Friday, September 27, 2013


OK, you're in a poor country, everyone drives as if they left their brain at home, the major 'highways' are two lanes and run smack through the middle of tiny pueblos, and the police are nowhere to be seen.  How do you keep the speed down?  Easy!  Rompemuelles!
"But that's just a speed bump!" you say.  Hah!  "Just" a speed bump?! They are called "spring breakers" for a reason.  The Peruvians take perverse pleasure in building them tall and steep.  
And frequent.  On one trip, we counted them between Huancayo and Tingo MarĂ­a, a town in the jungle.  I guessed 75.  One Assistant guessed 100.  Sister Henderson guessed 200, and she won the contest, at 153 total.  That's a lot of dang rompemuelles.
They are usually heralded by a sign like this:
Or this.  Actually, I'm not sure whether this was to warn of an upcoming bump, or whether it is the name of a town.  Maybe that's where the factory is located.  I dunno.
I say "usually" they are heralded by such a sign, but at times there is no warning, and no painted stripes. Instead, I think I've seen a bunch of Peruvian rompemuelle makers sitting in the bushes giggling, waiting for the unsuspecting motorist to have his springs not only broken, but torn clean out of his undercarriage.  
We hope that your muelles don't get rompe'd!  Or at least that you win the bet.
Dave & Paula


Charles McClelland said...

In Mexico, I believe they are called "Tolpes".

Patti said...

Now that's not something you read about in the tourist books! 153 between two towns. That would drive me crazy.