Bus Ride From Piura to Lima — A Travel Tale

I take it back — I hate the bus! At least, I know when I hate the bus: at night. Especially when there’s no toilet on the bus and it doesn’t stop for 12 hours! The smoker in me screams “Inhumane!” at such an outrage, as well.

So obviously, the bus ride from Piura to Lima went badly. At first it was all right; the scenery, desert spotted with leafless trees, was fascinating. But then the sun set and everything went to shit.

I boarded the bus around 4 p.m. (why there wouldn’t be an earlier departure is beyond me) and we stopped around eight-thirty for half an hour. Didn’t get off again until Lima at 9 this morning, and by then, I was in serious withdrawal.

With still a couple hours left to go on the bus ride from Piura to Lima, first the anger came upon me in full force, then tidal waves of tears hit me smack in the face. The poor guy next to me had no idea what was going on by the time the French swear words began spilling incoherently from my mouth.

When I got off the bus, though, I couldn’t even spare a thought for a smoke or my luggage:

¡¿Donde es el baño!? ¡Ahora!

There was a fifteen-cent charge to use the toilet and I just told the woman at the counter, bouncing from one leg to the other, that I would pay on my way out — no way I was taking the time to dig through my shoulder bag for my change purse!

On my way out, I tried to return to the bus to find my backpack, but the bus was gone! I only had a brief moment of panic until I saw an attendant holding it up over his head, making his way toward me through a crowd. Man, talk about above and beyond!

Two smokes later, I began to think somewhat clearly. I asked a taxi driver if I could rent a car or hire a taxi to Cusco — negative answer. I was determined to avoid another bus ride, so I called three taxi companies and got the same response.

The taxi driver then brought me to an internet place where I could look up my cousin’s number (in my email contacts, knew I’d lose that little ratty scrap piece of paper), but there was no answer at the one number and no one recognized his name at the other. I thought he’d have been able to give me advice on renting a car…

But fine, fuck; I’ll take the damn bus again!

Sigh. So here I am at a different terminal, awaiting my noon-ish departure…

I paid about ten dollars extra to get on a bus with a bathroom. Bonus: meals are included. The catch: no stopping at all!

So, I’m chain-smoking in the hopes I’ll be so sick of it by the time I get on the bus that 19 hours without a smoke won’t seem like such a big deal. Just remembered that I have four patches in my backpack, maybe I should dig them out…

Seriously, though, the bright side? I should have a good six or seven hours of daylight to enjoy the scenery.

Oh, and I did get my first ever glimpse of the Pacific this morning, that was pretty cool! What a relief to be able to end on a positive note (smiley face).

Update: It breaks my heart — I lost the disposable camera with the pictures I took on this bus ride (frowny face).