Posts tagged: local bus

Peru: The Divine City Of Cuzco

By , December 13, 2010 4:00 am
View From Our Hostel

View From Our Hostel

While adjusting to life back on land, the last thing we wanted to do was to take a long bus ride so after some debate, we purchased a first class flight (cheaper than economic seats) from Guayaquil, Ecuador to Cuzco, Peru. It was both our first time sitting in first class and after being wined, dined, and wined again in our electronic beds, we didn’t want to get off the plane!

Me & Frenchie Being Wined and Dined Up In The Air

Me & Frenchie Being Wined and Dined Up In The Air

MuiMui Enjoying Her Seat-Turned-Into-Bed

MuiMui Enjoying Her Seat-Turned-Into-Bed

We took the local bus from the airport to the center ($0.60 soles each compared to a $15 taxi) and received the VIP gringo treatment from the locals onboard, who generously gave us the front seats while they were all tightly squeezed in the back of the van.

From our landing into Cuzco to our arrival into Plaza de Armas, we were completely wowed. The mountainous landscape and the city’s charm appealed to us to us right away.

The Andes

The Andes

Streets Of Cuzco

Streets Of Cuzco

We had heard from many travelers that Cuzco was a lot more expensive than other cities but we kept to our same routine of eating lunch specials and negotiating everything, so we didn’t see much of a difference. However, when it came to splurging, we ate enough for 4 people. At Two Nations restaurant, run by an Australian and Peruvian couple, the burgers are huge and delicious, but our favorites by far was the Alpaca tenderloin and quinoa risotto.

Alpaca Tenderloin With Quinoa Risotto

Alpaca Tenderloin With Quinoa Risotto

Two Nations Giant Burger

Two Nations Giant Burger

Mate de Coca

Mate de Coca

From the high-end boutique shops to the local marketplace, it is a great city to roam around in and do some shopping. We both picked up cozy Alpaca sweaters and stocked up on a few things we needed for the cold climate.

Shopping!

Shopping!

Fruit Juice Vendors At Mercado San Pedro

Fruit Juice Vendors At Mercado San Pedro

Since we were enjoying ourselves so much, we left the details of getting to Machu Picchu for the last minute. We ended up at the train ticket office late one evening (next to McDonald’s). By chance or fate, we met Ash, from Canada, while in line. He was trying to get to the same place as us and after a few minutes of talking, we all clicked so well that the three of us hung out for the rest of our time in Cuzco and Machu Picchu.

Alley in Cuzco

Alley in Cuzco

Locals Dressed For Tips

Locals Dressed For Tips

Coricancha: Temple of the Sun

Coricancha: Temple of the Sun

Morning Procession At Plaza de Armas

Morning Procession At Plaza de Armas

Church of the Society of Jesus

Church of the Society of Jesus

What We Paid: Peruvian
Soles
USD eRate Euro eRate
– Local Bus From Airport to Center 0.60 0.20 0.15
– Private Double Room at Hostel:
private bathroom, wifi, free breakfast
40 14 10
– Lunch 5 1.75 1.25
– Dinner At Two Nations 30 11 7.50

Flickr Photoset | Slideshow

Local Night Bus From Hell

By , June 28, 2010 1:15 am

From the side of the road late one evening in Vieng Kham, we waited for the local bus to pass through town en route to Pakse. After waiting about 45 minutes, we did start to get nervous but luckily we were picked up.

On board, this was when the fun began. We had to hop over bags filled with corn that occupied the entire middle walkway. Of course our seat was way in the back. As I sat down on the pleather seat, all I could feel was the 4 springs beneath me. Last time I was on a bus like this was probably in elementary school.

corn bags all over the floor

Having no idea how much the bus ticket was, we paid the fee that was asked of us. We found out later, we were charged 50% more. Obvious advice: found out how much you are suppose to pay before boarding, from another source other than the bus driver.

Watching the locals come on board was interesting. With each person that came on, there was always about a 5-minute loud negotiation between the passenger and the bus attendant. As I don’t understand the language, this is my interpretation of the events. It usually began with the bus attendant asking the passenger to pay a certain amount. The passenger would nod his head and say another price. The bus attendant would say something rudely out loud and then nudge the passenger a few times. Of course the passenger would ignore the bus attendant for a few minutes. The bus attendant then would say yes to the offered price and the passenger then paid.

If anyone can understand the language and explain how the local bus works, I would be interested to learn the process and how much really goes to the government.

Even more interesting is seeing what the locals would bring on board with them. On one bus, we saw a motorcycle aboard.

motorcycle on board

After a two-hour ride, the bus pulls over the side of the road and the bus attendant screams. Boris and I look at each other with blank stares. Everyone on the bus quickly gets off and relieves himself or herself on the side of the road. OMG! We wanted to take a picture of this “local bus bathroom break experience”, but it would have been rude. 😉

custom speakers and fans

The overnight bus ride took a total of eleven hours. We both got very little sleep and in the morning, I had the biggest neck pain. I think we both agree the local bus was okay from time to time but never a local night bus again.

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