Telescopic Travelers

Cities and towns dotted throughout this frankly much-too-enormous continent are filled with all kinds of travelers, of which among others I’ve met the following:

  • I’ve Just Quit My Job and Burned My Business Suit
  • Look at This Great Credit Card Dad’s Given Me!
  • Mum, Dad and Three Kids Under Eight in a Camper Van
  • I Don’t Spend a Single Cent Unless Marched to an ATM At Gun Point

As well as another sort of traveler, whose numbers seem to be growing exponentially:

  • The Artesan

Selling woven bracelets, necklaces and wallets made from leather or recycled products, artesans usually travel in pairs or small collectives, attempting to finance their travels through sales.

Some branch out into performance – usually juggling and other circus tricks performed in the milliseconds between traffic light changes.  Some might sell food, or play music.

However, far and away my favourites have been a group of Argentinian travelers who apart from spinning fire at traffic lights, travel with a telescope.

Telescope in Máncora
Julian and his friends offer the best gift possible in the streets of Máncora: the moon.

I met Julian and his car-full of friends in Máncora (Peru) where they had set up their telescope near the beach, offering punters a peek of the moon during the night.

Donations were optional, but clearly common – as most people (including me!) had never seen the moon at such close quarters before.  I watched as a delightfully rotund little boy was hoisted onto a colourful plastic stool to allow him to reach the eye-piece.

Child-like chuckles and big hugs for Mum and Dad was how he reacted to being shown the moon.

Julian, his fellow star-gazers and their lime green car are currently traveling north to Panama.


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