Barely managed 5 hours of sleep after getting to bed at around midnight. Antuiga Miaflores is a beautiful hotel and I would have love to have spent a bit more time looking around – especially as it cost $94 for the night. Something Jorge reminded me of last night was the discount that visitors get on hotel tax. Residents, he says, pay around 50% tax but as a visitor, it is a fraction of that.
Jorge was waiting just after 6:15am for the drive to the bus station, which took around 20mins. Cruz del Sur has the reputation as the best transport in Peru but my judgement needs to hold off until I get to travel with a rival company in a couple of weeks. The station itself is more of a secure compound and the security measures appear to be adequate with some basic wanding, bag searches and video-taping of everyone on-board.
Something that puts our current Internet infrastructure to shame, is the fact that there is WiFi on the bus and full internet connection, whenever there is a cell-phone signal. As we’re heading straight down the Pan-American highway, coverage has been great.
Leaving Lima, the landscape changes to mostly sand and accomodation that consits of tin roofs on top of brick or adobe structures. Passing through towns like Chincha Alta brought a more dense collection of these buildings and small combis everywhere. One truck was piled high with scrap wood and metal, but who knows where it was headed, as it looks like trash is just moved around here, rather than taken away. The streets are often not discernable and many areas are reminiscent of refugee compounds but for these people, it works.
Dogs are roaming free on many corners, often in pairs, and don’t seem to concerned about the traffic flying past. I never saw a single one roam off a representative sidewalk which is just as well; transit can be crazy here and often ignores anything else on the road.
The first major stop was in the Paracas National Reserve – I place that I originally was going to take an ocean tour from before removing it from the itinerary. As the weather is foggy and cool this morning, I wouldn’t have seen much and the reserve itself isn’t so jaw-dropping with miles of beige sandy landscape. After navigating the sand streets for a couple of minutes, we backed into a walled compound to drop off and pick up several passengers.
The next stop up is Ica, before taking the final stretch to Nazca. Half-way through this 6.5 hour bus trip, with the Sun finally showing, and looking forward to stretching my legs again.