Neil Tambe

I'm a Detroiter who happens to enjoy writing, national parks, orange juice, the performing arts, and fanciful socks. More than anything though, I aspire to be a good husband, father, and citizen.


5.27.09, 517pm Car Station, Cusco, en route to Ollantaytambo

As soon as we got off the plane in cusco this morning, in pure misguided tourist fashion, we stopped at a tourist stand. We asked hima bout getting to Ollanta. He connived us out of $30, dropped us off in downtown cusco and told us to meet him in front of a particular museum at 5pm. We didn´t get his name or phone number. And we didn´t hold our moolah in escrow.

So we showed up at 5pm, and we waited. What else could we do?

We were growing cynical at around 510pm, he was late. None of us showed it, but I think all of us-Andrew, Adam and myself- were all a little nervous. At 515 a boy...I thought, but he was 21 and had my demeanor...started speaking Spanish in an out-of-breath flurry. His boss sent him to recieve us after giving him a description of our appearances. He told us to come with him to a car station. So we went. Again, what else could we do?

There was a lot of trust in play today. We expected others to be trustworthy and we were vulnerable. Others had to earn our trust. But we also had to GIVE our trust. The opportunities to make or break trust exist everyday and those opportunities are all somewhat sacred because who knows what can happen next, right? The moment matters.

Now were in the car, whizzing through the mountains with aggressive speed through turns. It feels like a rollercoaster back here for the three of us. I´m trying to trust, but our driver just steam-rolled a ferral dog. Heaven help us.

Quotes, post-Journey:

"That was straight up fight or flight, I had so much adrenaline pumping through me..." - Andrew

"Did we just hit a kid?" - Neil

"That was seriously the worst experience of my life, bar none. I would pay $100 to never have to do that again" - Adam

"On the positive, the scenery was beautiful...LAS VISTAS DE LAS MONTAÑAS!" - Andrew