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Gianni Truvianni’s Bus Trip From Tacna, Chile to Lima, Peru - III

Author: Gianni Truvianni

Go to: Part I - Part II

As for the bus, it was much dirtier then the one in Chile and went slower but it did perform its function though I was afraid that I would have to go to the toilet, which made it that I did not drink or eat much; for what should be obvious reasons. I for my part did not take long to fall asleep, since I had been traveling from Buenos Aires and I figured I could get some sleep, since we probably would have no more problems however one slight one did come up. After having traveled on the bus, for what must have been two or three hours, we went through a police passport control, which was only intended for non-Peruvians and since Jorge and I were the only ones who were; it was us who were required to get off the bus and show our passports.

Somebody, actually shouted out something which struck me as being rather funny while Jorge and I were on our way off the bus (to get back on of course) that when translated to English went “all those from Arequipa, get off”. This a reference to how Peruvians joke about those who came from the province Arequipa, not being real Peruvians, given their independent stand from the government in Lima, that goes to the extreme of them having their own passports which in Arequipa are used to get discounts in some hotels and restaurants. As a personal matter; my sister’s husband at the time, who she would go on to divorce came from this part of Peru.

Night time eventually fell on what had been this long day and journey, and the bus made a stop, near a restaurant in Arequipa, which saw everybody get off the bus, mainly to get something to eat or go to the toilet. Of course, the reality was that we in fact had no choice but to get off the bus while it was being fueled, this because since everybody (but Jorge and I) had very expensive goods, so much that they had to leave them on the bus. It created a situation that nobody was trusted on the bus with so much value merchandise, specially while most were a way from their seats and contraband goods. Jorge and I got of the bus, not really minding that we had to and I must confess that unlike most of what I had seen on that road; this restaurant in Arequipa, though humble gave an appearance of being clean or at least enough that I ordered something to eat, which did not even come wrapped in plastic. A large chicken and rice meal, was what I had in spite of my being a vegetarian in those days, while Jorge had the same and I would even add that the food in its simplicity was not bad.

The break finished which I
also used to go to the toilet, after which we got on our way and I figured wrongly, of coarse that I would sleep through the night and we would get to Lima early, so I could take a much needed shower. This was what I planned but like most plans, it went slightly astray as did the bus, actually. It happened, well in to the night that the bus driver, who did not have anybody to relieve him, ended up falling asleep at the wheel, while going quite fast; especially for the kind of road we were on.

The bus, went off the road though fortunately not off one of the many high cliffs, (some over 20 meters) but just the road and in to a sort of sand trap, which we required all the passengers to get off the bus, while the men were made to push the bus. We had dogged a bullet, one could say as things definitely could have been worse, as the bus might have fallen from a great height or turned over but luckily no one was hurt. Most on the bus even took what had happened in stride, as it was not uncommon.

I for my part however found it hard to get back to sleep, spending much of the night awake in fear of the same thing reoccurring which however did not. The night however was a beautiful one, despite it all; traveling under a clear, desert sky that displayed the wonder that is the Southern Cross, which I could not help but admire in my sleeplessness.

Morning eventually did come, to find our bus still on the road and making its way to Peru’s capital of more then six million inhabitants, I however had not managed to get much sleep after what had transpired but did not feel all that sleepy despite it. Jorge and I continued our chatting till we finally got to Lima, where we exchanged addresses and said our good byes after what had been, a most memorable trip for many reasons. One of them being Jorge’s pleasant personality and interesting comments, on the many topics of mutual interest we hit upon. Jorge and I, however would never meet again and it is unlikely we ever will though I in later years took his personality and looks and put them in to the fictional Polish speaking cab driver from Argentina, who appears in my first “New York’s Opera Society”.

Go to: Part - I - Part II

About the Author My name is Gianni Truvianni, I am an author who writes with the simple aim of sharing his ideas, thoughts and so much more of what I am with those who are interested in perhaps reading something new. I also am the author of the book entitled “New York's Opera Society ” which is now available on Amazon.

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