The time I thought I was being followed...

Paranoia, possibly I will never know for sure. In the end everything went fine, but I will forever wonder if that one time I thought I was being followed, was I really paranoid.

I was in Huancayo, Peru in July 2013 only for an afternoon. First I must say that I was in a very weird mood of feeling lost and loneliness. Having gotten to Peru only a little less than two weeks, I was homesick and had headaches due mostly to altitude sickness, I had no appetite and did not drink enough water (very important in altitude I have learned), so my second week of traveling was very weird.

Huancayo Main Plaza

Huancayo Main Plaza

I got to Huancayo around noon from a 3 hour bus ride from Tarma. From there I decided to book another bus the same evening to get to Ayacucho. Long story short, I was walking to the bus terminal that was ten blocks away. After 11 and 12 blocks without seeing the agency for the bus, I realized that was had headed the wrong way, so I was now 22 blocks away from taking the bus in time about half an hour later (I did not know yet that in Peru buses almost always leaves half an hour late or more). So I turn around and realize that the neighborhood I'm in does not look like the best one for a tourist with a huge backpack to walk around.

The streets going parallel to the one I was on was close enough to see it when I passed intersection. A few blocks later I realize that I had seen the same guy going the same way I did but on the other street corner. He did look like he was looking towards me (I must say that I'm the only tourist around and easy to spot with my backpack). It was getting dark and got a little scared so I started walking faster and still saw him on the next street corner and so on for another two or three. By then I had starting to look around and find a spot to hide or simply be in a crowd for a few minutes, because on the streets there were only a few people here and there.

Huancayo Main Plaza

I finally get to a ''plaza'', that are everywhere in South America, where there was an open market. A lot more people around and I get in just to lose whoever was following me. But could not stay there long because I still had to walk 7 or 8 blocks to the bus terminal. I did not see the other guy again.

The question is... Have I been paranoid or cautious? Foremost I think I have been cautious. Whenever you get a bad feeling about a situation while traveling, make sure to listen to it. It will sometimes be wrong and sometimes right. I was maybe a bit paranoid also and very tired and imagined this whole thing. I will never know now, but I remember this moment like it was a few weeks ago.

What do you think? Did you ever have any experience like this one?


  1. Hitch-Hikers' Handbook2 December 2013 at 06:31

    Lovely blog, Normand! Thanks for connecting with us on Twitter!
    Keep up the great work and travel safe!

  2. Hitch-Hikers' Handbook2 December 2013 at 06:32

    Lovely photos, Normand! We've always wanted to go to Bolivia!

    If you like photography, we’d like to invite you to participate in the
    next edition of our popular Travel Photography Competition. Here are the

    Happy travels!


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