Chalkmarks Tuk a ride on the Pan-American Highway

THE first time I heard a tuk-tuk, I was like: “what the hell is that?” It shot out in front of me and was as colourful as a fruit cocktail.

Then I saw another and I was hooked. They’re so eye poppingly distracting and when they’re lined up at a junction, they look like a bag of Skittles.

I just had to stop the car and take some pictures. I snapped these three-wheeled bullets buzzing along the Pan-American Highway in Peru – the longest road in the world – linking the two continents, North and South America.

This stretch skirts the Pacific coast road between the capital Lima to Ica in the south and then Piura in the north.

Known as motortaxis, tuk-tuks may not be as comfy as air conditioned saloons but with their neon colours and noise they’re like mini sports cars only without the speed. 

They dart between the huge freight trucks – probably on their way to Chile or Ecuador – then veer down the back streets taking passengers from work to the shops and across to the beach.

These are some of my favourites: I like the ones best with the electric designs and colourful plastic hoods that protect passengers from the desert sun. 

The first picture is my number one because of the supermodel casually perched on the back.

The Pan-American Highway covers 30,000 miles (48,000km). It will take you from Prudhoe Bay in Alaska, USA, through to Ushuaia in Argentina. It passes through 14 countries – the USA, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Argentina.

Google estimates about three months to travel – that’s driving eight-hours a day.

Chalkmarks Tuk a ride on the Pan-American Highway
Chalkmarks Tuk a ride on the Pan-American Highway

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