Another early day in Peru. Come to think about it, I’ve only slept past 7am once on this trip. I quietly pack my things and head out towards the plaza to catch a taxi to the bus station. The bus station (at 5:45am) is completely abuzz with people. Busses arriving and leaving. A few dreary eyed backpackers getting off busses and a few spritely ones getting on to busses.
I found my platform and sat on my backpack waiting for the bus to Arequipa to arrive. When I spoke to the guys who did the journey from Arequipa to Cusco by bus told me it was a good journey and that the buses were quite good. My bus arrived and I was quite happy as it looked decent.
On these buses seats are assigned and when I got to mine there was a rather large Peruvian woman with a little girl sitting in the seat next to mine. This concerned me. I’m not the smallest person on earth so I fit relatively nicely in my seat. However, my rotund neighbour on the other hand has aspirations to appropriate a third of my seat for her rather substantial rear. Result? Eleven hours of sitting on two thirds of a seat with an unfriendly large woman next to me and a pest of a daughter who had the innate ability to wake me up just as I was falling asleep.
It was easily the worst bus journey I’ve ever had the displeasure to be on. I arrive in Arequipa at 5pm, tired, squished, grumpy, hungry, thirsty and with absolutely no will to do anything in the way of site seeing. I got a taxi to my hotel, which, for a relatively cheap place, was actually very nice. However, there was something I had to do that night, but was also more than happy to do it.
One of my friends from my Masters program at UCL, a Peruvian, was in town visiting her folks. I hadn’t seen Adriana since 2008, so was more than happy to meet up with her. After arranging to meet her at her parents’ house, I took a taxi there and met up with Adriana and her beautiful daughter, Valetina. She was just the sweetest thing. Catching up with Adriana after so long was great.
Speaking to someone you haven’t seen in a long time can sometimes seem like a slightly schizophrenic experience as you keep jumping from topic to topic to make sure you cover everything. We didn’t have a long time as she had a family dinner that evening ,which I was too tired to attend, after being invited to join. I joined Adriana as she went to the airport to pick up her husband who had just flown in, after which I said my goodbye and made my way to the hotel, where I caught up on some emails before heading to bed well past midnight.
**There are no photos of this day as I simply too squeezed into my corner of the seat to take out my camera.**