May ’13 Trujillo to Lima
We boarded the 8.45am Cruz del Sur to Lima, were videoed and off we set. This bus however was top of the line and we had individual screens so we could select what films we wanted to watch. I found a Jonny Depp and started watching, all was fine until Howard went to the loo and managed to freeze my screen with his bum as he pushed past. An hour later and Howard with a good ear bashing, the hostess came along and showed me how to reset the thing. Anyway we were given a snack with a drink followed by lunch with a drink and then the bingo started (we didn’t attempt it this time!) – it went on for ages and finally 5 people all won at the same time!!
Eventually we reached the Lima suburbs and finally 11 ½ hours later we arrived at the bus station. I am so glad this was our last bus journey, I feel like I have spent half my life on a bus going round South America!
We knew we would have to get a taxi to the hostel we had booked for the night as it was out near the airport, we had also read it was hard to find so Captain Stephenson had made a map for the taxi driver – which was just as well! The traffic in Lima was nose to tail and it took us a good hour to get to the approximate area where the hostel should be. Then the driver had to stop 3 times and ask people for directions as we just couldn’t find it.
Finally we found the road and then the hostel, although we had agreed a price at the start of the journey we had to give the poor old driver a bit more, bless him he had earned it! When we walked in I thought we must have got the wrong place, the front room was chock a block full of teenagers making some sort of speeches. Eventually the owner appeared and after making us pay up straight away for the room and for the taxi to the airport in the morning he showed us up to the room.
The room was a bit of a poky hole, it was red hot, the bed was tiny and the bathroom even smaller – you had to sit sideways on the loo or crush your knees on the wall opposite. The glass in the windows had been patched up with tape but they did close, which was just as well given the noise from downstairs.
We were knackered but hungry as it was about 10pm so we braved the dodgy streets and managed to find a Chinese for tea. Back at the hostel there was no option but to go to bed as there was nowhere else to sit and we had to be up early anyway. By now there was no water in the taps, no water in the loo and only a bloody lizard in the bidet –actually there wasn’t a bidet but the rest is true.
So set the alarm and just lay there squashed together, in the heat, with the noise of the water attempting to get into the pipes and must have drifted off only to wake at 4am as someone else was getting up. Eventually gave up at 5.45am and got up.
May ’13 Lima to Miami, USA
By 6.30am we were at the airport and joined the first of many queues, got checked in, queued to go through security, queued to go through passport control, queued to get into the ticket collection area pre-boarding, had our hand luggage searched again and got on the plane.
Sat on the plane for an hour before we finally took off. 5 ½ hours later we landed in Miami, waited for ages before the doors were opened then queued to get off. We then walked several miles (seriously I have never encountered an airport where you have to walk so far) to reach the huge queues for passport control. 1 ½ hours later we got through and our bags were sat waiting beside the luggage belt for us. Another hike and we reached the train to the car rental center, then a little bus to the actual rental place.
Finally we got our car and knowing we only had 30 miles to drive reckoned we were on the home stretch. However the traffic in Miami rivalled the traffic in Lima and we crawled along, there were traffic lights at every block and after30 minutes we had done 1.8 miles!! Eeeee gods I was past myself! So we continued the stop start crawl and inched our way south.
After 11 excruciating miles the traffic finally thinned and the gaps between traffic lights got longer and eventually we reached our motel – the Travelodge, praise the Lord! By now we are starving and luckily there is a Denny’s right next to the motel so in we went. It took a while to get seated and then we realised there were only two staff on and one was doing the till. Finally we ordered and when the food came my shrimps were missing, so I just ate the rest and by the time I had finished the waiter bought the shrimp. By now we have been in there for 1 ½ hours! Anyway in the end they gave us both a free pud and were very apologetic. So the entire day has been spent waiting.
On the plus side, the room is great, two huge super comfy beds, fridge, hair dryer, microwave, ironing board, air con, toilet you can put loo roll down, coffee maker, powerful shower and outside, seats and fag bucket, ice machine, laundry room and swimming pool……. Welcome back to the U S of A!!!
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