17 April 2010
So up early to get on our way to Peru, we get our colectivo to the bus station, then switch to an international colectivo and on over the border. Once in Peru we head to the local bus station to book our ticket onto Arequipa. We are met outside by a ticket advisor who informs us that there is no way to get to our destination today due to strikes and that the best thing to do would be to head to Puno.
We get inside the bus station to find there really are no buses ging to Arequipa, there is one bus leaving to Puno at 9.30pm hrs. We decide to look for other ideas. Neil finds that there is one bus to Arequipa at 7.30pm but via Puno leaving at 7pm and would take 14hrs instead of 6hrs. I go to find out what was happening with the strikes, the only site I can find reads 3 people dead!!!!!!
I get back to find Neil went ahead and booked the tickets.
Luckily the site was old and there are always mining strikes happening on the south road into the town and has no effect on the town itself. We get lunch stroll around the surrounding area to kill the time (7 hours to be exact!). Board the bus and on we go.
We leave the stationand drive across the road to another station where a member of staff insists on filming all the passengers (not sure why). Then at the edge of the town we stop for people to buy some refreshments from the locals. 5 mins later we stop to allow people to buy some refreshments frm the locals. 10 mins later we are pulled over by the police who check everyones passports. hmmm. We get them back and continue on. 15 mins later we have a toilet break before sleep.
Neil wakes up to find the bus has stopped and the driver out of the bus with what looks like a very large punchure repair kit, and notices there is ice on the windscreen because of the high alititude we travelling at through the mountians. When the bus moves again the tyres are screeching at every turn hmmm glad I slept through that.
In the morning we all wake up to find we are 2 hrs behind schedule so we stop for breafast for 45 mins eventually carrying on after 'vamos' protests from the other passengers thank god. At last we get to Arequipa 19hrs after our intended arrival (great start to Peru) both exhausted and feeling 'riffy' we were excited to get to a room and a shower!!!