Literally Lost: 6

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The Independent Travel
The following excerpt has been taken from a classic work of travel literature. Readers are invited to tell us: a) where is the action taking place? b) who is the author? Blackwell's Bookshops will supply pounds 30-worth of book tokens each week to the first correct answer out of the hat. Answers on a postcard to: Literally Lost, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. Usual Newspaper Publishing competition rules apply. Entries to arrive by Thursday 6 November.

"Paco had overloaded Rosaura, and with her slipping clutch and patched tyres, we had to grind downhill in low gear. We were halfway down a small canyon, when he flicked the gear into top and we roared to the bottom. There was a hissing sound.

'Puta madre! Puncture!'

The left inside tyre had burst. Paco parked Rosaura on the gravel verge, tilting inwards so the slope would take the weight off the wheel. He unfreed the spare tyre and threw down the jack. But it was the wrong jack. We had lent his own - and this was typical - to a friend with a heavier load. And this small jack lifted the wheel so high but not high enough.

So Paco shovelled a hole out under the tyre and slipped off the wheels, but as he removed the inner one, the foot of the jack slipped through the road surface. Rosaura yawed sideways and the bricks shifted.

'Que macana! What a mess!"

We waited seven hours for a truck and then could stand waiting no longer and tried again. Paco lay under the axle and worked the jack, this time packing the feet with stones. He was caked with grease and dust, red in the face, and showing signs of losing his temper. He dug a bigger hole under the axle, got the chassis jacked up so far, and even got both wheels back. But they were askew and he couldn't tighten the nuts and he started booting the wheel and screaming: 'Puta ... puta ... puta ... puta ... putana ... puta ... puta ... '

Literally Lost: 5

Last weeks extract came from the writings of Marco Polo. The action took place in Socotra, off the coast of what is today the Yemen.

We received no correct answers. Last week's prize will therefore be rolled over to this week's competition.