Route details for Santa Marta to Cuzco
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5d 0h 0m
We took a bus from the Caribbean coast, Colombia,to Medellin, then down through the coffee region,and on to Cali. We then boarded another bus which took us along the Panamericana highway to the Ecuadorian border (which you have to walk across and get your bags searched in the middle of the street by Colombian soldiers)then got another bus from the Ecuadorian border at Tulcan to Quito. The buses up to that point had been very uncomfortable with no toilets and stopping at grotty little shops to stock up on yet more crisps, crackers and anything which was a bit more exciting than we had seen, but the people were fascinating and the landscape was amazing. From Quito we caught another bus to Guayaquil in the south of the country, and then caught an overnight bus to Piura, Peru. We had a few hours until our connecting bus to Lima, and so we had our first proper meal in 3 days, absolute bliss. We had eggs for breakfast, then fruit salads, and then for lunch we had a gorgeous menu del dia in a local restaurant. I got on the bus feeling relatively refreshed having given myself a 'baby wipe bath' and brushed my teeth in the public bathrooms. The bus from Piura was luxurious with reclining 'cama' seats and contemporary films rather than the very violent or soft porn we had become used to in Colombia and Ecuador. We also got meals similar to airplane food throughou the journey. We arrived in Lima at 6am, and boarded the bus to Cuzco at 2pm for yet another 23hour jouney. I felt gross by this stage, my sense of humour finally gone, but the bus was a delight unlike the road/driving. We played bingo, had an ok meal, and were entertained with the films Troy, the Pianist and Il Postino, which were great! The journey was pretty hairy however as we navigated through the Andes and the tiny winding roads which clung to the sides of the mountains. We arrived in Cuzco after five days of travelling. I was tired, hungry, feeling a bit sick from all the rubbish I had eaten, sick of my travelling partner, and felt so grotty having not had a proper shower in five days: However it was an amazing experience and I saw some fantastic landscapes. I observed some colourful social interactions and had the joy of sampling the service station food in 3 different countries - unforgettable!