If you haven’t heard of the Mototaxi Junket, then you’re missing out on one of the world’s great road adventures. Described as “rarefied adventuring stupidity in its finest form” by The Adventurists, organisers of said event, the Junket involves going from A to B in regular Peruvian mototaxis.
In this case, A is Piura and B is Cusco. Yes, in mototaxis.
The Mototaxi Junket in Tarapoto
On September 8, 2011, three Mototaxi Junket teams arrived in Tarapoto. The following morning, I took a stroll down to Hotel Nilas, where the assembled adventurers were saddling up for the trip down to Tingo Maria.
The three teams, in no particular order of dishevelment or daringness, were:
- “Stars, Bars and Scars”
Jeff McMahan (USA) and Travis Arket (USA)
- “Salty Duck”
Hamsa Linsky (USA) and Melissa Bizzozero (USA)
- “The Warriors”
Michael Carey (USA) and Carla Muccino (ITA)
The intrepid travellers (and their vehicles) all seemed in good shape despite having come all the way from Piura in the last six or seven days. Plans for the Tarapoto to Tingo Maria leg were beginning to take shape, which was just as well considering they were all about to set off.
The Mototaxi Junket: Charity and Rivalry
The Mototaxi Junket is a charity event, with each team helping to raise money for the Practical Action organisation. That said, driving in the name of a good cause had certainly not dimmed the competitive nature of the event.
The assembled Americans (and Italian) were intent on closing the gap between themselves and some dastardly, unscrupulous, thoroughly immoral Englishmen who had already arrived in Tingo Maria. With plenty of ground left to cover between Tingo and Cusco, the trailing Americans still have time to overtake their rivals.
Follow the Mototaxi Junket Through Peru
If you want to follow the Mototaxi Junket teams as they make their way towards Cusco, head over to The Adventurists’ tracking page. You can read more updates from the “Stars, Bars and Scars” team on their Mototaxi Endurance Race blog — maybe they’ll pass their Old World competitors…
All photos © TarapotoLife.
Great event, Great charities. Go USA Teams!
Normally I’d never support a US team over the UK (I think I could be locked up in the Tower of London for that). On this occasion, however, I’ll put my full support behind the Yanks. Go get ’em!
Any idea the outcome of the junket? The site I’ve been following this on has seemed to have gone dead.
I was following the Stars, Bars and Cars blog, but no new posts since September 13.
Have a look at the Updates section on the Adventurists website:
Looks like Plan F and the Rolling Lads (both British) crossed the finish line together on Sept 15. Not sure what happened to our guys…!
They may have taken the river and are stuck in low water.
Or the took the high road and are stuck in the mud!
I have just returned to Canada after a trip to Peru. Spent 5 days in Tarapoto . It was my first trip there and my wife and I loved it. We have both been to Pucallpa and we both agree we like Tarapoto more. The town of Lamas was my favorite place. (I wanna live there!!) We loved the people and way of life. We stayed at the Hotel Nilas in Tarapoto and it was really good.I would recommend it .The staff were friendly and the included breakfast each day was very nice.The room was very comfortable with a/c .The pool on the rooftop was great. It was kept clean and I loved to have a drink and soak up a little sun.
Thanks to Tony for the info and company while in Tarapoto and con suerte regrasamos pronto !!