sobota, 14 kwietnia 2007
It took us all night to get to Arica at the ocean. A bus is very comfortable. You have to admit that the road transport in Chile or even in Peru is of a much higher standard in comparison to the Polish one. At the station in Arica we are picked up by a driver who takes us through the border to Tacna in Peru.
In Tacna we are taken over by a nice English-speaking friend of our driver who accompanies us through all day till our bus departures to Lima. She helps us to find some place where we can have breakfast, assists me in picking a hat (I’ve always wanted to get one from a distant country) and finally she has a beer with us. For all of this I thank our charming Lizeth.
Tacna is a city with population of nearly 350,000. It’s situated 35 km from the Chilean border. As I found out from the Spanish Wikipedia, the official name of this city is San Pedro de Tacna. The city is well renowned since the Independence War. In 1828, the president José de La Mar bestowed on this city the title of Primera Ciudad Heroica del Perú! After the Pacific War, for almost 50 years, Tacna was occupied by Chile; however, in spite of a relentless propaganda and something what you can call a “Chileanisation” ;-), the citizens of Tacna once again proved their patriotism and, despite of all endeavours, Tacna was won back by Peru. In the same war, Bolivia lost its access to the sea; not to mention the fact that when Bolivians started the war with Chile, they didn’t even have the navy!
I will no longer write at length about this conflict which, anyway, casts a shadow over the neighbourly relations. I remember when I spoke about it with Lenin on our way to Salcantay; our conversation started when I mentioned about our conflicts with Germany (as a matter of fact, we were accompanied by German women). Lenin told us that Peruvians still reproach occupiers for the war during which Chilean armies plundered the capital itself; and it’s been 120 years since the war ended. Anyway, if you’re interested in this subject I recommend the supplementary works.
We don’t have much time to stay here, our bus to Lima leaves at 2 P.M.; we’re going to travel all day and night but the worst thing is that our journey is drawing to an end.
On our way we are stopped by two security checks, while during the second one we have to pull out our entire luggage! Just as if we were crossing the border! I have no idea what purpose this could serve. Well, what else can I write... See you in Lima, buenas noches for the last time.