Riding the Cruz del Sur bus from Trujillo to Lima, Day 22

Hairless dog, Trujillo, Peru

Luxury travel aboard the Cruz del Sur bus line…

South America has a very extensive public transport network (typically buses and planes) which makes travel around the continent relatively easy.  Of course the quality varies tremendously, particularly when it comes to buses.  I mention this only because today we take a top of the line bus service south (always south) from beautiful colonial Trujillo to dirty, congested Lima, capital of Peru.  And unbeknownst to us, we purchased first class tickets (US$30 each) so our nine-hour journey is just heavenly.  The Cruz del Sur bus comes with plush leather seats that recline almost horizontally, air-conditioning, blankets and pillows, non-stop movies in English (including Ace Ventura Pet Detective and Life is Beautiful), and a besuited steward to take care of our every whim.  We are in our own hermetically sealed cabin, so we can see the world outside slipping by (and it is surprisingly barren and desolate as massive sand dunes spill into the Pacific ocean) without the inconvenience of actually having to interact with it.

Despite the luxury, there is still a hint of menace in the air.  Each passenger is videotaped upon boarding and the bus has a GPS tracking system in place, just in case…

Fortunately, the Cruz del Sur bus arrives in Lima on time and without incident.  Reluctantly, we leave our luxury surroundings and collect our bags from an airport-style carousel inside the bus station (typically bus companies dump your bags on to the curb-side and a mighty scrap ensues as passengers scramble to collect their bags – and perhaps those of another passenger – so the carousel was a nice touch).  Having reclaimed our bags, we take a taxi to the Flying Dog Hostel which has rooms for $10.  Coffee at the adjacent Starbucks costs more than that!  We attempt to maintain the aura of luxury living tonight by eating dinner at McDonalds.  And we didn’t order from the value menu either.

Blog post by Roderick Phillips, author of Weart Heart – a gut-wrenching tale of love and test tubes.

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