I was amazed. All it took was to ask a couple of locals, and I was in boot maker lane.
My bus to Lima was due to leave at 2.30pm, meaning I had about 7 hours in Tacna after my 1.45am departure from Iquique. I made my way to Centro figuring that it may be a good opportunity to have repaired my ripped jeans and ripped boot I'd been getting around in for the past couple of weeks.
I picked the most elderly man, thinking him to be certainly the most crafty and experienced. I watched on and cringed as he shakily worked on my boot, the end result worse than when I handed them to him.
After paying him for his work, I walked across the road to a younger boot maker, and asked if he would fix my boot. He cut the boot open again, and did a great job of saving my boots leaving them with their unique new stitching.
I then had my ventilation point on my jeans reversed by a woman who made me wear a towel whilst pulling them off, before informing me three times that she was a Jehovah's witness.
I must confess that as I rested and fell asleep on the night portion of the 22 hour bus journey, that it felt very nice to be crossing over a large part of South America with my biggest concern being whether or not to pull down my sleeping bag from above, and what time should I pop the Valium, as opposed to dealing with crashes and papers. I slept well, and arrived in Lima, a big fast paced city, greeted by a hot breeze and a swarm of taxi drivers.
I shuffled through the drivers, and made contact with a friend I had met, using the only wifi I could find which was in a hospital waiting room. After meeting up with her in the hostel in which she stayed, with just enough time to greet her goodbye, I decided that this is where I would spend the next few days which consisted of a combination of a lot of alcohol mixed with a lot of fun.
Maybe at times being with other travelers isn't too bad.