Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Great Logistics (October 1st - 4th, 2013)

After our ordeal with Elumbus we needed to find a different way of getting to Brazil. All conventional flights for a reasonable price were booked out, so we had to improvise. Fortunately I remembered three essential facts:
  • When we were in Boliva I noticed that one-way tickets within the country cost just half of the price of the return ticket.
  • Emile Schenk told me a long time ago that flights within one country in South America are usually much cheaper than international flights.
  • Dan told us about his plans to take a direct overnight bus from La Paz to Cusco and back.
Out of this info I was able to build a crazy plan how to get to Sao Paulo: first we would take an overnight bus from Huaraz to Lima. Then we would take a cheap domestic flight to Cusco. From there we would continue with another overnight bus to La Paz and finally from La Paz we would fly to Sao Paulo.

The overnight bus to Lima was comfortable and very early in the morning we got off at Terminal Norte. Knowing that we would not have enough time to go to the city center we took a taxi directly to the airport, located not too far from Terminal Norte. The time till our flight we spent reading and watching people at the airport. Our flight to Cusco was delayed, but eventually we boarded. We were surprised by the service Peruvian Airlines provided for just 69 EUR, and really enjoyed the flight. Landing in Cusco was especially impressive as we were flying almost between very high mountains such as Salktantay.

In Cusco we immediately took a taxi to the bus terminal. There we bought a bus ticket to La Paz and deposited our luggage. With just small bags we went to the center to eat guinea pig, which we had not not managed to try before. As our bus was leaving quite late we spend some time in an internet cafe catching up on our blog.

We had missed this statue of Inca the previous time we were in Cusco

The overnight bus was quite comfortable and at around 7 A.M. we were already at the border with Bolivia. We again saw the Lake Titicaca, but this time from the opposite side. At the border, we got an Peruvian exit stamp and then changed money. To my surprise we got exactly the same exchange rate as when changing in the other direction one month and half earlier. Leaving Peru was not as straightforward as we expected, because we were selected for a random drug check. All our belongings were thoroughly inspected, but nothing suspicious was found and we could cross the bridge to Bolivia.

All these guys are just changing money

Entering Bolivia was one of our main risks. We both already had three thirty-days stamps in our passports and according to law, we were allowed to stay maximally 90 days per year in Bolivia. Fortunately, we had stayed for just 75 days. This was quite easy to explain, so we received the right to stay in the country for an additional 15 days.

We had missed you, Bolivia!

Because our luggage had been inspected, we were the last ones to board the bus. In a couple of hours we arrived in La Paz and went to the Adventure Brew B&B, located just two blocks away from the bus terminal. It was quite nice to arrive in a place and know exactly where to go. After settling down we went to Pollos Copacabana and got two of their delicious Copacabana burgers. We then spent a bit of time wandering around, calling Elumbus and resting at our hostel.

We slept quite well, but had to wake up very early to catch our plane. We took a taxi to the airport. Everything went smoothly and soon we were flying to Santa Cruz. In Santa Cruz we just got out of the plane, went through immigration and another drug search, and boarded the same plane one hour afterwards. As last time, it was raining in Santa Cruz, but we more bothered that we did not have time to say hello to our Bolivian friends Cynthia and Gonzalo, who live there. The flight to Sao Paulo was quite pleasant and in a couple of hours we started discovering Brazil. More about that in our next blog post.

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