41711 5JUN88-2247 HELP
Jim in the Jungle (Re: Msg 41672)
From: JIMREED To: HARBIE
I appreciate the welcome back . . .
. . . after my South America vacation. As for the “Jungle Jim,” I did spend
a short time at Iguassu Falls in the Brazilian jungle, but at a resort hotel
and viewed the falls from a helicopter. So much for roughing it, though
a bout with “turista” (dysentery) was about as rough as I wish to endure.
I have been meaning to write up our experience on having the railroad track
blown up by terrorists in Peru, delaying our train for 10 hours while
they fixed the track and got a derailed freight train back on the tracks so
we could get through. We were stranded in the Andes mountains at about 13,000
feet altitude with nothing in sight but maybe a hundred llamas grazing.
They even unhooked the locomotive to try to use in helping get the freight
back on track, so we were without light, heat, food or water. But,
it was fixed my about midnight and we arrived at Puno, Peru, at daylight,
instead of our expected arrival about 7 pm the previous evening.
I told my mother we had lived her worst nightmare;she is always saying
to me: “What if there is a breakdown and you are stranded out in the middle
When a man in a ski mask and leather jacket appeared at the door we thought
perhaps the terrorists were boarding the train! He stared at me awhile and
then left — much to my relief. A few minutes later soldiers boarded the
train and guarded it for the rest of the night.
Actually, it was adventurous for a while, but the novelty wore off and
once the soldier were there to comfort us, we began to concentrate on
shivering in hard seats for hours. Rumors were flying about all sorts of
possible things about to happen, but eventually we burrowed in and rode it
out. Seemed like a week before the train got moving again.
The terrorists in Peru were on a rampage because the Pope was visiting
(yes, we saw him, too) and they were trying to grab headlines by doing
stuff like blowing up railroad tracks and machine gunning the press office
for the Pope’s visit. We never felt like we were in any danger, but sure did
feel like we might be stuck for a few days. When we got moving after just
eight to ten hours, we felt lucky, as repairing a railroad track might
have taken days.