|This was the great 36hr bus ride back to Lima to get the flight to Mexico, plus a few errands that were outstanding. Sure was good to have a shower and a feed after the trip, as the weather was quite warm and muggy, and the coache's air con wasn't good! Pretty good trip though - we can truly say that we are now fully accustomed to bus travel (it will be interesting to add up the hours at the end of our 6 months!).
The only bit worth mentioning was that border crossing again from Ecuador to Peru through Huaquillas/Agua Verde to Tumbes. What was supposed to happen was that the fare included a taxi transfer from the Panamerican Bus Depot in Ecuador to the Flores Bus Depot in Tumbes, as you can expect by now these things don't always go to plan! As we tried to get off the bus, we had to negotiate the usual throng of hawkers, taxi drivers etc vying for our custom. Our contact's name was Benjamen Sanchez, and wouldn't you know it, there were plenty of takers with that name, so it was "OK now, lets take this a bit more slowly!". After many enquiries with our less than perfect Spanish, one piece of advice was to get a taxi to Tumbes, because that's where the depot is, and from a guy with some English, "no, stay here, the Flores bus will come across the border to pick up the passengers!".
Luckily, the real Benjamen Sanchez turned up, and soon had us organised - all we had to do was wait until the 'chica' (secretary) turned up so that he could get some money for the taxi.... On our way again, in a taxi with Benjamen - but remember this is Sunday and its the day after the Pope died, so we had to negotiate a fairly large ceremony being held in the centre of Hauquillas, with lots of military and police around. So out of the taxi, shoulder backpacks, and walk through the streets and markets, attracting a little more attention than felt comfortable. Into another taxi and we're off. This time all went well - through immigation into Peru and on to Tumbes and the Flores terminal. Booked seats on the 11:00 bus, then into Centro Tumbes for 'breakfast', and watch another rather large ceremonial dedication to the late John Paul II.
Lima treated us well, and it was good for Rob to finally have her new full passport, a new Cuban Visa to replace the stolen one, another camera for me (thanks Craig), our flights to Mexico City confirmed, banking and internet done, and a few cold beers under our belts. We are set now for the next phase of our trip, exploration of Mexico, Cuba, Guatemala and Belize, and the ruins that are testament to the amazing cultures of the Maya and Aztecs.
Stay tuned, and we wish you all well as we embark on the second 3 months of the trip.