Canoes of a different kind (Drive Day 160: December 6th, 2003)

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We’re headed to Trujillo, hoping to track down a man who helped my family through a particularly awful breakdown 30 years ago. But the thought of camping on crowded city streets forces a detour to the nearest beach town: Huanchaco. It’s a surf tourist spot now but you can still see vestiges of the native culture – like handmade reed boats used by local fishermen.


We park in front of a nice hotel and happily pay three bucks each to swim in the pool and use the showers. We hang out at the hotel bar, meet the owner, and tell him we’re trying to hunt down an expat named Billy Bob.

“Same guy who used to own a club in Trujillo?” he asks. We’re stunned. What are the odds? But then the bubble bursts. He’s pretty sure Billy Bob’s son owns the club now and not at all sure the man who once rescued my family is still alive.

Follow this bonus-material blog and ride along on a one-year road trip that inspired the memoir The Drive: Searching for Lost Memories on the Pan American Highway. On sale now. Get yours through the buy-the-book links at the bottom of the landing page on my website or here or here. Planning a road trip? Buy the audiobook here. Like The Drive’s Facebook page and tweet back at me @writerteresa. Like travel anthologies? I’m in a brand new one called Alone Together: Tales of Sisterhood and Solitude in Latin America which you can get here.

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