Since  we’ve already passed the Machu Picchu portion of “Takizawa Hideaki‘s Journey Cutting Through 4800km of South America” (滝沢秀明 南米縦断4800キロの旅) does that mean it’s all going to wind down like Kitayama-kun’s did after Varanasi and the Takaki-Chinen one did after Mont Blanc? Or does Tackey-san have a few tricks up his sleeve left?

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This is his tenth day on this trip, and he reunites with his Jeep in the morning, having abandoned it in Cuzco in the last episode because public transport was the only way to get to Machu Picchu. As is his way, he apologizes to the Jeep for that.

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Looking at the map, Tackey-san is struck by how close he is to his goal of Lima. The map used to be daunting, but now his remaining journey is confined to a tiny part of it.

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Before Lima, though, he wants to get a look at the Nazca Lines.

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So, off he goes:

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The road, which hugs overhanging cliffs, reminds Tackey-san of Indiana Jones, and he starts humming the theme.

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Continuing through till nightfall, he stops at an inn . . .

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. . . carrying a huge bundle of corn. Wait a minute . . . where did those come from?

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They rewind back nine hours to show us what happened.

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Tackey-san saw a truck stuck in the mud . . .

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. . . helped by tugging them out of their predicament with the traction of his Jeep (being put to full use for the first time). . .

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. . . and was subsequently rewarded with the corn.

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That gift turns out to be quite a burden, though, as he keeps dropping them as he tried to get them into the inn (I don’t know why he thought this would be a good idea).

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Anyway, he finally dumps them all on the counter in front of an incredulous woman (who seems to be more a manager than a cook).

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She just straight-up prepares all of them for him:

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And with that much corn, I hope he’s got more staff around him than we think, because otherwise the food might go to waste.

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Tackey-san calls for the necessary beer, and for some reason seems awkward about handling the froth. After all the beers he’s had in South America, you’d think he’d have it figured out by now. Or is it because he usually poured it himself? I can’t remember whether he did or not.

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In probably the best furnished room he’s been in since leaving Santiago, he does his diary entry for the day and recounts the two main encounters – the corn farmers and the woman at the inn.

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The next morning, he gets a good look at where he stayed the night and the surrounding scenery.

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And let me put it bluntly, folks – it’s all alpacas from here to the end. Technically, there’s an interlude between Tackey and Tsubasa . . .

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. . . but even there the topic of alpacas quickly comes up, leading Tsubasa to quip “Tackey & Alpaca” (instead of Tackey & Tsubasa).

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So, let’s see Tackey & Alpaca.

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Here’s the first one . . .

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. . . and Tackey-san recalls the alpaca wool sweater he got for Tsubasa-san.

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He tries to feel the nearest alpaca, but it’s quite standoffish. It looks at him in the cutest way, and almost as if it’s sizing him up. It doesn’t actually look afraid, but it’s not sure whether to trust him or not, either.

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It just won’t touch the food when he’s looking at it.

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He gets a good photo out of the encounter, though.

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Further along, and he continues to drive at elevations higher than anything found in Japan . . .

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. . . he sees a whole herd of alpaca.

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And this time, he can’t resist trying to approach them.  Unfortunately, they show some unexpected speed whenever he gets near.

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All that’s left for this episode is to cross the 4000km mark.

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And as he gets out to take a commemorative photo, he sees more alpaca, and announces his achievement to them.

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Naturally, they don’t react at all to his pronouncement.

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After a moment of reflection . . .

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. . . he gets his photo.

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So, it turns out that Machu Picchu wasn’t the peak of this series. Tackey-san pulled out the alpaca card (and who can be bored watching those charming creatures?) and he’s going to go flying over the Nazca Lines in the next episode. Also, the preview revealed some other hijinks.

I enjoyed this episode a lot more than the last one, and I think Tackey-san probably did, too. After all, it wasn’t raining, and messing around with animals always beats hugging stones. All indications are that this series will not just fizzle out like the other ones did.

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