Travelers Meet Hitchhikers

The Travelers Meet the Hitchhikers and the Nanches

Returning from Heirve el Agua, a young family walking down the road hitched a ride from us. As we traveled on down the road, our friend waved and smiled at their toddler through the back window of the cab. We approached a curve in the road and the father patted the side of the truck bed in the universal ride-hitchers gesture for, “this is my stop.”

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They climbed out and the father approached the driver’s window. He had to do the ride-hitchers routine of asking “how much will it be?” My husband gave the polite “it’s nothing,” response. (This is a common exchange between travelers.)

But this man DID have something special to share. He had in his hand a small plastic bag of wild nanches. He insisted that my husband accept them, which he eventually did because he loves nanches and had never had the chance to try wild ones before. It was brother honoring brother.

Nanches are grape-sized yellow fruits with a stomach-turning fermented odor. Apparently, they are an acquired taste. We all waved goodbye to the family, especially the enthusiastic toddler as we drove off. Luis drove on happily munching his nanches accompanied by groaning and complaining from his travel companions. “Keep that bag closed when you aren’t taking one out.” “Oh! Roll down the window!”

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