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November 15, 2011
Huaraz wasn’t working out for us so after an uneventful evening we decided to head back to the coast the next morning and back on track North. It was only 14 kilometres out when the ‘A dog and his broken bones’ event occurred. Back in the hospital we had a long wait. Deya would spend most of the next three days running around sorting out paperwork and arranging for our return to Lima. This process will be described in better detail by Deya later. One of the first people Deya called was Carmelo, we weren’t sure where to go and had no local contacts so Carmelo seemed like the most intelligent choice. The response was overwhelming, Carmelo wanted to do a full airborne assault, parachuting in and riding the wounded Chuleta out with the full family convoy following up in the rear. Nice thought but not the right idea, instead we were directed to come and stay with the family at the beach house until we could get our logistics sorted out. This would turn out to be fantastic.
I don’t want to sound like a complainer in regards to the medical services but I do want to point out some observations that are less about capital resources and more about training. At no time was there any first responder, first aid or emergency medical services. No assessment was made as to the condition of my spine, neck, knee or crushed foot. They put gauze on my foot but that was it. The staff was friendly but medical care was lacking, wounds were not re-dressed or cleaned, old gauze was not replaced, shoulder support was not properly applied, etc. How do I know how things should be done? Well I seem to be very familiar with crashing, it’s my third busted shoulder and second broken wrist among many other injuries, I’ve also been a first aider, levels I and II, for over a decade and have seen some stuff.
Here is the simple truth, it wasn’t bad but if you’re from a developed nation the difference is vast, in fact too vast. It’s like I said the training is lacking; training is probably one of the easiest things to manage with the biggest payback if a society is interested in people’s development. If that was a rant then it’s done.
While in Huaraz one of the ladies, Hilda, who called the police at the scene, helped us out with storing the bikes and with a place to stay before we shipped the bikes to Lima. The first round of budget wreckers was about to occur. The bikes would go to a bus terminal where we would arrive. It would be an all night journey and then many hours of waiting to unload the bikes. At that point I still struggled with trying to stand or sit so Deya had a full schedule.
Deya had asked the BMW dealer in Lima if they could help us out, we needed a couple of minor things done on the bikes and a place to hold them until we had our new route and transport logistics figured out.
BMW Lima picked us up and took us back to the dealer in good fashion. They worked with Ivan, a networked friend, who would begin to arrange our transport to Colombia. I have to say thanks to BMW Lima for their service, support and consideration. They are not just a dealer they are actual riders and that makes a difference worth remembering.
Carmelo met us there, at BMW, and packed our stuff in the car and took us back to Asia which is about 100 kilometres South of Lima. His home as you’ve seen is relaxing and his family made us feel, once again, a part of the team. We would spend the next 9 days experiencing family, good food, nearby places, sea creatures and beautiful walks along the beach. The time with Carmelo and family helped me heal to a point of being able to dress myself and eat, big accomplishments and excellent down time. The generosity of this family was amazing.
But it didn’t stop there; friends and family offered all kinds of well wishes and help. Though we were working through what we needed to do to get back on course the offers of support reminded us that we are not alone or stranded on this journey. Despite the pain and difficulties we faced and the challenges yet to come there are still positive lessons from all this.
We’re leaving Lima today, November 10, and onto the next part of the journey which is to fetch the bikes (sounds so easy) and try to enjoy Medellin (is easy). But as we leave I have to be grateful for what this chapter has offered us: insight, friends, family. A special thanks to Carmelo, Ivan and the team at BMW Lima for the tremendous help and support they have given us. While we never intended or wanted to come to Lima we’ve found that it’s not so bad, so maybe now Lima will let us go.