Published: July 8th 2011June 24th 2011
So, I'm sitting on this first of a three leg bus journey to get to San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. I continue to be amazed by this bus, so finally decided to pull out the laptop and write about it. First, let's put things into context of my amazement. I've been on buses shared with goats and chickens. On ones where you shoved and pushed to claim a seat, and ones that were standing room only. Been on ones with people puking and the entertainment of the monotonous ride was to watch the vomit run up and down the aisle. Others where you could climb up on top of the roof to sit for a "custom" view. Ones where everytime the bus stopped, you better keep an eagle's eye on the luggage catch so your bag doesn't disappear.
Now let's talk about Peru's Cruz Del Sur bus that I currently find myself on. When I first got on this bus, I was so shocked I had to whip out the camera. (Not to mention there was a custom waiting room, refreshments, checked luggage and a metal detector before the ride). I'm on the lower of two berths. My berth has
it's own entry and attendant. Picture business class on an airplane: full leather seats with an entire recline and leg rest. Peruvian Lazyboy. Nice fluffy blankets (it's winter here) and pillows. A call button for an attendant at my beckon call, and a clean bathroom. New movies (Secretariat is playing), and I just was served breakfast WITH my choice of drink. However, all of this aside, the point where I decided I had to write it all down was when they brought around BINGO cards for all to play. The winner got a free bus trip.
So I'm onward to Chile now--will be back to Peru at the end of the trip to finish up at Machu Piccu. As some of you know, I added on Chile to this trip last minute as a detour route. I needed a new way to get into Bolivia because my original way, via Puno, Peru, got a little dicey. As in: protesters burned down the immigration office at the border, blocked all roads in and out, burned some cars and a couple of people got killed. Protests about a mine being built in the region and sucking out the water from Lake
Titicaca. Bad for farming, really bad for travelers trying to get into Bolivia--or just plain see Titicaca! Okay, that last part was just so I could say Titicaca one more time. Titicaca. What a great name, swearing in two languages at once.
Alas, no worries, there is always a Plan B, and for this journey, it has meant detouring via Chile, sightseeing a bit in the desert, and then entering Bolivia via an Andes Mountains pass.
I have a feeling.....not all buses will be like Cruz del Sur.