It is near the end of April and we are sitting in Vilcabamba with not much to do and our Ecuadorian visa about to run out. We know we are headed to Peru and make the big decision to get down south to Cuzco and Machu Picchu as quickly as possible before high tourist season kicks in then we'll slowly work our way back up to Ecuador. The problem is that we are really far away from Cuzco. My rough, and probably inaccurate, estimate is that we need to go 1940 km (1205 miles).
For an intriguing take on Vilcabamba, Ecuador click here
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We leave Vilcabamba at 8:00 PM for the city, Loja to catch an 11:00 PM night bus that will take us to Piura, Peru. We get to the border at 3:00 AM and quietly cross without any hassle getting a 90 day visa. At this crazy hour I feel like a smuggler or better yet, Sally Field in Not Without My Daughter.
We arrive at Piura at 8:00 AM a bit strung out from the night bus and disorientated because sometime during the night the landscape changed from green mountains to desert. Being Semana Santa with Easter around the corner, Monday is the earliest that we can get a good priced bus to Lima so we decide to just stick around Piura for the weekend and get acclimated to the nuances of a new country.
|A night procession on Good Friday|
Riding Business Class
|Only 16 hours to go...|
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We spend a three days in Lima almost never leaving Miraflores - a nice neighborhood. It is guaranteed that we'll be back in the city some other time and will do all of the touristy stuff then. So all I will say for now about Lima is that the food is great. Though having come from Ecuador, the lunch menu at a school cafeteria in the USA would feel like a foodie's dream. There is even one restaurant, Astrid y Gaston, in Lima that has just been named the 42nd best restaurant in the world. With entrees around US $20, it seems like a bargain. We try to get in, but they are too full for last minute reservations. Maybe when we return to the big city.
Back to Economy Class
In Lima there is not a central bus station so you have to go to each company's office to ask about tickets. It is a bit annoying, but at least we learn how to manage the city's public transportation system which will come in handy next time we're there. We buy our tickets to leave the next morning on our 24 hour journey to Cuzco.
|Trapped for 24 hrs in this beast|