This is the second episode of “Takizawa Hideaki‘s Journey Cutting Through 4800km of South America” (滝沢秀明 南米縦断4800キロの旅), and the first real episode of travel, since the last episode was occupied with preliminaries like renting the jeep and getting the right supplies. That turned out to be interesting, though, since we found out that he’s going to have to do some camping – something he was apparently not ready for.

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At the beginning of his journey, he’s captivated by the scenery – first by mountains, then by huge boulders . . .

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. . . and when he sees the sea, he just has to depart the freeway and get a better look.

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He took a very good photo of the scene himself, but I like this one better:

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He notes that the sea is very different from what they get in Japan, and calls it a truly masculine sea (男の海). I’m not too sure what to make of that.

After he leaves the sea, we skip a few hours ahead to nighttime, with him looking for food, and trying out a quaint trucker’s restaurant.

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And really, the other customers are working stiffs – some of them still with safety vests on. They greet him amiably . . .

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. . . and the little fellow who is probably related to the proprietor of the place doesn’t hesitate at all to approach Tackey-san. This lead me to realize that, in the previous series, no one would have approached Takaki-kun and Chinen-kun like this because they were traveling as a pair. Since Tackey-san was sort of alone (except for the camera guy, of course, but I think there’s universal recognition that camera people don’t count – the mark of professionalism for a camera person is being unobtrusive), people don’t feel like they’re interfering or interrupting anything.

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Needless to say, Tackey-san finds the kid kawaii. While he manages to say “what’s your name” in Spanish intelligibly, the kid can’t understand anything else he says. So, not much lucky communicating, though it was a nice encounter nevertheless. The kid sat at the table and tried to make a paper airplane while Tackey-san ate.

Tackey-san didn’t even seem able to order food properly in Spanish, and kept trying to say “o-niku” instead of “meat” in Spanish. Even then, you don’t normally ask for “meat”. Well, he was in luck, because they brought out quite a remarkable meal anyway:

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He’s actually covering a substantial amount of ground in his first day, and it’s past midnight before he decides it’s time to put in for the night.

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Probably the only reason he decides to stop at that point is because, after surmounting a hill, this city suddenly came dramatically into view:

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So yeah, just when it’s time to sleep, the city of La Serena presents itself. That means he’s lucky enough to get a hotel room for his first night in Chile.

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As is the tradition, he writes his log for the day before sleeping. He starts it off by noting that a long first day has come to an end, and ends it by urging his jeep, named Ouji (Prince), to persevere tomorrow.

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And in a blink, it’s the morning of the next day, and he’s got a long way to go.

 

 

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Despite having a bed for the night, he’s looking frazzled. Possibly jet-lag?

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To take advantage of the good weather, he decides to open the sunroof.

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That seems to help him freshen up:

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It is a very, very straight road. Looks a lot like Nevada. I don’t think Tackey-san likes this sort of desert landscape much.

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The conversation between Tackey and Tsubasa is a real quicky, with Tsubasa-san asking a brief question and Tackey-san answering it directly. I think the question was along the lines of “it was real tough, wasn’t it?”

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We rejoin the trip as Tackey-san is crossing the 900 km mark, with nothing but desert in front of him.

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Eventually, he can’t see anything and the road gets rough on a detour section. He wants to see some sort of town, but is coming to realize there isn’t going to be one.

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He spots a gasoline station with people around . . .

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. . . does a good job of trying to ask about a hotel . . .

 

 

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. . . and is told that all they’ve got is camping. So, it’s time for him to break out that tent and sleeping bag. You can tell from the tone of his voice how not thrilled he is at the prospect, especially since he’s probably quite tired.

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So, out to the campground it is.

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As he passes the 1000 km mark, he finally spots the place.

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He sees that others have set up tents in a certain way, and finds an empty enclosure for himself.

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He can’t read the directions because they’re in Spanish, so will he even be able to set up his tent before dawn?

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That was a nice struggle for them to end the episode on, I thought. This episode had a little of everything. He took in some scenery, ate some local food, tried to converse with a local lad, stayed at a hotel, wrote in his journal, started a new day of travel, and ended up in a struggle for shelter at the end.

My only real objection is this: all he did on day two was start and finish. Does that mean he was really just driving all day? Didn’t he eat at all? I think a lot must have been cut out for time, which is a good sign at this early stage in the show. It probably means that there’s a lot of interesting content ahead (cross your fingers). So far, it’s still all about potential, but Tackey-san’s trouble setting up the tent gives me hope.

 

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