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

THE first time I heard a tuk-tuk, I was like: “what the hell is that?”

Then it shot out in front 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.

So, I had to stop the car and take some pictures.

Chalkmarks Tuk Tuk
At a junction, these tuk-tuks look like a bag of Skittles

This is my Top 10 from a gallery of hundreds taken in Peru. My favourites are those with the most electric designs and the rickshaws, which look like cars in cardigans, with their colourful plastic hoods to protect passengers from the desert sun. 

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

I snapped these three-wheeled bullets buzzing along the Pan-American Highway – 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. 

Yet still 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.

Chalkmarks Tuk Tuk

The Pan-American Highway will take you from Prudhoe Bay in Alaska, USA, through to Ushuaia in Argentina, passing through 14 countries – the USA, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Argentina.

To cover the 30,000 miles (48,000km) of the Pan-American Highway, Google estimates about three months. That’s driving eight-hours a day.

Chalkmarks tuk tuks, Peru

A wobbly view from the car and me in the wing mirror

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