Always research bus journeys before embarking!

Trip Start Sep 03, 2007
Trip End Jul 03, 2008

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Flag of Peru  ,
Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Knowing full well we didnīt want to stay in Lima again we were keen to get straight to Cusco. At the airport I got straight on the phone enquiring about the next bus to Cusco, as the bus was leaving 40mins later we had a very rushed taxi ride to the Ormeno bus terminal. Arriving one minute before the bus departed we managed to get tickets and jumped on board of a very flash looking bus. Being the sensible person that I am I thought I would enquire into how long the bus journey was, to my surprise I was told 30hours! I was thinking along the lines of 20 hours max, it seemed the bus did not go a direct route and was going via Arequipa and Puna - so bascially we were going right down to the southern most point of Peru to drive back up 8 hrs to Cusco, gutted, we sat back and tried to enjoy the marathon journey. Luckily there was a few other fun travellers on board to pass the time. We drove all down the desert coast of Peru, passing the odd town every now and then but there really was no much there but baron land.
We stopped off at Arequipa for a few hours so we shared a taxi with a couple Americans and went on a sight seeing tour of the city. Very nice it was to. The charming colonial town of Arequipa is known as the "White City" since so many older buildings in the center are built of silar, a pale rock mined from the slopes of the three volcanoes surrounding the town. A colorful and historic convent, delightful town square, tasty restaurants, and stunning mountain surroundings.
One good thing to come out of our very long bus journey was whist in conversation with the Americans we said we were planning on getting local buses to Machu Picchu as we didnīt want to and couldnīt afford to trek there. They very kindly gave us a little booklet they had picked up in Lima from the SAE (South American Explorers club) that was directed at the indepedent traveller with info on treks around Cusco that you could do by yourself.  So after reading about an 8day trek to some alternative ruins and ending in Machu Picchu that was it, our whole plan rearranged.
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