Oh peru, you tricked me again....

Trip Start Oct 03, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Peru  , Arequipa,
Friday, February 3, 2012

After a wonderful 6 weeks back in Colombia, I returned to Arequipa, Peru which is in the south not so far from the Chile border.  The main attraction around Arequipa (besides the charming city itself) is Cocoa Canyon.  However, I was feeling quite burnt out from all of the travel and had a bit of altitude sickness so I spent 2 days in bed trying to get my bearings back.  I don't know what it is but Peru takes a lot out of me.  Maybe it is the fact that I never feel like I can really trust anyone in Peru and I can never get truly comfortable.  It's not as though people lie to me about big things or anything really bad has happened in Peru, it's always just been a long combination of annoying little lies.  For example, I was pressured into paying $60 (which is a LOT in Peru) for a direct bus to La Paz, Bolivia.  Why did I need a direct bus you may ask?  I was told that there was a large festival going on in Puno, Peru and so it was very difficult to go through the town because no one was really working and everyone was celebrating the festival.  I was told that only ONE company avoided Puno and went directly to La Paz.  So, I coughed up the $60, decided to miss the festival in Puno just in case it would mean I would have trouble getting out of there.  The only down side (I thought) was that I was told to arrive at the bus station at 1:30am since the bus was going to leave at 2am.  And the comedy of errors begins....

 1) The bus did not arrive until 5am.  Awesome.

 2) While trying to sleep in the bus station until the bus arrived, a mans phone went off non-stop which he did not wake up to answer because he was snoring too loudly.  Typical.
 3) Once the bus finally arrived there was a man in my seat who also had a ticket with the same seat number on it.  Annoying.  I also noticed on his ticket that he was NOT charged $60.  Big surprise.
 4)  The was a child screaming on the bus for roughly 10 hours.  No joke.
 5) The bus stopped in Puno.  Wait what?!?  It wasn't direct? But.....mmmhmmm (there were also many other buses leaving from Puno to La Paz. Claro.)
 6) At the border we were stranded for 30min on the Bolivian side while our driver chatted it up with his long-lost friend on the Peruvian side.  (This is clearly an assumption but it appeared to be what was happening while 50 people waited impatiently in the middle of nowhere).
 7) As we rounded a sharp corner, the side cargo compartment opened and our luggage started flying out and rolling down the hill.  At this point I started to fantasize about literally hurting the woman who sold me the bus ticket.

 I can't even remember what happened after because I was driven into angry delirium where I went back and forth between imaging the crying baby flying out the window and trying not to throw up from the horrible smell coming from the bathroom.  Needless to say the bus ride was horrible and my patience was intensely tested.  Unfortunately, because of my utter frustration, I decided to miss Lake Titicaca and Isla del Sol which both have beautiful and enchanting things to see.  It was more difficult than I thought to go from Colombia back to Peru and I found myself once again so grateful for the wonderful Colombian people.  It was also my first big day of travel alone after being spoiled for so many weeks with family and loved ones.  But, what can you do?  I made it to La Paz in one piece and was oddly glad to be surrounded by the chaos of Bolivia because at least they don't even pretend to have anything under control :) 
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