I don’t remember why we didn’t take the bus, but while trying to figure out a mode of transport from Puno to Arequipa, one of our group of seven inquired at the front desk of our hotel if we could hire a van to drive us. After a few phone calls, they set us up with a ride. Driving would be much faster than the bus and they weren’t even going to charge us that much. So we hit the road with the driver and his daughter.
Five hours passed, that’s about how long the bus would’ve taken, but this guy was letting all the buses and the trucks pass him. We realized too late that this man did not have a permit to drive us, he was just simply going to meet his family for a small reunion in Arequipa and he had the means to get us there. That explains why every checkpoint stop took an extremely long time to get through and why it took us eight hours to get from Puno to Arequipa – he didn’t want to break any traffic laws and get in trouble for driving us.
At the time, we were a bit frustrated and desperate to be out exploring a new city instead of riding in a painfully slow van. But we can laugh about it now, right guys?