Tuesday, 20 March 2012

22 hours turns into over 30!

After my one night staying in dodgy Guayaquil, (where is rained solidly all night and I was too scared to leave the hotel in as it was sketchy), I was excited to get on the bus to Peru, but wasn't looking forward to the stupidly long journey as it was due to take 22 hours.

The journey went pretty quickly and I crossed the border without any hitches... Or so I thought until the bus got just past immigration to the Peruvian border town of Tumbes, a little fishing and beach town.

The bus pulled over and instructed everyone to get off and get onto another bus, with no more explanation. So we all picked up our things, collected our backpacks from the storage and began to walk to the other bus (although there wasn't one in sight).

It quickly became clear that this did not normally happen in the journey and there was something very wrong happening in Tumbes. The locals had completely ruined the roads in order to stop traffic passing through. They had drilled and dug up from pavement to pavement in most places or in others they had chopped down trees to cover the width of the roads. At the road sides, local men, who were mostly drunk, lined the streets in some kind of protest watching people struggle with their bags and occasionally shouting at everyone walking past, and each other.

The roads were full of confused travellers and abandoned buses where people had had to get out and walk. And the whole place was a mess with rubbish all over the place. At one point there was a HUGE tree which had been hacked down and used as a road block, which was 'decorated' with a dead and slaughtered turtle carcass. So sad and gross!

I later found out that the fishermen were protesting and over the next few days things turned really violent and unsafe. A group of guys who had to do the same thing a couple of days after me said they were scared for their lives. So seems like I was there just at the right time to avoid things kicking off!

Anyway, after walking for 10 minutes, I wasn't any closer to even seeing a bus to get on, but had no choice but to keep on walking through the mayhem! Eventually, after walking for about 3km with all of my stuff, I got back onto the safety of a new bus to take us the rest of our journey to Lima.

This whole ordeal had taken about 2 & 1/2 hours in total and had been a bit of a nightmare!

When I woke up the next day, I spent most of the morning looking out of the window at the AMAZING views of the desert, beach and cliff sides. As the photos show, they were pretty epic!

After the views, I was getting to the end of my patience for sitting on the bus and was more than ready to arrive in Lima, which we did just over 30 hours after leaving Guayaquil!