We are progressing slowly thru the maze of Peru. Not having any transportation, we need to take buses and/or taxis to get anyplace. Yes, we made arrangements for the bus to take us to Paracas, the first step of our journey, but how do we get to the bus stop. Where is it? I thought I would just tell the taxi driver when I hail a taxi at 6 AM the next day but again, help comes from Francis. He orders a taxi to pick up us in the morning to take us to the Bus Terminal. Yes, the taxi was there in the AM, just on time and good thing, too, because when I looked along the normally busy street, there was not one taxi is sight this early in the day. We would have been in a pickle without help from Francis.
Just like at an airline counter, this bus terminal has a place to check in the luggage. The seats Francis booked were in the First Class section and we were served breakfast. Imagine, being served food on a bus by a stewardess. We left on time, exactly as it spelled out on the ticket, at 7.30 AM. I read that each Bus has 2 drivers and stewards. The drivers switch every 4 hours. This bus line, Cruz del Sur (www.cruzdelsur.com.pe) is run like an airline. The seats are comfy; they recline and have foot rests. Everything is clean and neat and organized. I was pleasantly surprised.
We arrived in Paracas on time and were greeted by Galinna, a friend of Francis. She had a car waiting and in no time, after reclaiming our bags we were at our new hostel. A bit away from the town on a dirt road the place is like a hotel; secure, quiet at night, an inviting pool and the room we finally received has one big bed, a large shower and serves us well for 2 nights. Galinna waited patiently for us get settled in and then took us for a 25 minute walk along the dirt road into town. Paracas is not St. Tropez, nor is it Monaco. It is a town someone decided to make into a tourist attraction. A Marine National Park nearby serves this purpose as Paracas is the jump off point. The town itself was very poor just a few years ago and it still shows in many places, especially away from town as we are. The main road still gets flooded during very high tides and the resulting puddles are a nuisance to traffic, especially on a dirt road as you can imagine. Yet some very wealthy folks have their summer place here. Houses near the water are so rich that security guards are hired full time to watch over them. A hotel, the Paracas Hotel, is so guarded, so secure, it is like entering a Bank. The town itself has just started to renovate. The board walk is almost done with some nice restaurants, but still a lot of hokey business stalls and cheap plastic things vendors are trying to sell to make a living. I had to turn one boy, begging for money, physically away from Carol. He was about 12 years old and should know better but when you are poor you take chances, I guess. He never saw me coming. The temperature was so hot that we just walked one big round thru town. We did not stay in town. Walking in this heat, even if it is only for about 1 hour is not for a born Canadian like Carol. We went back to the hostel and just rested. Dinner was a sandwich we bought earlier and I believe the mayonnaise on the sandwich turned bad. I had high fever last night and even after one long night of rest Carol convinced me to take a day of rest. We had a trip booked with Galinna and when she showed up this morning, we told her to forget it. We postponed our trip until tomorrow. Yes, these things can be done in Peru; you just postpone things until manana. I feel fine now; let us see what manana brings.