Bathrooms and Traveling in Peru
by David Schneider
(Los Organos, Peru)
You need to develop a plan before hitting the road in Peru or another third-world country as to what to do if the "urge" hits you. Most buses don't have a bathroom. Those that do tell you they can only be used for "number two."
What will you do if you get stomach cramps and have to blow it all out?
First, ALWAYS carry enough toilet paper. ALWAYS. This is essential.
Next, look at the map and see where any towns are located. When going through a town, there is the POSSIBILITY that the driver will stop and wait for you to use a bathroom, so you'll have an idea how long you'll have to wait.
Most inter province buses are not allowed to stop between official stops. But if you are ready to explode, tell the driver. He may just drop you and not wait. Be ready for that.
If you are in the middle of nowhere, tell the driver (if you can talk between spasms) that you need to "orinar, urgente." Or "hacer caca urgente." He will tell you to wait. Then make signs that you are going to go all over the floor. He'll stop.
If you are in the middle of nowhere with no access to a bush or rock, do it right next to the bus as close as possible. If there is no traffic, sit right up against the back of the bus. No one inside will be able to see you.
If you have a companion, prepare them to hold up a jacket or scarf (hah) to hide you from traffic.
Remember, toilet paper is a luxury. Like a good boyscout, "Be Prepared."