Covering distances

Two days ago Juliet and I started our depressing journey away from the beautiful Mancora. The South American timing actually started before we even left when the time on our bus ticket said 4.30pm departure and on arriving at 4pm we learnt that this was actually 4.30 from Tumbes, a town about two hours away, meaning our bus wasn’t till 6.30. So at 6pm we were back at the bus station watching the Peruvian version of Gladiators (I actually got really into it) and at about 7.45pm our bus finally arrived. Already over an hour late, our 18 hour bus soon turned into a even more delayed bus and 21 hours later we arrived in Lima. Thankfully for that very long journey, Juliet and I had booked the front seats of first class meaning we had bigger, more reclinable seats, with no one putting there’s back into our leg room. After a three hour wait at the bus stop we then piled onto our next bus (this time not first class… Booh, but still at the front) for a fifteen hour bus ride. Unfortunately the traffic was so bad getting out of Lima we knew we’d be delayed. Once we’d been travelling for 16 hours we stopped in a tiny run down town in the middle of the desert – we’d been driving through desert land practically the whole journey. We thought we’d arrived and actually got off the bus with all our stuff, only to find out this was a chemical toilet stop (incase the bus toilet was driving you crazy) and a place to buy some food (if the bus food was also driving you crazy). We were told we had another two hours until our destination and the rest of the journey was actually really pleasant. The desert, run down buildings and junkyards covered in dust were substituted for amazing greenery, fields of corn and flowers with people working in them, and roads on the edges of huge canyons overlooking villages placed inside. Three and a half hours later.. (Seriously South America) we finally arrived in Arequipa! So just so we can get a grasp of Peruvian timings. 4.30pm leave actually means 6.30 which actually means 7.45. 18 hours are actually 21 hours. 15 equals 18.5 and 2 equals 3.5. But who cares, we’re here and Arequipa is a beautifully cute town. It actually took our bus driver so so so long to find our hostel as it’s down a tiny street which no one seems to know (we were first turned down by two taxi drivers when we told them the address) but we’re swiftly brushing over that detail. We went to the super market which is right next door and made ourselves a delicious dinner of salmon in soya sauce and vegetable fried rice and have booked ourselves two great tours for the next two days. (Two days and two nights on a bus have made me so happy about everything that’s not a bus)
We have a 3am start tomorrow, for a very very full day touring and hiking the canyon and then the next day we’re canoeing in the canyon!
After five days relaxing by the pool, and two days sitting on a bus, we’re ready to be active again! Bring on the next few weeks.