The Trials of Leaving: Cusco, Peru
The morning I left Cusco I was up early. I carried my bags downstairs, careful not to wake Phil who had been up late that night on the internet, I assumed copying things he wanted off the laptop, which I was taking with me.
When I went to start Cricket, her battery was dead. While annoying, this wasn’t a huge surprise, as the same thing had happened when I left her alone for two weeks while we sailed the San Blas in Panama. However the solution was much more difficult this time, as Jugs was parked with the chickens, and not at all easy to use to jump start Cricket.
Philippe and I tried to bump start her by riding her down the slight hill beside their house, but her gears were welded together and we couldn’t get her into second gear.
I was now going to be late to meet Ryan and Arun, and started flagging down passing cars to see if any of them had a set of jumper cables. None of them did. Philippe went to a neighbour who drives a bus and borrowed the bus battery. With some wire and a lot of fiddling, we tried to charge Cricket’s battery. It charged a little, but not enough. Finally a passing cabbie pulled over to help, and with his stronger battery, we finally got Cricket started.
Phil had slept through this whole thing, and came sauntering out of the house after Cricket was started, saying, â€œI thought you were leaving tomorrowâ€. I couldn’t have been more shocked. Had he not noticed me spending the whole previous day packing? Did he think I was asking him to find things I wanted just to be extra prepared? Had he not read my facebook status?
By this time I had managed to contact Ryan and they had agreed to come meet me, rather than me backtracking to the hostel. They made it to a nearby gas station and then called me and suggested I meet them there.
I was distraught. The saga of Cricket not starting, my feelings of guilt and unease about leaving Phil, him not realising I was leaving that day, Tania and Philippe and all their family being so incredible; it all just added up to me being in tears and totally unsure of what I was doing.
However I was in too far. My bike was packed and running, and my new travelling companions were waiting for me. It was time to finally leave Cusco.
Philippe and Tania, her sister Marilu, her mother, the kids â€“ they were all amazing. This family who we had never met before, who had adopted me and Phil as their own, fed us, helped us, supported us and housed us for nearly a month, were now continuing their support as I disintegrated in front of them. Marilu gave me a scarf and Tania told me not to worry about Phil, that they would look after him for me.
I said goodbye to my new Peruvian family, to my brother who I was abandoning, and to the Red House that had been such an amazing place to spend the past few difficult weeks. With great sadness and uncertainty, I got on Cricket, and rode away from them all.