“Did you find what you wanted?” my brother-in-law asks.
“Did I find what I wanted?” I retort laughingly. “I didn’t go to La Carrera Panamericana to find something I want, I went to enjoy something I love!”
It’s a hard concept to explain and even harder for people to understand why anyone would find joy in little sleep, hard work, long, strenuous days driving across the countryside, and plunking down pesos for entrance to a banos that is unclean, unkempt, and the TP garnered is from your own supply! But, those are only minor inconveniences.
How do you explain the thrill of seeing friends in their vintage racecars coming through yet another arrival arch and knowing the trials and tribulations it took them to get there? The well-wishes, the camaraderie, the knowledge that you get to drive really, really fast along country roads in a vehicle that was made for yesteryear. Enjoying the sights and sounds of a country that in some ways is so advanced and in others, so rural that it is hard to comprehend the lifestyle.
Is it possible to share the delight of having a beer or two in the town square where hundreds of onlookers and fans gather to wish you well and to thank YOU for coming to their country? Where kids want a Kodak moment in front of their favorite racecar or vie for an autograph on one of its postcards?
And then…, in the quieter moments of the late evening after the driver’s meeting is over and done with and the mechanical aspects of the racecar are satisfactory – the bench racing and daily stories come to the forefront and laughter erupts until tears hit the floor.