July 24, 2012
We traveled by public bus from Puno to Cusco, passing through some pretty high country along the way.
The journey was supposed to take six hours but ended up taking longer because our bus was stopped on several occasions by protesting teachers. We were a little alarmed the first time this happened since we did not know what was going on. A large group of men had blocked the road on the outskirts of a small town forcing the bus to stop. They then surrounded the bus and began painting slogans on the sides and front and back of the bus. When the bus started up again some of the protesters became angry (perhaps the bus was moving towards those still blocking its path) and as the bus finally pulled away some of them hurled their paint cans at the bus, hitting the upper windows where we were sitting. For some reason, when a Peruvian man in a seat across the aisle from us told us they were teachers we didn't feel quite so anxious. How violent could a teacher get? After enduring a few more such attacks the remainder of the journey passed without incident, although Tanya chanced a riot inside the bus when she covered up the TV in our section so Bethany and Sierra would not have to endure any more of an appalling, ultraviolent Mel Gibson movie (as it happened, none of the other passengers seemed too fussed about watching this).
On arriving in Cusco we caught a taxi to our accommodation for the night, a most impressive large family room in the WalkOn Inn.