Running on Empty


It was bound to happen sometime.  Everything had been going quite well, no major mechanical issues, camper was working great, we still like one another, but that all changed with our arrival in Peru.

I can’t put my finger on it exactly but there is just something about Peru, one minute we are stunned into silence by the sheer beauty of it, the next I’m screaming because I’m sure that nut was about to T-bone us.  Peru thus far has been an emotional roller coaster of extremes.  And of course that is when things start to go wrong.

Did anybody know that Peru runs off 220V electricity?  I didn’t, but I learned pretty fast when I nearly electrocuted my self plugging in our big expensive camper.  The small shock up my arm was nothing compared to the smoke and smell that immediately filled the camper, and I was lucky enough to get shocked again unplugging the camper.  I had no idea what had happened at the time, but I was pretty sure it wasn’t good.  Dan, upon hearing a stream of curse words from the camper, came back to see what had happened and agreed that it was really not good.  Turns out we fried our 110V converter (it converts 110V power to 12V to charge out batteries) so we still have power but only when we run the engine to charge up the batteries, not really convenient when you park up for a few days.

We had to take the guts out so we could get them fixed

We had to take the guts out so we could get them fixed


Then a tortoise at the camp site terrorized me.  Seriously, this guy snuck up on me, tried to bite my toes and chased me around the garden.

This happened while we were on the coast, with our batteries drained we decided to head to the mountains.

Ah the mountains, a place we love and always feel at home in, except our home still had no power because I forgot to pull the mains switch while we were driving and we didn’t charge anything!  Awesome, so of course what happens next?  Dan gets sick.  Now Dan seems to get sick each country we go to, it’s a part of his South American weight loss plan,  this was different this time, because on the day he started feeling better, I got sick.  I don’t do sick (unless I’m on a boat, at high altitude, or in a small plane-then it’s open season).

This was the first time in our 1 year on the road that I got sick, it was awesome, we were camping at 3800m and the toilet was a 2 minute walk away including some stairs, plus we had no power in the truck so I couldn’t distract myself by watching movies.  One of my favorite visits to the toilet had me return to the camper, panting away from the up hill climb, only to start violently vomiting.  It was dark so we threw some water over the vile puddle, and in the morning we had a frozen puke puck on our door step that even the wild animals wouldn’t eat.

Let’s add one more thing into this already “challenging” situation, our condo needed new tenants!  Renting out a property can be hard enough when you are in the same city, I really wouldn’t recommend it when in Peru living in a truck.  Luckily my Mommy has been helping us out but at this point we were being jerked around by a few prospective tenants and the internet wasn’t great where we were and we wanted to go on all these nice walks, but I couldn’t stay out of the bathroom for more than 30 minutes, so we took a deep breath (and a few Imodium) and headed for the town of Huaraz.

There we quite literally recharged, treating ourselves to a nice hotel and fast internet.  I calmed down and got better, two things that made Dan’s life good again.  After a few down days we felt ready to return to our original plan.

From the start of this trip the imaginatively named Laguana 69 had been on my hit list and we headed to Huascaran National Park to take on this hike.  The park is beautiful and the hike to the lake was well worth the effort.  We camped a mile away from the trailhead and got up nice and early to beat the crowds that are bused in daily.  It took 3 1/2 hours for 6km but we made it, and then enjoyed an hour of having the lake to ourselves.  It was amazing, I almost forgot about being sick (except that my pants were a little loose).

Categories: Hiking, Peru, TrailsTags: , , , , , , , ,


  1. You certainly had your challenges, glad you enjoyed your Laguana 69 so much. Hope your power can be restored. As always your pics are worth a 1000 words. xo


  2. Oh yes and we have been working soooooo hard to rent the condo. xo


  3. Hope you’ve recovered completely and are enjoying your time with Ann and Gary. Delighted again with the pictures you post. Simply spectacular! By the way, just learned last night that a woman won the overall Alberta Death Race for the first time (in case you hadn’t heard)!


  4. Talk about a self-inflicted wound! Who travels to a foreign country without researching the power system?


    • Well Dave, we do. If you have read our blog before you probably wouldn’t have been surprised that we did this. Planning and researching is not our strong suit, I’m actually impressed we’ve made it this far.


  5. Bummer on the electics We did the same with our Engel but runs on 12v ok Will need to fix the 110v power supply at some stage (it smoked as well) brendan


    • We actually managed to find an electrician who fixed our converter and we are now the proud new owners of a step down transformer. Glad your fridge still worked off the 12v, we are kicking ourselves for not bothering with solar.


  6. It all seems to happen at once, doesn’t it! Have had a few hiccups ourselves recently, nothing major, but sounds like you guys had a rough go of it for a little while there! Feeling a bit apprehensive about Peru but looking forward to the beautiful views and treks. Safe travels guys, having fun following you!


    • Peru has been the country of extremes for us, we swing from amazing highs to incredible lows, but that is all the fun of this “adventure” we have chosen. Peru felt a little more challenging than Ecuador in the beginning but we are very comfortable here now (especially since we sort of have power again-still aren’t charging when driving….). Hope all is well, and why did you make Cotopaxi blow?


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