Santiago de Chuco

Trip Start Feb 06, 2007
Trip End Jan 14, 2008

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Thursday, 24th May.
As usual, bus misinformation. The 8am Agreda company bus to Santiago de Chuco failed to turn up. We were put onto a smelly (and unoccupied)  Horna bus, and waited, and waited ... After an hour another bus turned up and we were moved to that one, which was going to Trujillo, not Santiago. Ah well, this is Peru.
The road climbed up to the altiplano, maybe 4500 metres, where only grass grew, and it was very cold. It was the roughest road so far, and we had to wait while a grader filled in a huge hole. We passed a herd of llamas being shorn. They look even sillier than shorn sheep ! Suddenly there was this huge mine where a hilltop used to be, with airstrip, and the appalling road surface changed to bitumen.
We were dropped off at the unappealing mining town of Shorey, and were straight on to another bus to Santiago.
Santiago has a collection of run down hostels, very dusty, with unmentionable bathrooms. A kind lady took Barb to the Plaza de Armas where there was Hostal San Marcos. For 5 sol more it was like a palace. Lunch was at a grotty restaurant, where Pete looked into the kitchen too late. They served almost raw chook, and fish cooked at least 3 hours too long. For tea we found a lovely restaurant, La Hacienda, owned by a friendly lady whose father had arrived as a refugee from the Ukraine some 60 years ago. She served us a delicious Italian pasta dish.
In the afternoon we watched yet another fiesta. Beautifully set up floats with pre-school children dressed in traditional clothes paraded past, with a school band. Several times they went round the Plaza, tossing out handfuls of lollies, chupachups and packets of biscuits. When each handful landed there was a mad scramble for the goodies, children and adults alike. Pete nearly got demolished in the scrum.
We made lots of enquiries about traveling further south, not via Trujillo, and the most consistent info was that a bus went at 12 noon from near the Plaza to Tulpo, then there might/might not be an ongoing bus. Generally, people thought we were nuts even thinking of going this way.
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