Thursday, July 7, 2011

Our Crazy Ride to Arequipa

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Our bodies exhausted from a four-day trek in the Andes, we intended to spend most of the 10-hour bus ride from Cuzco to the city of Arequipa in slumber. And we did just that until an hour and a half away from our destination when we were jolted awake by the violent impact of another vehicle hitting our bus’ rear end. From our front seats on the second level of the bus we saw metal parts fly. I clutched at D’s hand and felt safe despite the chaos and confusion that surrounded us. This is turning out to be one hell of an adventure, he said with a grin.

I heard the angry and frustrated voices of the passengers, but my limited Spanish prevented me from understanding what’s going on. D, who is better equipped  in the language, learned that it will take another four hours for the replacement bus to arrive. That gave us two choices: we could wait for the replacement bus or leave our luggage in the bus and hitch a ride with another vehicle. We opted for the latter.

It was already getting dark then and we were in the middle of nowhere. The chances of us getting a ride were slim: hardly any vehicles were passing by and the few buses that passed by were all filled to the brim. After 20 minutes or so a huge construction truck stopped before us. The other passengers started climbing onto the back of the truck. The first ones that got in pulled the others up, while those that were still on the ground pushed the others up. It all felt like a Second World War refugee movie. When it was my turn to be lifted to the truck, I banged my knee and got a bloody gash on my leg.

The back of the truck had wooden walls and no roof. It was freezing cold and my fingers were numb despite the gloves I was wearing. As the truck started moving we got bounced up and down and jostled left to right. I tried to hold on to the top edge of the truck’s wall but couldn’t reach it so I held on to D, instead. It was pitch dark and I could hardly see anything, but I felt D’s arm around me. As long as we’re together, I can stand this crazy nightmare, I thought to myself. Then D asked the person beside him how far we were to the city. The man said 89 kilometers more. Oh no, I thought. Throughout the ride, we couldn’t stop laughing at the craziness of it all.

It was when we arrived at the hotel when I realized how horrible and ridiculous that truck ride was. The hotel guard took our bag and started dusting it off. I had to stop myself from laughing out loud at the shock and horror on his face. We were covered head to foot with dust and dirt, and the guard looked as if he wanted to turn us out, dust us off like our bag or both.

4 comments:

kayni said...

what an adventure! i'm glad you're both okay though. i am trying to imagine the horror on the guard's face seeing two dusty and dirty hotel guests.

Arti said...

Certainly an adventure! The horror on the guards face was probably expected, but its nice that you reached there in the first place!!
Have a wonderful week ahead:)

Anonymous said...

i love the unscripted part of a vacation. :)

Angeli said...

@anonymous: next time we'll have that survival bag, huh? :)

@kayni: i was so embarrassed to appear like that. they must be wondering: saan kaya nanggaling ang dalawang ito... hahahah

@arti: we even lost the address and number of the hotel during the accident. we had to go to the bus terminal to have D's phone charged then do a quick google search for the hotel address. it was truly an adventure. hahhaha

 
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