On the road north to Lima

Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
1
108
300
Trip End Nov 04, 2008


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Where I stayed
Primavera - 45 Soles, terrible place. Noisy and run down

Flag of Peru  ,
Sunday, April 13, 2008

Lima looked totally different this morning, but apparently it is like this 8 months a year...covered in a thick fog. The city is at sea level more or less, but on a cliff so the clouds just sail in and cover the city (especially around Miraflores).

In any case it was just a relaxing slow morning as we had to catch the bus at 12.30 pm to get to Trujillo.

We said our goodbyes to the owners of "Friendīs House" who gifted us with a small coin carrier with Inka drawings and their publicity in leather. It finally resulted in one of the friendliest places we stayed at.

We travelled to the bus station after getting the hostel owner to ask the taxi driver for the price. She managed a 8 Sol (2 euro) fare against the 20 Soles (5 euro) which we paid in the way in. We are slowly getting to grasp the prices of taxis in Peru. By the time we get to Ecuador we will be experts (we wonder if that will be good for a job CV?).

Anyway, as mentioned yesterday we paid a higher amount for the bus company "Cruz del Sur" who have theoretically better and safer services, so we were looking forward to the difference. Believe us...it was like a different country all together:
- Their bus station is private, clean, with cafeteria and newspaper shop
- No extra taxes paid as with other terminals.
- There is private and public police all over
- They are happy to give information and call out for buses in a language that 50% of the passengers can understand (that is high compared to airport babble).
- You check in your bags like at airports (but quickly and without stupid questions by useless staff)
- Before getting on the bus they check your hand luggage and pass a metal detector on everyone
- They have a video camera and film all the passengers getting on
- They served lunch and tea
- They showed 4 good films (all in English - "Happyness" with Will Smith" was quite good we thought)
- They had a stewardess that actually seemed to like her job and smiled
- The toilet was clean!

We are not sure if they always do the video filming or whether they were just doing a inside training for other security guards, but in any case it was very weird compared to the other buses with old ladies sleeping on the isles.

The views from Lima to Trujillo are incredible during the first 100 kilometres. All the trip is next to the Pacific Coast, but the first part is just amazing - huge curves along the coast with inmense sand dunes on the right and the cliffs on the left. Additionally we selected the 2 front seats on the top floor, so the experience was much better than any tour we could have paid for.

Little more to add to the bus trip. We arrived at the Trujillo bus station and were immediately challenged by "jaleadores" ("jalear" means to "pull" here, so "jaleadores" are pullers or commission workers for hotels, tour agents, etc). We know our way around now so avoided the "official" taxi drivers of the bus station and just got onto a normal yellow cab outside (who still tried to take us to a different hotel)....

And what a hotel. It must have been great in the times when the wheel was not invented, but its certainly passed its use by date. It was clean but tremendously noisy, the taps could not be closed so water was running all night, hot water was just not there, the TV did not work properly, the windows could not be closed, and the bed sheets were tailored by the smallest man in Lilliput and kept disappearing under our bodies. OK, it was only 45 soles (10 euro) for the night, but we have been in better dog houses for that price all along.

Basically it looked exactly like your usual London B&B but for a third of the price per night!

Luckily we were not energetic so just took it on the chin and went to sleep...
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