Cliffhanger

 

The South American Job

The South American Job

You know those stories you hear about tourist buses careering off narrow mountain roads in remote parts of South America?

Well, as you can see from the picture above, it almost happened to us.

Correction, Fraser.  Yours truly was travelling in the staff minibus at the time, plugged into my iPod and completely oblivious to the drama happening on the vehicle in front. 

The story goes like this.  Having completed a hard day’s trekking from Kunkani to Chacchapata, we all got picked up by the buses and were heading happily back to camp when a nasty blizzard hit, the aforementioned narrow mountain road turned treachously slippy and the big bus got stuck trying to negotiate round a sharp hairpin.

All was well until the driver tried reversing to have another go, braked as the back end neared the edge of the road (and a nasty drop) whereupon the bus continued sliding, getting perilously close to the edge before slithering to a halt.

According to the passengers, there was a nasty whiff of fear on board the bus.

And not just fear.

The anxious trekkers then demanded to be let off immediately and I got out of the minibus to hear their scary story and take a video of the driver and trek crew getting the bus round the corner with the aid of a shovel, some rocks and a few choice Peruvian sweary words.

You can watch it here.

Strangely enough, once the bus was safely round the corner, nobody wanted to get back on it, so 31 weary trekkers got on their shanks’s ponies and started walking off the mountain.

It wasn’t until the road straightened out and the blizzard eased, that everyone felt safe enough to get back onto the bus again.

Poofs.

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