First South American Bus Journey

Trip Start May 08, 2013
Trip End Sep 30, 2013

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Flag of Peru  , Lima Region,
Monday, May 13, 2013

Today we left our B&B in Miraflores to continue our adventure to Paracas, 3.5 hours down the coast from Lima. Angelo, the lovely owner of the B&B, flagged down a taxi and haggled for it for us. We could make out some of the haggling, and they settled on "ocho soles", which is around 2GBP. We hopped into the taxi, clutching onto our luggage and had a hair-raising nine minute drive to the Cruz Del Sur bus station on Javier Prado. You know when you're in the car with somebody and they take a tight gap or get a little too close to the car in front; you gasp and momentarily you think "I'm going to die"? That would sum up this afternoons taxi ride. Parents: don't worry! Just another one under the belt.

We have heard a lot of horror stories about bus journeys in South America; in fact, about South America in general I guess. But bus journeys in particular is a thing I was worried about, with the stories of robberies at gunpoint and bags going missing. I'm not super concerned about pick-pockets - they are everywhere in the world, even at home. What I'm worried about is guns. Anyway, we chose our bus company carefully and went with the one who has the best reputation (and hence is the most expensive) - Cruz Del Sur.

When we arrived at the bus station, a nice English-speaking girl got our pre-booked tickets for us and told us where to go. The luggage is checked-in and tagged, much like at an airport, and hopefully we will be seeing it at the other end! Our gate was number 3 and we were told to board 10 minutes before departure. We killed a bit of time sitting in the waiting room upstairs.

When it was time to board, a security man checked through our hand luggage and scanned us with the device they use at airports. We are upstairs on the double-decker bus in seats 25 and 26. Let me tell you, it's FAR superior to anything Great Britain has. A lovely reclining seat, similar to what you would get in business class on a long-haul flight. We also got a three course meal consisting of quiche, chicken with potato and rice and a chocolate cake, along with a cup of Inca Cola, which is a yellow carbonated fruity drink which tastes much like Vimto! So just to sum up: a 3.5h journey in a lovely seat with a pillow and blanket, along with a 3 course meal all for £7.50 each! The unexpected meal saves us buying dinner tonight - score. The driver is careful and nothing like the taxi driver earlier this afternoon. I have no idea if all buses will be like this, but this is a good start and we will be making the effort to book tickets with the top-end bus companies for the remainder of the trip. Most of the drive has just been through what looks like desert. The view is yellow, hilly and sandy. There are some shacks/huts at the side of the road every so often, which appear to be people's homes.

So in an hour and a half we should be in Paracas and will be checking in to Paracas Backpackers House for two nights. We have tours booked to Islas Ballestas and Paracas National Park tomorrow.

Oh, and Les Misérables is the movie playing on the bus...
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