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July 19, 2005
Amy writes:

See our Arequipa photos.

There was always going to be another bus-ride-from-hell and for me, this was it.

Jody was sick so instead of doing another mammoth bus journey, we were going a relatively short distance: Lima-Nazca (7 hours). I was going to relax by the pool, he was going to spend a day in bed before we did the tourist stuff (Nasca Lines, Chauchilla mummies) and then get another bus further south. Simple, you'd think.

We got the ticket to Nasca, watched as the luggage guys loaded our bags last (the bus was continuing south to Arequipa) and settled in for the ride. The bus was deluxe but still cramped for Jody. He was forced to stick his legs out into the aisle and put up with people tripping over them on their way to the toilet.

Despite my inclination for sleeping on any moving vehicle, Jody being ill meant he needed sleep more than me. I was going to stay awake so we could be ready to jump off when we got there.

18:30 Bus leaves Lima. Jody and Amy read American GQ (bought at great expense)
19:30 Dinner is served. Chicken and rice plus sugary soft drink. Better than airplane food.
20:30 Entire bus takes part in a game of Bingo with stewardess as the caller on a microphone. Jody almost wins but not quite.
21:15 Movie - American film 'School of Rock' dubbed into Spanish
21:17 We buzz stewardess and ask for subtitles in English. She looks annoyed.
21:25 Watch film but can't work out why subtitles are not what actors are saying
21:30 Realise it is director's commentary and quite interesting.
23:00 Film over. Jody already alseep. Feel eyelids drooping so read more GQ and listen to CD player.
00:30 Batteries run out. Have to borrow some from camera. Now have to mime singing to keep brain active and stop me feeling sick on windy roads.
02:30 Play 'count the sand dune'
03:30 Jody wakes up and we discuss why it is taking so long. I say we have to be nearly there as we have been driving through desert for ages.
04:00 We buzz Stewardess and ask how far it still is to Nasca. She looks confused, we get worried. She looks at our ticket and then she looks worried. Goes off to the back.
04:10 She returns, our fears are confirmed. We are way past Nasca - although she and two other people checked the ticket before we boarded, they forgot to drop us off there.
04:13 We don't understand what else she says except that we have no choice but to go another 5 hours to Arequipa, the final stop of the bus.
04:20 Jody goes back to sleep, I sit and fume - now strangely awake.
06:15 A girl comes over, English-speaking to translate for the stewardess. She wants us to transfer buses in an hour and swap to one going back to Nasca. After almost 12 hours, we refuse saying we can't handle a further 8 hours travelling right now.

Eventually some three hours later, we got to Arequipa where we had a confronatation with the bus company, Cruz del Sur. Everyone we told the story to looked shocked and blamed someone else but I was too tired, and Jody too ill to care. We've been here almost a week now. Jody has been in bed most of the time (the longer ride had made him worse) and although, Cruz del Sur gave us tickets to go back to Nazca - it's too late. Like a moody teenager I want to say; "Cruz del Sur - you have ruined my life!" If there was a door to slam, I'd slam it.

On the up side, we booked ourselves into a nice hotel with cable TV and have rested watching terrible 80's movies (Twins, Beverly Hills Cop 2, Ferris Bueller etc). Today we managed some tourist sites such as the beautiful Santa Catalina convent - so huge that there are 80 separate quarters for the nuns and their servants, with streets and plazas connecting them. We'll be out of Peru before the week is out and heading to Argentina for our last six weeks of exploring.

posted at 10:31 PM | link

13 Comments:

  • Oh Ames... bluddy Peruvian bus companies. I'm sure I told you the horror story about how my friend got off at a small shack in the middle of nowhere to use the toilet and they proceeded to drive off without her, leaving us asleep and unaware she was missing! Thank the heavens we were reunited with her 9 hours later after much tears and drama. Argentinian buses are LOVELY. A/C, no smelly people carrying the contents of their house, free food and drinks... clean toilets. Stay safe. Em XXX

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Jody and Amy have finished their 10 month adventure around the world, that began Nov 2, 2004, and ended Sep 2, 2005. They're back home in London now, doing normal things, like going to work and drinking tap water. You can see a map of what was their planned route, but we didn't quite follow it.
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