|The power of rice compels you!|
The all to familiar sound of eggs sizzling, onions and garlic being sautéed and Joe’s untrained voice struggling to rap to the music blaring through his headphones. Ah the sweet sounds of vacation. The sun is gleaming through our windows, energizing myself to get up and out of bed to greet the brand new day. Our bus to town leaves at 9am sharp out front Kika’s which we have to be on. We are in such a remote location that only 2 buses come a day. 9am and 2:30pm going down the mountain, and the only one coming up the mountain leaves town at 3pm. As it takes about an hour to get down the mountain on the sketchy at best switchback roads, the 2:30pm bus would be you’re spending the night in town. Luckily we were up early enough and done our daybreak tasks that we were able to wave down the 9am bus without breaking a sweat.
Our standards of safety back home make their standards here non-existent. I’m starting to doubt they even have any. As we stepped on the bus we were propitious enough to find a seat. The ride we were in for beats any rollercoaster I’ve been on. Keep in mind we drove up the mountain to get here under night skies, shielding our views from the valley below and the sheer height at which we are. Along the way the bus continued to pick up random locals who waved the bus down and dropped off a few who needed to go no further. The doors are the bus were your typical bus doors, collapsing in the middle to be pushed to the side. These doors remained opened for much of the trip down. Unless you were female or child, your pick up/drop off was drive-by style. The bus would drive close to the edge, only slowing down slightly and the men would jump on grabbing what ever they could on the inside. It was quite entertaining to watch.
The drive down the mountain, as mentioned before took about an hour, reaching our destination around 10am. For any future travelers to this area, it is the last stop the bus makes, and the one the majority of people get off at. We have left our sunshine, blue-sky village to come down into the pollution-covered city where no sun could penetrate the thick layers of chemicals floating around. The temperature was unknowingly much colder down here and of course with our luck we had not dressed near appropriate. We had 5 hours to spend, decided to waste the first 2 at and internet café around the corner from the Super Desponsa (grocery store). This is where I uploaded the first 2 blog posts which you may or may not have read. It took about an hour each. We touched base with home for the first time since we arrived and were able to catch up on social life as well.
It was now 12:30 when we left the café, still 3 hours to kill until the bus home arrived. We decided to walk around an have a look around town, looking for a coffee shop or something of the like. The “Internet café” only sold internet no coffee. The cold of the weather soon infiltrated our clothing and sent chills through our bones. It was time to go indoors and grocery shop. As you can probably imagine, this did not kill 3 hours and we soon found ourselves standing out in the harshness of the weather.
|Milking the Rest on Tufa Luna|
With no destination in mind, we started exploring the town a little more, only to stumble upon a taco bar, which looked warm and inviting. We bought some authentic food and sat down at a table to eat and read. Little did we know, most of the shops like this shut down at 2:30 due to a holiday. This both benefited us and left us stranded outside against the elements once more. It benefited us because the owner of the taco bar had nothing to do with his leftover food, but throw it out or feed it to us. Our gringo smiles quickly won his affection and we were brought course after course after course. It’s safe to say we were more than full by the end.
We left the indoors once again for the treacherous outdoor weather and had another hour to kill before the bus. We decided just to stand outside the bus stop and wait. We were told there was a chance the bus could arrive at 3:00. To pass the time a non-English speaking hobo came and tried to communicate with us, and did no give up for at least half an hour. With Joe’s very broken Spanish understanding, we had some kind of clue of what he was saying. But boy did he sure love to tell stories.
|Joe on the beginning of Tufa Luna 5.13a|
The bus finally came at 3:30 and we were on our way back up the hill. The bus ethics were much the same as the way down with drive by pickups and drop offs. After the hour long scary bus ride up the hill we made it back home and spent the rest of the night relaxing, reading and watching movies.