One hell of a bus ride...

Trip Start Jun 13, 2008
Trip End May 25, 2009

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

OK... so since the last post, we have spent a lot of time on the road!!  Tom and I went to the bus station to book a ticket... our first choice service was fully booked though, so we went for the next one down... but their credit card machine was broken, so we had to just reserve and pay when we turned up the next day... which turned out to be fine, even though they lost our reservation...

From there (on Saturday night) we went to Miraflores, which is quite close to Lima, but supposed to be a bit safer at night...  It was really cool - we wandered around looking at that 'the world from the sky' photo exhibition and then had something to eat - it was chicken and green rice, but I couldn't tell you what it actually was!

We got a taxi back to the hotel, which was hilarious - we drank pisco sours with our meal, which everyone keeps going on about - it was the sourest thing ever, but pretty tasty...!  We think that impaired our judgement, because not 2 hours after being scared our first taxi driver was taking us to the back streets of Lima and being very street wise, we got in our taxi back, which had the windows down, no seat belts and didn't appear to know where our hotel was, but we were absolutely loving it... that travelling feeling finally kicked in!!  (Please don't worry parents, we were perfectly safe, but it's a more entertaining story this way ;))

The next day we got up and had another wander around Lima and found a supermarket... then we sat in the main square with a little picnic...

Soon after that we got on our bus... our first choice service took 18 hours, our second choice, 23 hours... so that was bad enough... so imagine our surprise when after 24 hours on the bus, we pulled up in Puno, a town further south than we wanted to go!  The bus then went on for another 6 hours to get to Cusco... so we went a bit of a long way round, but the scenery was amazing.  I didn't get any photos through the window, but Tom took a bit of footage...

We started in dirty, urban Lima and quickly came to stretches of rocky desert, full of cactae.  As we went on, we went through a few small, quite industrial looking towns.  The same road led onto dome shaped mountains, covered in long tufts of yellow grass, separated by sporadic bursts of crystal clear water - it was spectacular to say the least!

The road was really windy, weaving in and around the hills with block patterns etched into them and peaks disappearing into low, whispy clouds.  There are lots of houses built into the hillsides in this area, and at the top of the highest hill in town, a big statue.

The coach was absolutely freezing for the first night, and boiling on the second, no in between!  but we did get a lot of sleeping done... in between Spanish dubbed-Titanic and Spanish-dubbed Doctor Dolittle ;)

Anyway, we finally arrived in Cusco at about 10pm and got straight into a taxi to the hostel we'd already booked...  This place is fantastic!  There's a nice bar and loads of other travellers, which we didn't really see in Lima, and there's a great view from the balcony at the back.

We went for a walk around the town today and it was really gorgeous...  There's a festival about to start here and I think they were warming up for it, as there was a parade with loads of tiny children dancing...  I have to say, I think this is the most colourful place I've ever been, and I really like it.  We were so chilled out today, just walking around, looking in all the little shops and bartering away...

We sat in the square for quite a while, just taking it in... We also found a really cheap cafe - it seems that all you can really buy around here is pasta, and it's quite a lot, but this place had a small starter, lunch and a drink for half the price of the pasta dishes... The only snag is that we're not entirely sure what we ate, and there's a strong possibility it was guinea pig...!

Anyway, we met up with the people who run the tour we're booked on for tomorrow... it's a hardcore five day trek to Machupiccu and I can't flippin wait!!  So more photos to come!!  I'm being booted off the computer, so just check back soon!
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