|After an uneventful 3hr bus ride, we arrived in Puno. We changed to a different bus, which was comfortable and had more locals onboard.
We left Puno and arrived at another town, where many more locals boarded the bus, and where we had a short bathroom break. Lammie stayed onboard the bus and witnessed the seemingly endless parade of local vendors, who boarded the bus and were peddling everything from toothpaste and toy llamas to oranges and small orders of asado (BBQ meat). It was very interesting to watch.
Meanwhile, Niiigel was off buying a blanket for the journey and was in the bathroom when the bus had started to move!!! Niiigel was interrupted by a frantic banging on the bathroom door. "¡Señior! Bus!!!!" Luckily, the bus was moving very slowly as the parade of vendors were making their way off the bus. Niiigel was able to run down the street and catch up. Another guy on our bus was in the middle of buying his bit of asado from the street vendor and had thrown down the money and ran off, only having received 2 eggs, and not any meat yet. The lady was still chopping it and was waving a leg joint or something at him trying to get him to come back and get it! It was all pretty funny to watch!
The rest of the journey was interesting too. We were treated to a gorgeous sunset. The sky was red, as if it was on fire. It was beautiful.
We made several more unscheduled stops along the way. Sometimes it was outside a small village, sometimes it was on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. From the window, we could make out a few figures in the dark, who would board the already full bus. These folks would ride the rest of the journey to Arequipa standing in the aisle. Interesting. I guess in rural Peru, how else would you get around?
The rest of the journey took us through the mountains. 4hrs after leaving Puno, we arrived in Arequipa, which to our surprise, is a sprawling city. After some shopping around in the bus station, we bought our tickets to Lima for tomorrow. It will be a 14hr journey on an overnight bus. Should be interesting.
We ended up staying at a hostal in town, which is an old colonial house. The ceilings were very high and the place was very charming.