02
Apr
2004
James

A Bus Ride to Hell

The departure time from Lima to Nazca (7 hours) was set at 1:30 pm…. We didnt leave the terminal until 2:15 and it was 3:15 by the time the bus finally got outside the capital city. Along with the horrible city traffic, the bus stunk to high heaven… yeah, it had a bathroom onboard… which one would think would be a godsend on a long trip, but wait a minute we are in Peru here. Was it just pure luck that our seats 40 and 41 were one row from the back, from where the putrid smell was eminating? We thought that the urine-scented ride along the redundant coastal desert that defines all of peru’s coastline and continues into Chile was as bad as it could get but it seemed our lucky streak was just beginning. After a few smelly hours on the bus, a drunk stumbled back towards the can. He couldn’t figure out how to open the door… so I just had to peep up and say something to instruct him before he fell over. A simple one word instruction, “empújela” (push it), was enough for him to sit down next to us after he’d done his business, and pester us for the rest of the trip. The conversation went from insulting us, to trying to hook us up with some local girls sitting in front of us, to the US economy, to peruvian gastronomy, and many more things. At some point paul had the ingenious idea to “fall asleep” which quieted him down for a while… but he was a persistent bastard. And usually you’d think that someone would begin to sober up after sitting on a bus for 7 hours, but this guy was as drunk the moment he stepped off the bus as he was in the moment we met him stumbling down the aisle. He tried to invite us to stay at his house, and eat his food, but I tried to graciously decline… a very hard thing to do in general to the persistent latin american, much less a persistent drunk.

The bus couldnt have arrived any sooner in Nazca and as we stepped off we were bombarded by locals trying to get us to come to their hotel. We declined all of them, and asked directions to a hotel from the book called Hostal Alegría. The locals were nice and even walked us to the hotel, of course along the way they were spouting off deals for their hotel, but upon arrival we found the Alegría to be quite nice with a pool (in the desert mind you… was very nice) some upclass rooms and some cabanas out back for the backpackers. We met some cool people there at the hotel including two girls who worked there, Keit and Emily, both peruvians from Ica and Lima respectively. After they got off work we walked around the town looking for a bar to hang out, but the town was quite dead and it was friday! Anyway, we came back to the hotel bored to death, and registered for a trip to see the Nazca Lines in the morning.

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