ^^
Els, zo is het maar net! Lima ben ik vooral snel uit weg gegaan (voor nu). Wat ik wel heb gedaan vertel ik op een gegeven moment hopelijk vanuit mijn volgende stad. Op naar Iquitos!
6 september 2014 11:34 | Door: Ben
Zo, klinkt spannend zeg! Ik zit ook al een tijdje te denken om te gaan wwoofen, maar het is nog niet gelukt. Als ik het zo lees hier, ga ik wel eerst zorgen dat ik zelf brood kan bakken.