Travels

No passport or backpack: a bad travel experience

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Arriving in the city of Cuzco


I was in the Cuzco bus station in Peru. Recently I had visited the ruins of Macchu Picchu and was heading towards the Colca Canyon, halfway to Arquipa.

I was traveling with a Peruvian friend and when the coach parked at the stop we went up to leave our backpacks and went down to smoke the usual cigarette before leaving for the trip. The coach was not overly crowded and, chatting with one of the station workers, we observed that there were still about 10 minutes left before we left for Arequipa. We take the time to approach the shops and buy water, cookies and snacks to kill the bug during the trip.

I think the 10 minutes had not passed but when I returned to the platform the bus was gone. I remembered at that time that in addition to depositing the backpack inside it too I had left my handbag where I had the guide, notebook and passport. Something I never do, but there was no turning back.

My friend was in them and, with all our possessions in the coach, we had a few seconds of indecision and nerves. Unable to react for seconds, we woke up from inertia and ran outside the station in search of a taxi. We assaulted the first one we found and in the purest American movie style we shouted: “Quick, follow the Colca coach!

It was one of those buses that kick out of any bus station. Neither new nor old did not even remember the brand, much less the license plate of the coach. My little memory - or shock - was such that I hadn't even noticed if the vehicle was brown, red or green. Fortunately, the taxi driver knew the only possible way to drive in the direction of Arequipa and we were heading there.

Mounted in the taxi, the driver understood the situation and squeezed the gas. It looked like a chase out of an action movie, only the special effects were missing. My passport, my backpack, my notes, everything was in that coach and I could not imagine a second what would happen if we finally did not find the vehicle.

We cross the streets of Cuzco bypassing cars and motorcycles until just before entering the main highway we hit the bus. Jota, my travel companion, recognized him and we rushed forward and extended our hands through the window showing our tickets. We got the driver to understand the situation and parked the coach in the gutter. We pay with a generous tip to the taxi driver and get on the bus showing our tickets and white faces.

Upon arriving at our seats we checked that everything was in order. My heart was pumping while stroking my passport and my travel notes.

Jota with his anise warm in Puente Callalli

And, interestingly, this type of experience always usually goes hand in hand with another. Just a few hours later, at about 4 in the morning, we were at Callalli Bridge, more than 4,000 meters high, dead of cold. In a small open shop we choose the specialty of the house: the warm with anise. A drink that would be the Peruvian carajillo. It was necessary to reheat the body and incidentally celebrate that day it was time to enjoy the condors of Colca; calls to the embassy were no longer necessary and, much less, chasing buses until night.

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