Back Home To Colorado July 13th to July 14th
Brian and I boarded the Movil Tours bus at 12:45 (15 dollars/person for first class), Thursday, July 13th. As Chris had mentioned we were careful to check our bags only through to the first stop in Lima. Realizing that we would have a LONG time before we actually got home we had been sure to each fortify a 1.5 liter bottle of Coke with a small bottle of rum.  In this manner we hoped to sleep, at least part of, the 38 or so hours it would take us to get back to our houses.

While the guys in Lima had been pretty anal about checking our bag weight and charging us, the people in Huaraz didn't bother (good for us we were 20 kilos over) and we ended up paying no over charges for the bus ride back.

The ride on the bus went quite smoothly and we were happy to have upgraded our seats from those we had on the Cruz Del Sur bus in the beginning. The only way to describe these seats is to liken them to Barco Loungers.  Each seat reclined almost to a lying position and had a generous footrest. The ride from Huaraz to Lima featured a few awful films on small tv's which (other than Agent Cody Banks 2) we mostly ignored.  Brian dozed some while I mostly read through a crappy John Saul novel I had paid 10 soles for.  The only downside to the ride was the noisy Peruvian rich guy behind us.  I think that you can gauge the personal income of Peruvians by their loudness.  Fortunately he shut up when cell phone reception stopped being available.

Going Home
The bus ride back was much smoother than the one to Huaraz as the darkness hid much of the huge cliffs and great expanses of sand and rock that appeared to be waiting to sweep us off the road and Brian was too tired to talk about all the ways we might die from said occurrences.  We pulled into the bus station around 9:00 and were promptly approached by a cab driver who offered to take us to the airport for 25 soles.  Upon arriving at the airport (9:30) we were informed that we could not check our baggage until ~4:00 AM.  

We stopped briefly at a local bar for a couple beers where we met an American backpacker whose grand plan involved harvesting hallucinogenic secretions from toads in Arizona to fund his travels.  He didn't seem to know quite when or where or how to execute his plan but was relatively confident in its success. At some point a little girl wandered by to sell candy, the American, being a sucker for kids, paid a sole for a few pieces of hard candy, me, hating kids but being a sucker for candy, paid a sole for the candy.  After the little girl left I turned to the American, bid him good luck and  set out for dinner with Brian.

After a bit of hauling 200 lbs of stuff around and a quick bite from McDonalds (punctuated by hordes of irritating, noisy, American missionaries) we decided against moving around much more and went off in search of a place to sleep.

We were fortunate to find a nice little recess in front of two doors where we pulled out our sleeping pads, made an L around our gear (theft in Lima is an issue), and lay down.  I spent a little while reading before falling asleep.  Our nap was interrupted several times by cleaners, gawkers, and, for no apparent reason, a marching band practicing at 2:00 AM.   When 4:00 AM rolled around we blearily opened our eyes, moved out of the way for someone who needed to use the doors we were blocking, and headed to check our baggage.  

After about an hour of  checking baggage, a slight scare that Brian's Coca liquor had been discovered (they didn't end up caring), passing through security, and showing our tickets and passports about 20 times we found ourselves finally waiting at the gate.

The plane ride to Miami from Lima went smoothly and we arrived around 1:00 PM. As the featured film was '8 Below' I decided to sleep for most of the flight. On the whole I slept quite well and was way too exhausted to be bothered overmuch by being on an airplane.  Upon arriving in Miami we passed through customs, had our Rum and Coke spotted by a beagle, and went in search of more reading material for the final flight.  Passing customs for US citizens was  a breeze, we went through the fast lines, joked with the agents, and effectively walked through the process.  Once past customs, we headed to a restaurant where we hung out for several hours drinking and playing cards.  When it was 7:00 we headed to our gate and waited a short while before boarding the plane.  

On the plane Brian bought the last round of snacks and drinks and we then both passed out until shortly before arriving in Denver around 10:30 Friday the 14th, July, 2006.

Once in Denver we headed over to baggage, met Jen and headed home.  I unpacked everything that night while Brian waited for his girlfriend to pick him up, we said our goodbyes, and then, after 38 or so hours of travelling, I went to sleep.  

It was a grand adventure but it is a LONG, LONG way between Boulder and Huaraz.  As much as I thought I wouldn't want to do it again in the beginning all I can think of now is the next trip (Jen will have to be on this one).

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