Small plastic bags?

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South America » Peru » Cusco » Santa Teresa
May 7th 2015
Published: May 11th 2016
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Largely, we have been travelling from place to place via bus and some of these journeys can be quite long. In Argentina we embarked on a 30 hour bus ride, however this bus reminded me more of the time I spent in British Airways business class than any bus I’d ever seen. Argentina proved to be the exception, not the rule, when it came to bus transportation and as we moved from country to country the buses became more of the variety that we are all accustomed too. I am truly thankful for all the air travel I had to do in my former life, it taught me the invaluable skill of being able to sleep for long periods of time in that mostly horizontal position. Any of you that know Sandra know she can sleep anytime, anywhere and over any road surface as we’ve recently discovered. Gravel, unpaved, bumpy roads didn’t seem to impeded her sleep in anyway.

We feel we have got these journeys down to a exact science now; snacks purchased, IPAD charged with movies ready, kindle charged and a few good books loaded, a cheeky bottle of wine packed (don’t forget the corkscrew!), are some of the ways we deal with these epic voyages.

This particular bus journey from Cusco to Lima (projected to be 21 hours) started rather unusually. The bus-hostess immediately came through the cabin offering small plastic bags to everyone, like the sheepeople we are we took them and quietly questioned ourselves as to their purpose. Usually we receive blankets, occasionally a hot meal, in Argentina we received a glass of Malbec, but never have we received small plastic bags...

It’s now 1am and we are 2 hours into our journey or should I say ordeal, Sandra is sound asleep and the bus begins to climb through the mountains. The mountain roads here in Peru contain a great number of switch backs, basically the road contains many sharp corners which double back on themselves in order for vehicles to climb or decent the steep grades more safely. Bend after bend, up the mountain and down the other side, then up the next one and down that one we continued. The speed and turns rocked us back and forth in our sits, it felt more like a ship at sea than any bus journey we’ve been on. The centrifugal forces would grab hold of the bathroom door and rip it away from its latch, only to cruelly let the door go halfway through the switch back allowing the door to slam back into its natural home. On and on the journey continued, up and down the mountains and back and forth across their steep faces. Until, in the darkness, the silence was broken by coughing, and then a gagging and finally the heaving noise we all know when someone’s stomach contents decide to make an unplanned appearance. One small plastic bag now used and it wouldn’t be the last.

Its now 6am and the worst is over, I didn’t manage any sleep, Sandra seemed to settled into the swaying rather well and caught some hours of rest. We are stopped now at what appears to be road work. Everyone is getting off the bus to stretch their legs and more importantly allow some much needed fresh air into the bus to counteract the stale, stench of vomit that permeates its confines. I take a walk down the road to clear my head and sinuses, upon my return I find our fellow bus passages very agitated and having a heated conversation with the various construction personnel. Sandra and I do not have great Spanish, but luckily for us a gentleman approaches and asks if we need the information being given translated. It looks like they are paving the road and have shut it for the maintenance work, it will be a 4 hour wait until this is finished. Apparently, the road worker we know in North America that holds the Stop/Go sign doesn’t exist in Peru, better find a nice spot in the grass and enjoy the fresh morning air, it looks like its going to be a long day!

By the way, we decided not to upload any pictures related to this post, I'm sure any readers will be thankful.


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