Arequipa, Peru to Arica, Chile

I spent the day wandering around Arequipa. It has a beautiful town but I’m getting a bit sick of Plaza De Armas’ now. I think I’m just tired. I haven’t had a proper sleep in ages. I wander into a restaurant and have a delicious tomato noodle soup with an egg in it. It’s almost like a laksa but less creamy. Delicious. And cheap. I wander around some more before heading back to the hostel. I’m a tall person, I know that. So I stand out as Peruvians are all tiny (Jason – haha!) If I had a pound for every time someone looked at me for longer than 5 seconds, I could stay out here forever. I don’t mind.

My bus is at 10pm so I leave the hostel around 9pm. The terminal is so busy. Packed full of people trying to get out of this city ha. I’m joking, Arequipa is nice. My bus is a 6hr journey to Tacna. The movie choice (shared movie) is ‘I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry’. It’s alright. Quite funny. When we get to Moquegua and just as I start to nod off, we have to make a stop. Here they check our bags for any fruits and/or vegetables. Not entirely sure why and not rally interested as I’m tired and irritable. I mean, they only scanned our personal bags. Not my main backpack which was in the luggage bay. Fuck sake. We get back on and carry on our journey. The bus is supposed to travel no faster than 90kph. It has a digital speedometer in our area so we can see the speed. If it goes over said 90kph, as message scrolls across saying that we’re exceeding the limit. How am I supposed to sleep when it says that we ARE exceeding the limit. I had just started feeling like I wasn’t going to die on a bus but now I’m not sure again. It’s 1.30am and we’re due to arrive in Tacna at 4am. And we do. They let us stay on the bus which I thought was nice as I don’t like being somewhere at 4am really. You gotta be careful. I nap for an hour or so and leave around 6am to walk across to the international terminal.

On my way in, guys are asking if I need a lift. Erm, no thanks. I’d love to hitchhike but I can’t take that risk. If I wasn’t on my own then yeah. Imagine the stories from that! Plus, I think my family are worried enough without me getting into cars with strange men. So I go into the terminal and get in a car with not one, but three strange men and a woman (haha). You can either get a bus to cross the border into Arica or a Collectivo which is a shared taxi. The shared taxi costs $3000 Chilean Pesos which is £3. It’s a bit cramped in the car but it’s quicker than the bus. And I want to get to my hostel to have a nap. Now this was the worst experience of my life. The driver kept nodding off!!! I had my belt on as I always do but I was in the middle and it was only one of those lap belts. Belts aren’t a big thing out here. As in, all taxis have the buckles pushed down and hidden. I always ask for them to bring it out. But as I’m in the middle I have the shit belt. I kept asking him questions and coughing in order to keep him awake. I can’t die now!! I have so much to do!! We get to the Peru part of the border and stop so we can get stamped out. Then we drive up to the Chile border and get stamped in. I just remembered that I have some Coca leaves in my bag… That’ll be ok won’t it? I don’t want to go to jail either. I have so much to do!! I get through anyway. It’s probably not a big thing but I must ditch them before I fly to America. Surely! Anyway, having the little walk around I thought would do him good as we get back got into the car to drive to the Arica Bus Terminal. He was doing it again. I was wishing away time like wishing I don’t get Zika. Finally we arrive and I’m alive. I’m born again! I’m more dramatic than ever! I really wish our drama department at school had been better. All I remember doing in drama was pretending to be a robot and watching movies because our teacher wasn’t well. She was in her office taking tablets…

I walk to my hostel, Sunny Days, which is just a 5min walk away. As soon as I walk in I am offered breakfast which I thought was really lovely. I declined as I wasn’t sure if it was time for breakfast or dinner. I just needed a shower and a nap. I’ve been up for ages! 24hrs… Apart from that hour or so nap. I showered and had a lie down and nodded off. When I woke up I went for walk around the town. Chileans speak a different kind of Spanish and I’m struggling to understand anything they say. But apparently everyone does, it’s just a thing. And so far, they’re less helpful than the people from Ecuador and Peru. I asked a taxi driver to take me to the Plaza De Armas. He took me to a hostel. I couldn’t really explain to him, as I said, they speak differently here. So I paid £3 to be dropped here and navigated my way back to where I first got the taxi from haha. Then I got a bus. It’s expensive here.

I have a lovely dinner in the evening. A delicious steak, a glass of Chilean red and even a tequila. Probably the best meal I’ve had since I’ve been away. Paid for it though in the ol’ cajero.

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