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28 September 2012 / leggypeggy

An unexpected detour


A conga line of detouring vehicles

Our truck was rolling along smoothly in Ecuador the other day when we suddenly came to a huge traffic jam.

Colin, our driver, didn’t take long to decide on another option. Quite a few vehicles were turning around—not to go back from where they came, but to follow a muddy track that avoided whatever was causing the back-up.

The detour track was very reminiscent of the rugged, potholed and uneven roads we encountered in Africa. In fact, it was better than many of the ‘normal’ roads we travelled in Africa.

Colin says the detour was only about 3 kilometres long, but it seemed much longer because we moved along so slowly. Some of the vehicles in front of us, especially the ones with low ground clearance, struggled in the wet conditions, but no one got stuck.

Poor John kept predicting that we’d meet a convoy coming from the other direction, but we never did.

About a kilometre before we rejoined the main road, we finally saw the cause of the hold-up. A tanker, carrying some sort of flammable liquid, had rolled off the road and was lying on its side down an embankment.

Cows grazed happily nearby, oblivious to the fact that the truck could ‘go up’ at any moment.

A crane was already on the scene, but the angle of the mishap made it seem unlikely it would get the truck out anytime soon. We lost less than an hour.


Tanker lies on an embankment while cows graze

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