Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hostel Living...

Last night would have been OK because our roommates are all quiet and normal, but something crazy happened. Some crazy German guy started pounding on the main door of the hostel, screaming, "Let me in!" Ali said that the banging was so intense that she thought there was an earthquake, and she was going to have to save me! After about a minute he broke down the main entrance and entered the hostel, this time yelling, "Who cares?!" for about ten minutes. I was terrified, but the guy from Australia was nice and got up to double check that our room door was secure. We all stayed silent waiting for the crazy guy to leave, and eventually he did. Needless to say I didn't sleep much after.

Then, we found out that there were no buses to Arequipa that were running because a parade (?!) was blocking the highway.

So we figured we would check back in about the buses later and go get breakfast. Breakfast was delicious. We went to a hostel that was a million times better than the hostel we stayed in, and ordered vegetable omelets.

After breakfast we walked to yet another hostel and boarded the sketchiest form of transportation yet - a bright yellow dune buggy with no walls and a tarp ceiling. I had no idea what we were about to experience. The dune buggy drove at 50 miles an hour across desert sand. His job was to jostle us as much as possible. Whenever we approached a curve or the top of a sand dune, it looked like we we about to slide off the face of the earth. For reference, the sand dunes were so tall that when you look out a restaurant or hostel window in Huacachina there is no sky, only sand. While we screamed bloody murder and I stressed about my back, both of us survived and had a lot of fun. Ali even sledded down the side of a sand dune face first on what looked like a snow board. I chose to hangout at the top of the dune and take pictures.

Once we got back we quickly headed back to our hostel to check out and to find out about the buses. After a call to the bus station, we found out that the blockade was actually a protest and it would not be a problem for us since we won't be at that point until 4 or 5am. We were really relieved.

We had 8 hours to kill before the before our next bus would come. Since we were covered in sand, we showered, then hung out by the pool and the lagoon's beach area for the rest of the afternoon.

At 7:30 P.M., we took a taxi to an overnight bus to Arequipa. At the bus station I realized just how unpredictable the bathrooms can be in Peru. Some don't have toilet paper, some don't have seats... In general I expect the worst. So I was very surprised when I went to the bathroom at the bus station and there was not only toilet paper and a seat, but also a shower! Crazy.

The 12 hour overnight bus was not very comfortable because we had semi-cama seats. Also, Ali and I were seated in front of a very loud child who was awake and talking until 3 am. We are looking forward to a good night's rest in a nicer hostel tomorrow.

One thing that I forgot to mention about yesterday is that we stopped for dinner at Norky's. Like Roky's, Norky's is a common fast food establishment in Peru. The crazy thing about this chicken restaurant was that it also had a separate area for Karaoke!

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