And Awaaay We Go!

Trip Start Jul 31, 2010
Trip End Aug 26, 2010

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Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday, August 6

Just arrived in the city of Ica where we will be sandboarding & dune buggying tomorrow afternoon …but before that we will catch a 6:30 am bus to Nazca to view the Nazca Lines.

Today was excellent…. even considering our bus ride was 7 hrs. from Ayacucho. It started with this morning's placement at a nearby Wawa Wasi.  Since we had to catch an 11am bus, Cynthia, Patty & I all did our placement there…  really adorable kids, excellent laughers and tho the same age as the prison kids, much more disciplined and easier to reach with activities.  Again it took place in a small, perhaps 8’ x 8’ room with a few toys and books, but little else.  I’ll leave the pics of the kids do the talking…they are great.

Alejandro bought our bus tickets yesterday and drove the 4 of us to the station and off we went…really nice  bus & we opted for the  1st class seats on the main level…seats reclined nearly down to the floor and we were able to totally stretch our feet…drinks and snacks were even served…not bad at all.

This was one amazing bus trip…absolutely stunning.  Of all the mountain ranges that I’ve seen, including the Rockies, the Himalayas & Mt. Kilimanjaro, nothing compares to the Andes of Peru… they are so dramatic in their height and in their powerfully rugged expanse.   Bus is a great way to take in the scenery , and as we headed for the Pacific coast, I could tell this would be a bus ride to remember.

There is one main highway leading from Ayacucho to Ica and then on to Lima…beautifully paved for the most part but at 11,000 ft. it winds and winds, and even tho there are guard rails, they aren’t going to do much to stop a huge double decker bus.  They must have switched drivers somewhere along the way and with the front curtain drawn, I couldn’t see the driver(s) or anything forward, just thru the side windows.

I must tell you, the 2nd half of this ride with this 2nd driver was an experience like few others I’ve ever had… we were driving thru the Andes at what seemed to be speeds that would be scary on straight away roads…but this was downhill in the mountains with sharp turn after sharp turn.  The 2 decker bus also rocks back and forth much more than a lower built bus.  It so reminded me of an old Superman TV episode I saw growing up… the bad guys had put acid on Jimmy Olsen’s brakes as he was driving in the mountains…all of a sudden he has no breaks and the car is flying… beeping his horn constantly all the way downhill, pumping his breaks to no avail…there was one turn that young Olsen couldn’t make, but he had Superman nearby… we had Ralph Kramden to lead us to safety!  Well, somehow with horns a blaring, speeds that never seemed to slow, Ralph delivered us to Ica.

Anyway, we arrived in Ica around 6pm and were met by Pancho, about my age who puts together and personally guides many weekend trips for CCS vols.  I knew Pancho from my last time here and we exchanged big hello hug….just one of the nicest, most knowledgeable and competent people I’ve , met.  I  think as a people, the Peruvians are as genuine and authentic as any group I have met and really are so interested in the helping of both their community and visitors first, before themselves…it really is so refreshing.

Pancho took us back to our hotel and while I was expecting a hostel type, we each had our own room with private baths & showers and it really was very nice.  After numerous Pisco Sours and lots of laughs, really got to know Pancho, Cynthia & Max, and Patty much better.  Cynthia is 54, lives in central NJ, formally was in pharmaceutical sales and met her husband 15 years ago who founded and is CEO of a publicly traded pharmaceutical company.  Max is her 14 y.o. son, well over 6 ft. tall, who  she loves to share experiences with, tho he reluctantly is often dragged along.  Very mature and often easy to forget he is just 14.  Patty is 33 and I have been corresponding with her for the past 6 mo.’s  and recruited her to Ayacucho CCS…just an exuberant, bubbly person...  So after belting down a few, we all went out to a wonderful restaurant where Italian food just hit the spot.   After that, it was off to bed as we had to leave to see the Nazca Lines at 5:30am the next morning, followed by the sandboarding.

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Vinny on

Glad you had fun on the "Mario Andretti Bus Tours" ride ! Wow, that is just a bit scary. Glad you made it safely and are having a good time and getting your work done. The kids really are beautiful, and some of those mountain scenes are breathtaking. Well have fun at Nazca and the Sandboarding. Can't wait to see those posts.

smurfettes1 on

It sounds like a spectacular adventure, but I'm not so sure about that bus ride! I guess the upside will be the return trip, that should be all uphill ??
The pictures are great & those kids looks like such sweeties!!!
Looking forward to your next post :)

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