Tuesday 10 November 2009

In Peru

We are in Peru, at last. We got here two days ago by bus, crossing the border in Macara with no problems at all.

We left Ecuador rather unexpectedly, deciding that we'd been slogging around this country for too long now, and for that reason cutting our trip short. El tren del Diablo, sounding so interesting, disappointed me a bit - instead of a ride on the roof of a smokey machine, I was comfortably sitting in a bus on wheels, falling asleep from time to time. Then there was Cuenca, for three days: I was stopped on the street by young people, students of a local school who asked me for help with their homework. And so I stood there, in front of a camera, reciting words they had told me to memorize, while Bjarni dabbled in his unexpected duties as a camera operator. Finally, Loja, a night in a hostel by the bus station and an eight-hour bus ride towards the border.

Peru welcomed us with heat and desert landscapes. Mixed impressions: on one hand - shopping centres with shoes from Bata or Adidas, buses more luxurious than any I've ever seen before, with leather seats, reclining to become beds; on the other hand - chickens in the luggage compartment of those same buses, people transporting white, plastic garden chairs and tables that were falling apart, hundreds of little houses that barely hung together on the edge of town and vultures circling overhead, squeezing themselves through the windows of houses and resting on the street-lights.

News from Peru? Hmm, we started to take our anti-malarials. Yesterday's lodging cost us only 35 PEN (1 PEN = 1 PLN = 0.25 EUR). We found a place where for 10 PEN (total) we both ate soup, a main course and drank fresh pineapple juice. Oh, and now we're sitting in a quite nice restaurant, using the internet, while the waiters handle us with kid gloves. It's 3 p.m., in three hours we are leaving Chiclayo, going on a fourteen-hour bus ride to Tarapoto, closer to the jungle. Our adventures in Peru are about to begin.

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