As the traffic thinned out, I felt increasingly relaxed about drifting off periodically, Celeste snored obliviously on her towel, and O drove on like a determined Liman taxi driver. The wind blew, but now had turned hot, so O put up the windows and started the air conditioner. Ahhhhh...bliss. About 10 am, we blew into a little town to eat breakfast.
Celeste woke up, hopped out, and we took a short turn down the block to do her "business". She dutifully stepped off the sidewalk when nature called, and watched people as they passed. She always looks pleased with herself when she remembers to be courteous and handles her "business" off the sidewalk. She doesn't seem to notice that I'm with her, plastic bag and scooper at the ready. When she encounters a pile left in the middle of the walk by some other less cultured perrito, Celeste leaps to the side to avoid stepping in the nasty mess, a look of distain on her face. I know she learned that behavior from me. I'm hoping that with time, she'll begin to carry her own plastic bag and scooper.
We turned back up the block to return to O and find a restaurant. We stepped inside a little mom and pop place and Celeste took her favored spot by the wall, under the table. O ordered fried fish, I got chicken soup. Celeste got dog food and a fish tail and bit of chicken skin for dessert with a stale hard roll for a good chaw while we finished our meal.
After we ate, we climbed back into the car. Celeste looked at the front seat, but thought better of it and went to her towel. I fell back into the car and began sawing logs. I know this because I woke myself up two or three times with my own snoring. O roared up the street into the heart of the little town, and must have had several sudden stops and starts, because the next time I looked back at Celeste, she was still asleep, but off the seat and on the floor, towel draped over her back.
I woke up in time to see the sand dunes and the Pacific coastline close to the highway. The next time I woke up, I saw nothing but sand. Peruvian music was blaring on the radio and I fell asleep again. Gads, I was wiped out. We stopped at 7 toll booths on the way to Trujillo. SEVEN! The worst thing about it was that the highway, although it was going to be beautiful, hadn't been worked on for months and we were paying to travel through tiny, traffic-clogged villages. Charming at first, interesting later, tedious and irritating at the last.