This was the day this girl was not looking forward to: the road trip. Seeing how on the go these two have been for the past few weeks, sitting still on a bus for 9 hours was going to be a challenge. Of course, their travel guru Sulilvan would never fail them, and as this girl and that guy boarded the two story bus in Cusco they settled in to the best seats in the house (well, bus): front row with a view! Imagine the top of the bus with the entire front being a window! Who could ask for a better way to travel?
To this girl's surprise (after the amazing VIP seating!) there would be many stops along the bus ride, giving passengers a chance to get out and explore parts of Peru they otherwise would miss out on! First stop was the Sistine Chapel of America, a massive church full of ornate structures and artwork, along with a little market to purchase snacks and gifts. The next stop, and that guy's favorite of the bus ride, was at Raqchi, a town where the villagers still use the terraces from the Incas, with a tour of the ruins and time to spend in the plaza. Not only did that guy get an endless supply of Inca Kola on the bus, but also a lunch in Sicuani, where a few trips were made to the buffet line! Next up was the town of Puncara, where they marveled at not only the artifacts in the Museum of Pucara Incan Aymara, but also an old church, full of hidden corners and secret stairways. The last and final stop of this journey before the destination of Puno was La Raya, which offered views of the glacier snow capped Andes rising high above alpaca farms.
The journey came to an end at the bus terminal in Puno, where a driver was waiting to escort this girl and that guy to their hotel for the evening. The two tired travelers were going to stay in for the evening, but upon driving through the town this girl perked up and started consulting her travel book for places of interest! They dropped off their bags at the hotel and set out on a mission to find Tulipans, a cozy restaurant with a menu ranging from cuy to vegan burgers! After yet another delicious meal (how will they ever survive without Peruvian cuisine?!) they wondered aimlessly around the streets of Puno, meandering in and out of shops, exploring sights and people watching. This girl looked around and realized she somehow became to see Peru as not a foreign country, but rather someplace she felt comfortable and secure. She even left her camera at the hotel! This is always the best moment for a traveler; then their surroundings stop being foreign and instead feel like home. This girl and that guy strolled down the street not as a couple on vacationing, but two people simply enjoying their evening.
Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind. Seneca