I won’t give you the details of the hours spent in the bus. Nothing interesting, not even the movie with Jason-boom-boom-patatrac-pouf-Statam, which has been aired twice, in case somebody fell asleep and missed some parts of it …
After 476 miles (of a very nice trip, we’re far away now from the dusty roads and potholes of the road form La Paz to Uyuni), we reach Arica, of which we’ll see … just the bus station. We are now 248 miles away from Arequipa, our next stop.
Arica, GPS : -18.484, -70.313
Arica, the bus station where some security guy tells you every 10 minutes to keep your eyes on your bags, and the place where my GPS tracker disappeared from my belt … Nice city! Nice waking up!
Thankfully, Julien and JB quickly found a way to get to Peru. And it’s gonna be another adventure : there’s no bus to cross the border. You need to get a taxi, drive to the border, 12 miles away, cross, and then drive to Tacna, the first city in Peru, 22 miles farther.
Of course, we end up being 6 sitting in a small car. Maximum profits.
We get to the border. We wait a bit, get the stamp, have the bags scanned, and we are now in Peru again.
“Peru, hi! We’re back!”
A little stop at Tacna, lunch in the bus stop. 30 minutes to wait until we leave are enough to meet an Peruvian old man, who starts speaking French, and tells me his life in Marseille, Lyon … Interesting and amazing to see how, 6,000 miles away from locations we have in common, people can meet, randomly, in an empty bus station in a small town. Moment, place, circumstance.
Tacna, GPS : -18.0182, -70.2509
Another bus, another 8-hours trip.
We get to Arequipa around 4 p.m.. The Sun is slowly setting down. From here, same story: get the bags, find a taxi to get to the center (or the Plaza de Armas), find a place for the night.
• Bags OK. We even take time to book the bus for tomorrow.
• Taxi which drives in the traffic jam near the bus station.
• “Hostal Le Foyer”. Little Skype with my girlfriend • Night visit of the Plaza de Armas, discovering the city by night, having mojitos in a little bar of the Paseo de la Catedral.
11 p.m., everybody’s in bed. 20 hours of bus in the day, it’s exhausting.