Hurray for meds and pedialyte!!! Piper is on the mend! Today marked something of a special but also scary day for us, it would be forever known as Day 1, AJ (“after Joaquin”). Could we handle the ups and downs of travel in all of our gong show glory? Would we survive truly winging it in the classic Plavins style? Time would only tell, but first, a 36-hour bus ride!!! Are we ready, gang?! I said, ARE WE READY?!


Saffy and her Dad looking like turtles weighed down with all our crap.


Big. Ass. Bus.

36 hours. No, I’m not kidding. Yes, it’s a big ass bus. Yes, I did google flights to Lima, Peru. No, I was not prepared to spend 4 x as much to fly there when we could have an “educational adventure” instead! Yes, I sound just like my father ~ Dad, are you seeing the influence my childhood is having?!

Cruz Del Sur. $150/U.S. each, departing Quito at 11:00 am and promising an on-time arrival to Lima, Peru circa 9:40 pm the following day. We sprung for the VIP section which boasted extra leg room, reclining seats, individual TVs and wifi. Here are a few PRE “tear-my-hair-out-when-will-this-ever-end” selfies:


Me and Commander Plavins prior to him deciding to change seats. Apparently I was “annoying” him.


Girls looking super pumped about the educational experience we’re about to have!!

The Goods ~ as polled by 4 participating Plavins:

  1. Super comfy seats!
  2. They reclined almost 160 degrees. Lots of legroom, too!
  3. Individual little TVs so we could entertain ourselves along the way.
  4. Stunning scenery. Pics to follow.
  5. We received *some* food. That is a positive.

The Bads ~ as polled by said Plavins’:

  1. WAY TOO LONG!!!
  2. Did not stop for more than 6-8 minutes, went for long 6-8 hours stretches at a time.
  3. Very autocratic (jerks! says Saffy) about us getting our butts back on the bus.
  4. No wifi, which meant that Sam’s desire to research the next leg of the trip and also book a place to stay in Lima was foiled. Which meant that she stewed and worried. Which meant that she got a big fat headache. Which resulted in her annoying her husband.
  5. Not one drop of water available on the bus! Only coke.
  6. Having to guess what this greenish-yellow “Inca Cola” stuff was made of.
  7. Almost left without Alvi despite my begging and pleading while he wandered for Agua.

But we survived! And this was some of the breathtaking landscape we passed along the way. Who knew that Peru was such a dichotomy: the Andes, the Pacific Ocean, rain forest, and desert!


Taken in a moving bus. So barren and desolate. This is Peru.


Check out the sand dunes, dude.


This is what greeted us after hour 18.


Anyone want to runaway here?


Gorgeous sunset in the last hours of our journey. PanAmerican Highway hugging the Pacific Ocean.

We arrived 1.5 hours late to Lima and after getting our bags and a taxi, we managed to find our way to a sweet, quiet little hostel in the Miraflores area of town. Thank goodness because we were stinky, cranky, tired, thirsty, constipated, achy and absolutely over the moon to finally be here!


First glimpse of Lima circa 10:50pm on Sunday July 3rd.