What a nightmare…
We didn’t have to be out of our room until 13:00 which meant a pretty relaxing morning! We had breakfast, caught up on laundry, showered, packed our backpacks and made our way down to reception around an hour in advance of our bus which left Puno at 14:15. The hostel staff arranged loads for us including a taxi to the bus station and the bus to our next destination, La Paz (Bolivia). They assured us that the taxi would take around ten minutes and the bus would take around six hours, and the taxi took around ten minutes, so at least they got something right!
The bus itself wasn’t too bad. It had comfortable seats and loads of English speaking passengers, but no toilet. We thought we’d be in La Paz by at least about 21:00, but after four and a half hours on the road we’d only just reached the Peru/Bolivia border, not even half way there! After taking about thirty minutes to do the whole immigration thing and get our passports decorated a little more we carried on for a while until we were hit with our first unpleasant surprise of the evening, despite the delay of course.
Our bus pulled over, and passengers were split into two groups – those travelling to La Paz and those travelling to Copacabana (the town in Bolivia, not the beach in Brazil). From there one group carried on, and the other, which happened to be our group, had to get on to another bus, whcich would’ve been fine, had there been space for everybody! We were the last two to get on the bus though, and with no available seats left we were asked to get off. Get off, in the wrong place at the wrong time, on our own – you must be joking right?
We put up a bit of a fight and didn’t leave until a lady with a La Paz whiteboard said that we could take her bus instead, albeit a little different to the one we arrived on. I think there was probably about sixteen people on board in total, including us two, and there was almost definitely no suspension because every time we hit a speed bump we found ourselves about two feet above our seats. From there it was only another hour or so until we hit unpleasant surprise number two, another stop, and another vehicle change. This time though, there wasn’t a different bus waiting for us, but instead a boat. We had to part ways with all of our belonging which stayed on the bus and take a separate boat for vehicles, while we queued up for the one and only passenger boat, which could fit maybe ten people at once. Then, just to make us look even more useless infront of the others, we had no Bolivian currency on us and had to be bailed out by a friendly bunch of Brazilians who could probably see that we were about ten seconds away from having a mental breakdown. They paid our boat fair, helped us back on to the right bus, and saw us all the way back to our hostel, where we arrived at around 00:30. With less than three hours before we had to wake up, we didn’t stand a great chance of sleeping, but gave it a go anyway!
Streets of Nuremberg on I guess I should probably wrap… Streets of Nuremberg on Days 363 & 364 – Sat… danstravelling on Days 355 & 356 – Fri… David Parkes on Days 355 & 356 – Fri… danstravelling on Days 345, 346 & 347…