Yesterday I finished a performance at a school in Lima and hopped in a cab to get to the bus terminal. My tour manager, Yoli, and I had just enough time to eat a quick meal and hop aboard a Cruz del Sur Bus taking us from Lima to Trujillo. Little did I know that my ride was going to be eleven hours. Yes… I said it, eleven hours. It took me a shorter time to get from Los Angeles to Lima (eight and a half hours). Luckily we were riding huge comfortable seats in first class. One word of warning to anyone over five foot eight planing on visiting Peru, “You will definitely experience discomfort because of your height, and a lot of it.” The first class seats were amazingly cushiony and comfy but, stretching out was not an option for me.
I thought I would enjoy seeing the country side as we headed north towards the coastal city of Trujillo but the land in that direction is pretty much barren, dry, desert. The buses are enormous though and actually have stewards and stewardesses.
I laughed when the stewardess came on over the loudspeaker and adamantly proclaimed, “Ladies and Gentlemen, the toilet aboard this bus are for urinating only, not to be used for any other purposes.”
It was funny until about four and a half hours into the trip, the aroma aboard the bus began to alter my ability to orient myself effectively. The stewardess kept coming on the loudspeaker over the bus, “Ladies and Gentlemen, the toilet aboard this bus are for urinating only, not to be used for any other purposes.” Each time her tone got a bit more aggressive.
You know it’s pretty bad when you are exhausted, pass out sleep in your humongous “first class” chair and are startled awake by the scent of fresh human waste aggressively invading your nostrils.
To add insult to injury, these magnificent behemoths of 21st century seating shared an adjacent wall with… yep… you guessed it, “The Bus’s toilet!”
I’m not one to complain but at the fifth hour of the ride it became apparent that, not only was I going to have to suffer the indignities of the assault of noxious human waste but, one of the guys behind me had failed to exercise proper hygiene when one knows that one will be trapped in close quarters with other human beings. The guy stank to high heaven!
So here I was… sandwiched between the toilet wall, were renegade defecators were violating all laws of human decency, and the foulest smelling human being I’ve ever pleasure of not knowing. I have never done drugs but they were definitely an appealing option at that point. My tour manager slept so soundly and I could not figure out how she did it until the next day when she explained that her olfactory senses had long abounded her. Oh how I would have loved to have been her for that bus ride!
Word of advice, “avoid the seats next to the toilets if you are going to take a long distance ride across a country.” Better yet, if you can avoid it, take a plane.
We ended up getting to our hotel in Huanchaco at 2:30 am, exhausted.
The next day, Yoli and I headed to the Cha Cha Ruins. I love visiting ruins of ancient civilizations. The site was constructed by the Chimú people circa 850 A.D. It is the largest pre-colombian city in all of South America. I put some images up on my Facebook page, here’s a link: http://ow.ly/layX5
That tour was about two hours of pure bliss because of my love of archeology.
I could go on and on but that pretty much covers it. Oh… I did get to see two guys get chased down and arrested. You know your from the city when you consider that not evening worth mentioning much.
I’ll update some more soon as stuff happens.
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