My Wild Rover experience was certainly a bit more jolly after getting back from the Colca Canyon tour. It was a Friday, there was no reason to get up early the next day, and I now had friends, real friends. The tour group had more or less collectively decided to get drunk that night, and the meeting place would be the Wild Rover bar. I napped for a while and then found some dinner while a contingent went to Starbucks and had a backpack stolen.
When I perched myself at the bar beside my two Brazilian friends the bar was still pretty quiet and populated almost exclusively by guys, much to the Brazilians’ disgust (they’d spent much of the tour imagining scantily-clad Brasileñas dancing in various important spots, then describing the scene to us in vivid detail). They bought me a Jägerbomb and kindly pretended not to be aghast when I admitted I had no idea what I was supposed to do. (For those similarly ignorant: you recite some speech like a murmuring drunkard – the words aren’t that important – then you drop the shot glass into the redbull and down it.)
Beer was 8 soles and there was a happy hour, so by the time the others arrived at the bar I was pleasantly tipsy. Every so often someone behind the bar shouted ‘free shots’ and you were encouraged to approach the bar, tilt your head back and ceremonially receive some flavoured shot. At some point people started dancing on the bar. They induced flashing recollections of school discos with their costumes and painted faces and attention-grabbing stunts: slices of nightmares long buried under attempts at maturity. I pushed the images out and tried to find the whole situation not embarrassing.
Later, after the Brazilians had slunk off to ‘go skiing’ – as they described it the next day – there was a mass exodus to a club called Deja Vu. I was drunk enough to dance freely, albeit badly, and yet to avoid the need to buy another drink. The club had two levels and was mostly filled with gringos, Peruvian girls trying to seduce gringos, and Peruvian guys hoping to pick up the pieces. Our group mostly stuck together, dancing awkwardly in a circle and, if someone was feeling quite audacious, dancing with each other. People began to disappear mysteriously, and at around 4am I noted that my group were nowhere to be seen. I made it back to the hostel without incident, much to my surprise, and probably made a lot of noise going to bed.