Published: November 16th 2011November 15th 2011
Copacabana was our last stop in Bolivia, next destination: Cusco in Peru. We booked a nice "cama"-bus for the nine hour busride but when we showed up at bus agency half an hour before departure, things got a little shady. We should mention that there are not just one or two companies that offer transportation but numerous bus companies and travel agencies going with different buses and at different times. So it is really just a matter of choosing wisely.
We were told that we would first take a normal travel coach to Puno in Peru and there we would change into the nicer nightbus to Cusco. The ticket we got did not have any seat number or any other information on it which puzzled us a little because we never had that before. When we arrived at the bus stop, the people working there were not really sure what to do with us and took turns staring at our ticket and each other. After a while, the man left to buy our actual bus tickets across the street at a different bus company while the woman kept asking us where we are going to. Neatless to say, we thought
this trip would be a disaster, we already saw us stranded in Puno without any bus to take because the travel company had ripped us off.
It turned out that everything went well. The bordercrossing which was just outside of Copacabana took a couple of minutes and the busride to Puno was fine. At the bus-station there we changed into a nice "cama"-bus and got some good night's sleep. We arrived in Cusco at 4:30h at night, hopped into a taxi and went to our hostel. At check-in we noticed that our most important belongings were gone: both passports, both vaccination papers, my insurance papers, 200 dollars and my digital camera.
We still don't know what happened but we have some ideas. We used the passports at the bus-station in Puno and the camera on the bus to Cusco, so we either both managed to lose highly important things out of our bags during the exact time span OR someone stole the things during the busride to Cusco while the bags were next to our feet OR someone stole the things out of our bags during the 2 minute walk from the bus to the taxi
in Cusco. All possibilities sound highly unlikely but one of them must have occured.
Due to those unfortunate circumstances, we spend most of our time in Cusco with organizing. I went to the German consulate to apply for a temporary passport and let me tell you that Peruvians don't know how to take biometrical passport photos even if you give them the exact template. I had to go back to that "photo store" three times and still ended up with a terrible non-biometrical picture. We bought a new ridiculously over-priced camera and Grim contacted the Swedish consulate in Lima for his temporary passport.
After most of the arrangements were made, we finally had some time to do a little sightseeing. We took an extensive tour through the cathedral-complex which is really underwhelming from the outside but surprisingly pretty from the inside and features a painting of the last supper with Jesus and his disciples dining on guinea pig, a South American specialty. We strolled through the busy streets in the city center and spend a significant amount of hours in cafés playing our new favorite game: Bananagrams (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bananagrams).
After our short trip to Machu Picchu which we
will be writing more about later, we went back to Cusco to celebrate my birthday with cakes and dinner and bananagrams. So everything turned out pretty fine in the end.