Paro @ Puquio

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July 24th 2009
Published: July 25th 2009
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The BlockadeThe BlockadeThe Blockade

Rocks taken from next to the road block the way.
Sounds quite nice but is the exact opposite, paro is Spanish for strike / shutdown and Puquio is a shit-hole little town in the middle of nowhere. We were stuck in the paro @ Puquio for over 12 hours on our way to Nazca from Cuzco !!!!!
Recently there have been a lot of demonstrations, strikes, blockades etc in Peru, the Cuzco area in particular, and we'd heard a lot of stories of people having to backtrack to Lima then fly to Cuzco, not being able to get out of Cuzco once they were there, being abandoned by buses in the middle of nowhere and having to walk for hours, and even of attacks on buses with bricks and rocks. So we were happy and relieved to have got to Cuzco with no problems.
Last night when we went to catch the bus there was a 3 hour delay because the bus was late arriving, which was still comparatively OK. We left about 3h45 minutes late, again no big deal, maybe even better for our arrival time in Nazca. Through the night everything was good, when we woke up around 6ish we were in nice countryside with blue skies. Then at
Police ?Police ?Police ?

That's a police van in the middle, maybe they're going to clear the road ? No, it disappeared again without them doing anything.
6h20 everything changed. We stopped at the end of a line of buses and lorries, this was the start of a very long day. The road ahead was blocked with rocks, boulders and people from the town of Puquio. They were protesting for a whole list of things - they want the road through the town paved (it's a dirt track at the moment), they want the privatisation of the water company stopped, plus, plus, plus. We expected that after an hour or two the police would appear and sort things out, but that didn't happen. By mid morning the locals were walking the lines of buses, cars and lorries selling drinks and food - enterprising, but **** me !!! After a few heated exchanges between the passengers and the locals things settled down until mid afternoon when a gang walked up the line painting slogans on buses and lorries !!! - and still no sign of the police !!! About 5 in the afternoon there seemed to be some kind of agreement, this is when the police appeared, strutting around in their armoured vests, helmets, batons and guns - just in time to do little more than traffic control
Settling InSettling InSettling In

The locals who weren't selling food and drinks settle in for the long, long day ahead.
- wank**s !! we eventually got moving again at ~6h30 pm, more than 12 hours after we stopped :-( After two more stops, one to fix a puncture, the other after hitting an animal we eventually arrived in Nazca at about 11h30 pm, more than 18 hours late and after 27 hours on the bus !!! It'd better be good !!!

Additional photos below
Photos: 5, Displayed: 5


New Paint JobNew Paint Job
New Paint Job

Our bus is painted with pro paro slogans.
He He HeHe He He
He He He

great name :-)

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