So, having overcome the obstacles I told you about in my last post, we were once again underway. We had been crusing along nicely for a few hours, when suddenly we came around an ocean curve and saw this:
Yep, that’s some sort of landslide with a tractor working desperately to clear a path. Fortunately our intrepid bus driver wasn’t anymore keen to wait than we were, and he just slammed her into first and cruised around the pile of rubble to the temporary path you can see on the right.
I suppose it doesn’t look so bad from this angle, but that path was narrow and from the upper deck it really looked like we were about to go plummeting down into the crashing water below…but we didn’t and the voyage continued.
Here’s a shot of some of the random scenery:
And here’s a shot of the open road:
We came into Tacna at dark and the city was lit up like a enormous birthday cake of somebody who’d just turned a thousand years old. Unfortunately, my quick shot camera is incapable of taking a night picture…I’m only posting this one to prove my point:
The Tacna bus station is quite a contrast to the station in Lima (scroll down for the picture). But don’t get me wrong, this station is AWESOME! It’s like a huge warehouse selling tickets to anywhere you want to go, and traveling by bus is so much more casual than planes, everybody is just really laid back.
Of course, like with any plane or bus station in the world, there are guys in there who want to help show you the ropes….guys you should always be wary of frankly. There was one guy just standing around in the parking lot offering rides to Arica, Chile. I didn’t trust him at first, so we just watched him out of the corner of our eyes, and it was only when he decided to put his hands in his pockets and give up for the day that we approached him and asked him to take us.
If you’ve got time, you can get a “collectivo” taxi to Arica for 20 Soles, but that requires waiting for the other passengers to show up. We didn’t have time, so we just hired the guy to take us for 90 (we brought him down from 100, good negotiating huh?). It was worth it, we were bleary eyed and incapable of coherent speech and our taxi driver took care of all the customs forms and had us in a good hotel in Arica within an hour. Needless to say, we slept soundly.