South America: A plane on wheels

The journey to Lima took almost 10 hours. I arrived to the hostel at 9 and didn't have any time to explore the city. Moreover, the lady at the reception was extremely unpleasant and let me wait 30 minutes until she gave me a room. The hostel was in an old building which had perhaps 6m high ceilings and there were big old oil paitings on the walls. The hostel wasn't cozy at all.

The next day, I woke up at 8 and went to the centre. Lima is a huge city with more than 8 million inhabitants. It used to be the capital of Spanish colonies in South America. Thus it has really rich history. In Lima, you can find large palaces, big churches, wide boulevards, and skyscrapers. Quito looks like a provincial town compared to Lima. Lima is also surrounded by endless sand beaches which are seamlessly connected to the dessert that basically covers all the west coast of South America.

The cathedral of Lima.

My next steps from Lima led to Cusco. It was going to be 21-hour journey. I wanted to buy a flight ticket, but the cheapest one started at $200. That's why I chose the most luxurious bus company – Cruz Del Sur, which is similar to airlines in many aspects. The bus station had boarding gates, check-in, a modern caffeteria atd. The bus was double-decker. It had huge chairs you could set up that you could sleep on them like on a bed. We were given earphones (to listen to music or watch movies), a pillow, a blanket, a company magazine, and a newspaper. They served dinner and breakfast almost identical to meals served on planes. Of course, we could buy additional food and drinks. We even played bingo and the winner got a free return ticket. The bus was monitored by a GPS system because bus robberies still happen in Peru. If the bus has unplanned stop the monitoring centre alerts the nearest police station.

The first day in Cusco wasn't one of my luckiest ones. I left my guide book in the cab which took me to the hostel. When I realized it the cab had been gone. Because it had been a priceless aid and, I'm not afraid to say, crutial for my traveling I had to buy a new one. I found Footprint, but it was a 3-year old issue, and for over $30. But I had no choice, I had to buy it. It wasn't the end of my badluck. My cell phone died because of lack of energy and I cannot turn it on even if it's been in a charger for a few hours. Looks like I'll be without the phone, which was also my alarm and watch, for the rest of my traveling. In addition, I've already lost a case for my camera, and a bag for sunglusses. But these losses are just a frew tens of dollars. It's still OK and I counted with such problems. Unless I lose a bigger amount of money, a credit card, or my passport it's OK.

I spent the afternoon sightseeing Cusco. It's a wonderful city. It's very historical with may old, quaint buildings, narrow stone streets , churches. It's very clean, too. The only thing I don't like about the place is crowds of tourists. That's the biggest difference between Huaraz, which is still a typical Peruvian city, and Cusco, which is an extremely popular tourist destination and has changed this way. Basically everyone who goes to Peru goes to Machu Picchu and who goes to Machu Picchu goes to Cusco, too. I was going to go to Machu Picchu on my own, but I was really surprised how expensive it would be. The only means of transportation is a train which is $70 from Cusco. Accommodation near MP is at least $15m the bus from the train station to MP is $12, and the entrance fee is about $25. I didn't know what to do when I met a man on a street who offered me a two-day all-inclusive tour for $105. In addition to the things I mentioned above, it includes lunch, breakfast, visiting more sites in the Sacred valley, and an English-speaking guide.


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