Notes on Peru buses and Lima Airport, etc.
by Davy Schneider
(Cochabamba, Bolivia for now)
Oltursa Bus to Lima, Good Service
We're sitting in the Lima airport right now waiting for our flight to La Paz. There we'll need to get our tourist visas at the airport and then catch a fight to Cochabamba for Kelsey's wedding.
The trip down here to Lima by bus took around 17 hours. It is all night, so they have "bus camas" where the seats recline way back. Not real ergodynamic but they sure beat the airline seats.
Things have changed with long-haul buses. They take a video of you before you get on the bus. Supposedly that is to identify your bodies if there is a crash. But that's not the reason. It is to prevent robberies. They are also tracked by GPS to pinpoint the bus and identify any unauthorized stops, etc.
These buses are double deckers. The two options are ride up top, very nice if you get front seat picture window and travel in the daytime. AT night, though, the smaller number of first floor seats are much better. However, there weren't any bottom seats left so we took the top front. That was fine for the short daylight we had, but being on top front meant feeling all the swaying amplified many times. These buses also have the back axles that turn so they can turn very sharp corners although being so big. Good? No. 360s are no fun when you're awakened from a dead sleep.
They are extremely quiet. There was zero road noise front forward. You can hear each other easily in a normal quite conversation. Until they start the horror movies going. You can't avoid
hearing and seeing them.
About 11:00 p.m., though, they turn those off and you can get some uneasy sleep the rest of the night.
The secret is to book a few days in advance. If you are traveling during daylight hours, get the top front seats. There is much more leg room and an incredible panoramic, above the traffic view.
If traveling at nigh, get bottom seats. There are only a few (the rest is baggage area) and being near the middle of the bus, you feel very little motion.
There are clean restrooms aboard and they serve a meal. The one we took this time was Oltursa. The food was better than Cruz del Sur but wasn't as fast for some reason.
We called a taxi driver we know who had to wait an extra hour because the bus was late, but it was nice to have him waiting for us.
An important thing that we were not able to get done up the hick part of Peru where we live (closest city about 2 hours away) was to get yellow fever shots, which supposedly are a requirement for entering Bolivia now. So Juan Carlos was taking us around to likely places; clinics, hospitals, and even the Red Cross. Nobody had the vaccine. Finally the taxi broke down right behind a large private clinic. Hey, they had the vaccine and we got shots there.
The really humorous part (at least if it's not you) is that when we got to the airport this morning, we found out you can get the shots right here for less than we paid.