June 27, 2010 – June 30, 2010
Our journey from Chivay to Cabanaconde was by local bus. At the station 40/50 colourful people were waiting with large bundles. One had a table and chairs that she had just bought at the market. The ladies wore finely embroidered skirts waistcoats and hats, multicolours on a white background. They looked magnificent but didn't smell quite so good. They spun all the time, waiting for the bus, walking along, a spindle hangs from their right hand while their left winds the ball of wool.
When the bus arrived everyone became agitated and crowded around the bus door, barely letting the people off. We crowded forwards too. Then chaos as the first people got on, it was like water flowing through a funnel, but upwards, up the steps of the bus. Lisa hated being so close to the strange people who jostled, and passed large packages overhead. I could see how distressed she was but could do no more than hold her hand above a stranger's shoulder as she climbed on ahead of me. At last we were inside, but there were no seats. 2 and a half hours along bumpy roads, mostly in the dark, hanging from the handles and trying not to damage anybody's belongings.
Towards the end of the journey the road got worse and worse. The bus lurched horribly, rolling from side to side and started to shake and rattle. The only way Will could stand upright was to put his head out through a skylight in the roof. Predictably a wave of nausea hit me. Harry and Lisa were very kind and helped me to manouvre to be next to Will, and then I just snuggled into his chest while he held me up and kept a breeze from the skylight directed on my face. I had my eyes closed and kept telling myself, 'only a few more minutes'. Just when I could take no more (I had put my face into an empty crisp packet to catch what I felt was about to come up), the bus stopped at Cabanaconde, much to everyone's relief, and we tumbled out onto the dry dust street to find the welcoming open door of Pachamama Backpacker Hostal with its comforting choice of 60s and 70s rock music, the Stones, the Doors, Marc Bolan and some blues and jazz thrown in. 'I love this place" said Lisa and we all breathed a sigh of relief.