PARIWANA BLOG

Bus Adventure from Lima to Cusco

An hour until our bus departs to Cusco we grab our bags, leave Pariwana Hostel and hail a cab. The first cab says no. The next cab takes a close look at my Cruz Del Sur bus recipient, and we begin to haggle. I saw, "amigo 10 soles". He laughs and says no, 15. I look back at a Frowning Hedi and say fuck it, ok. She looks disappointed in my weak attempt. However my mind is focused sharp on getting to the bus station on time.

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20 minutes becomes 35 minutes and I become uneasy with our surroundings. The hostel receptionist mentioned the taxi fare should only be 10 soles and take 20 minutes max. It looks as if we have left the city and found ourselves in an industrial center vacant of any buses. We arrive at the address to find there is no bus, we drove to the Cruz Del Sur repair location. I am instructed to go inside a small windowless office and leave Hedi alone in a cab parked in the middle of the busy street. Fingers crossed she and my bags are there or in one piece when I return. I am handed a phone and an English speaking voice informs me we are in fact at the wrong location and that we better hurry if we are to make our bus that is leaving in 27 minutes.

Read more: What to do in Cusco?

My intuition has been confirmed and I run back to the cab. I give the cab driver our new destination, he looks at his watch and pumps his fist, it's on. Hedi, myself and our over weight cabby against Fridays rush hour traffic. Furious feelings at myself for believing in the only address on the receipt fade to brainstorming plan b as I close my eyes and do my best yogi like meditation. 6 minutes until departure and we are at a complete stop on the highway. Hedi says, "Matt this is when the adventure begins." I think to myself, oh fuck. I open my eyes and the cabby readjusts the rear view mirror to look at me as if he was going to share with me the meaning of life and then he points. The Cruz Del Sur sign lies a hundred feet away off the highway. A few beeps, aggressive wheelman-ship and radical gestures and he let's us out.

We rush like typical Americans and cause a scene. We skip the line, hand the lady at the counter my bus voucher and point to the bus waiting to depart. She looks as if we have frightened her yet she begins to key away. My info is complete and she immediately hands me my ticket. She asks for Hedi's voucher however she did not print it out. We point to her name on the computer but she says, "no, no, no" because the passport numbers don't match. I am immediately taken back to a moment last month when Hedi informs me she never fills out online forms with her real passport number. Too much effort to grab it instead just hit a bunch of random keys, no biggie. The guy in front of the bus is frantically waving at us while we continue to say, "yes, yes, yes" to the girl behind the counter. She hands Heidi a makeshift ticket and we run to board the bus. Rushing we throw our bags below and take our seats on the second floor. Holy shit, we actually made it.
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The bus is moderately empty with foreign travelers similar in age headed to Machu Picchu. The bus seats remind me of being a kid and my first Lazy Boy experience in the furniture store. We head down the coast with small waves crashing on our right and sand dune after sand dune to our left. I brush up on my Spanish while watching Vin Diesel and Paul Walker milk every penny out of a horrible movie series known as Fast and the Furious. The sun sets, we eat our meals from tin and pass out.