July 7-8, 2012
We took an overnight Cruz Del Sur bus all the way from Lima to Arequipa, partly for reasons of economy but also to allow our bodies to adjust more gradually to the moderately high elevation of Arequipa at 2350m (7700 feet). It turns out that this was a good decision as the bus, despite taking 16 hours, was the height of luxury. Think of those wide, heavily padded, nearly fully-reclining seats you gaze at enviously as you shuffle past them to get to your horribly cramped seat on an international flight. Then add a comfy blanket and pillow, dinner and breakfast brought to you by a kindly attendant, and even a bus-wide game of bingo in Spanish. And, despite prior warnings, chickens were not permitted on this bus (at least not that we could see in the downstairs compartment where we were - perhaps all the chickens were upstairs).
Also, as we were soon to discover, violent, wildly child-inappropriate movies are de rigueur on long-distance buses in Peru, but for the last part of the journey we were treated to Disney's Beauty and the Beast, which Bethany and Sierra appreciated. Finally, we'd been concerned about travel sickness while traveling on buses, but Tanya, Bethany, and Sierra all wore sea-bands during the journey and coped just fine with the bus zipping round tight bends through the night and into the morning. Who would have thought that such an innocuous-looking piece of elasticated fabric with a hard plastic button acting on an acupressure point on the inside of your wrist could be so effective?