little sarah Big World

Tag: Chile

Tacna, Peru

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What 24+ Hours of Travel Looks Like

After San Pedro, we were headed to Puno, Peru, which would take about 18 hours if you could drive straight there. But it took us over 24. And why is that? Border crossing, bus schedules, and lies. Or, “the story of Peru.” Basically, there is no direct route, and so we wound up passing a few hours in Tacna, the first town after you cross the Chile-Peru border.

We left San Pedro at about 8:30 at night and arrived in Arica, Chile at about 5am. Then we waited for the border-crossing to open at 8, while I talked to an old French guy about his various lovers spread throughout Europe. Anything was better than being ignored by B & J, I figured, and plus I got to practice my (rustier-than-I’d-thought) French.

Once the border crossing opened up, we took a 5-minute bus from Arica to the border, where we got off and went through various lines and inspections. (Fun fact: my lime didn’t make it through but Josh’s orange did). Then we got back on the bus and drove another 5 minutes or so to Tacna, where we spent the morning walking around, eating, and buying snacks in the market for our forth-coming bus ride to Puno.

Brett and Josh pointed out that the market in this little border town (which Lonely Planet doesn’t seem to think very much of) was nicer than any market in Asuncion, the Paraguayan capital. It wasn’t a bad place to spend a few hours, and we met some nice people at the tourist agency (our first) who basically made our trip to Puno/Lake Titicaca possible.

From here, the bus ride was supposed to be only 5 hours, but we didn’t arrive in Puno until long after dark–tired, cold, and hungry. It was on this bus ride that I resorted to ripping blank pages out of the book I was reading (Committed, by Elizabeth Gilbert) to blow my nose.

Which is equal parts sad and resourceful.

Laguna Cejar

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Fueled by Fury

When we last left off, I was thinking of separating from Brett and Josh, and our day-trip to Laguna Cejar was a big factor in that. Example: I took the above photo after Brett pointed out that you could capture the mountains reflected in the water. He didn’t mention this to ME, of course, as they had already begun to treat me like a stray dog following, but he did point it out to Josh, who responded “That’s gay.”

Yep. This is what I’m talking about. Who even calls things gay anymore? I honestly hadn’t heard that in YEARS. So, take talk like that, add Josh’s super inflated ego, the fact that they were annoyed (at best) by my vegan diet, and constant reminiscing over drunken binges during Peace Corps…and you’ll see why I felt like I was traveling with a couple of frat bros, WHICH I TOLD THEM, and to which Brett took great offense.

*sigh*

The day of the laguna was the day after we’d arrived, and I was still pretty sick. But I still rose and shone for a 3 hour round-trip bike ride. Josh took his sweet time, but Brett took it out on both of us. I might have been more sympathetic to how long it takes Josh to get ready, if I’d already read Mindy Kaling’s opinion on boys taking for-f***ing-ever to put on their shoes. But I hadn’t.

And they just went so fast, Friends. It was partly to make up for our late start and partly because Josh wanted to get back in time for some other excursion. I was literally left in their dust, to fume and pedal all the way to the lagoon.

At least the sunshine felt good.

I could detail more injustices, but that would be petty. Or at least more petty than what I’ve already said.

It’s just such and extreme bummer to feel so wrong and receive no vindication or validation. I suppose there are people who face that on a much larger scale daily, so I should keep things in perspective.

PLUS…(plus), I really felt like I became such a pro at Positive Mental Attitude this trip. While the boys felt that being hungry, tired, cold, or sick gave them license to be grumpy like children and treat others poorly, I felt that I could bounce back from most anything. Like how I got up early to ride a bike for 3 hours while sick.

Do not mess with this.