A Travellerspoint blog

Travel by bus cama

Return to Palpa

sunny 12 °C

Arrived back in Palpa yesterday - 12th August after a 15 hour bus ride from Cusco. Sounds exhausting - but not for Rob and I. We travel bus cama. The word cama is spanish for bed. These buses are double deckers. The top deck has spacious comfortable seating which reclines more than any Australian bus or plane. For Eleanor and Alice the cost was $36. Downstairs is luxury class where the seats recline almost horizontal. Rob and I paid the exta $16 so that we could sleep comfortably. The seats are like large arm chairs - 2 on one side of the aisle and 1 on the other. There are usually only 3 or 4 rows of seats so you feel like a VIP. The driver has a huge cabin at the front with a bed for use by the second driver. The back is luggage storage.
Bus cama is more comfortable than international plane travel economy class. And it feels like a plane flight because during the trip the bus attendant comes round with meals - sometimes! (We have travelled on several of these buses now and never seem to get the food right. If we pack food they bring us meals and if we don't they don't feed us. Or as on the bus from La Paz we were served for breakfast a stale bread roll and about 100mls of very sweet tea and then for lunch - 1 small banana, 4 chocolate biscuits. 1 lollipop on a stick, and some fruit cordial in a plastic bag without a straw.) At some bus terminals while passengers are getting off, street food sellers will jump on with baskets of food and softdrinks for sale. Or they stand outside the bus shouting their wares and use buckets on poles to pass food up to the windows of the top deck. Sometimes passengers (locals who are in the know) will leap off the bus at a stop and grab a snack from a road side stall.
Bus Cama is also how we travelled from Santiago to Peru. We could happily have stayed on the bus all the way to Colombia. Rob is actually thinking of writing a book - "Around Peru by Bus''. Anyone interested in being a sponsor?
Many of the highways we have travelled are newly paved (within the last 10 years) and are in better condition than a lot of Australian highways. Very few Peruvians own a car so the vehicles on the highways are mainly buses and trucks. In the towns there are mini buses or vans (the local public transport), myriad taxis, and a few motorbikes. Some towns have mototaxis (very cute and fun to ride in) which are 3 wheeled motorbikes with a roof and walls (or not) which can take 3 passengers. Not that anyone in Peru worries about load limits in taxis. In Puno we were collected from the bus terminal by the hostel owner. Her husband is a taxi driver with a very small station wagon. Rob sat in the front and the 3 kids (actually adults now) and I were in the back seat. In the boot was all our luggage and the hostel owner! On very rare occasions a taxi driver has asked us to put a seat belt on in the front seat. That's not possible in the back with 4 people but ther usually aren't seatbelts in the back anyway.
Just realised that this is a slight digression from the topic. There's so much to tell. Hopefully over the next few weeks with a more leisurely travel itinerary and access to better internet at my sister's house, I'll be able to wite a few more blogs. And eventually we'll upload some photos.
Lachlan flies to Europe today for some travel before starting uni in Glasgow in September. So our Fleetwood family adventure has come to an end. It has been a truly amazing and very special few weeks. We will base ourselves in Palpa with my sister and her family for the next few weeks, taking short trips to other places. We hope to absorb some more Peruvian culture and learn some more spanish

Posted by Fleetwoods 14/08/2010 06:39 Archived in Peru Tagged family_travel Comments (7)

Internet Challenges

Trying to keep in touch

sunny 11 °C

Peru does have access to the internet but like all things Peruvian there are glitches. Connections often drop out. So my plan was to type a blog entry on Lachlan´s computer and then use my thumb drive to transfer it to the website. However, on my first attempt in Santiago I got a virus which trashed my thumb drive. I wrote a long blog in Palpa but on the last morning we were rushing to catch a bus and I didn´t get to copy it. Our accommodation here in Arequipa has wifi but for some reason Lachlan´s computer won´t let him access it. Which leaves me trying to use the communal computer which is shared between about 60 people. So I´m up at 6.30 before the crowds.
We are having an amazing adventure. Tomorrow we are going on a 3 day trip to Colca Canyon. This will give us opportunities to see condors and also to hike in what may be the deepest canyon in the world.
We have discovered that it is cheaper to eat out than to prepare one´s own food. This is n interesting concept for budget travellers.
I´m going to sign off before I get logged off. I´m not sure when or how I´m going to get photos uploaded. Thanks to those of you or have written comments, we´re thinking of you too.

Posted by Fleetwoods 15/07/2010 04:29 Archived in Peru Comments (5)

Arriving in South America

Fleetwood family arrive safely

sunny 12 °C

Apologies to those who have been waiting news of our safe arrival in South America. Being a new blogger I needed more time than the shared computer at our hostel in Santiago allowed. We then had a 50 hour trip north to Peru. Arrived to find ourselves in the midst of preparations for my niece’s 4th birthday party. That sounds innocent enough until you learn that the party is to be held at her preschool and that all 195 students are participating and that all 195 children will be getting a hat that needs elastic tied to it and that they will all get a party bag that needs to be filled with lollies and that they all need to get a balloon attached to a stick. Fortunately the Fleetwood Family Part Planners were on hand to help. Truth to tell that wasn’t on our CV before but it certainly is now.

Anyway, that’s my excuse for not blogging, aside from the fact that I’m having a wonderful time and have enjoyed the break from computers and emailing.

Over the next couple of days I hope to add a few more blogs with some travel stories.

We were reunited with Eleanor in Santiago and yes it is wonderful having all my family together. I feel very, very lucky.

All are well and happy and starting to realise that we are on holidays and that it is going to be an incredible cultural experience.

PS The party was an outstanding success. More details in another blog.
PS 2 We've taken 100s of photos already. Just need to learn how to upload them (after deleting a few).

Posted by Fleetwoods 05:42 Archived in Peru Comments (2)

Preparations for travel

Making a blog

sunny 9 °C

In preparation for adventures overseas I'm venturing into the world of blog writing. Travelling seemed so much simpler back in 1984 when I left Australia with a paper plane ticket and a biro for writing postcards. Still one keeps young by learning new skills. And travel is about new experiences. So here I am writing my first blog entry.
I'm a blogger with L plates. Perhaps after 120 hours I'll know what I'm doing. At least I have good teachers in the driver's seat - my internet-savvy, facebook-using children.
Entry number one is complete. I feel younger already.

Posted by Fleetwoods 25/06/2010 20:38 Archived in Australia Comments (3)

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