Taxi!

Edgar Rodriguez.

Finishing a late night dinner @ PaCa PaCa in Urubama, Perù, we asked the restaurant owner to call us a taxi. It was only a 5-10 minute walk back to our hotel, but it was late, and we were in a foreign country without a grasp yet on our surroundings.

Taxi!

Edgar arrived in his prestine Toyota Camry.

Edgar drove us to our hotel, and in those few minutes, LCP, our only Spanish-speaking family member, spoke with him about the area. LCP asked Edgar about a festival in Chinchero that we had read about online prior to our trip.  Our hotel concierge had said, “that isn’t going on.”  Edgar told us this festival happens every September 8th, and that he would take us there the next day.  It’s a holy festival, Virgen de Navidad! Edgar told LCP that his son and he had performed in such a festival years ago. He’d bring photos to show us. LCP arranged for Edgar to return at 8 am the following morning to drive us to Chinchero.

Edgar was 10 minutes early. He greeted us and opened the door on the backseat passenger side for me.  KAP got in the front passenger’s seat, and SKP & LCP hopped in the back with me. As we pulled out of the hotel drive, Edgar handed LCP photographs of his son and him during the festival performance he’d mentioned – we knew immediately,

Edgar is a man of his word.

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Noticing his spotless car, I told him in my elementary Spanish, that his car was “muy bien” – Edgar told LCP that he’d been up since 1 AM, making sure that it was clean for the day’s drive.

We drove to Chinchero (elevation 14000ft), where Edgar stopped at the village’s center to show us the villagers as they prepared for their parade toward the church on the hill. Edgar parked, and we met some villagers. Young and old.

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Edgar suggested that we follow the parade up the hill, and he would follow with his car.  He would meet us at the church. He did just that.

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Yes, yes indeed, the Virgen de la Natividad festival happened that day, September 8th (story to follow.)

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Edgar then drove us to Maras, and on the way, he stopped to allow us a closer look at some donkeys tethered in a ravine. Again, parking the car and jumping out to open my door, Edgar stopped, without question, whenever we said, “una photo.

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In Maras, Edgar stopped on the tight, one-way street for me to photograph villagers.

IMG_0397Edgar took us to Moray, the Inca Ruins, just west of Maras,

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and to Salinas de Maras, Salt fields of Maras.

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In less than 24 hours from hailing a taxi, we had not only been taken on such an intimate tour of Peru’s high country, but we had made a lifetimer friend with our driver, Edgar,

IMG_0430Edgar Rodriguez.

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