But Seriously Guys, This Bus Is Really Bad

 

Day two on the three day bus ride from Buenos Aires to Lima.

I’ve discovered a number of things today about travel and about myself.

First, even if you pack a whole lot of dried apple slices, almonds and walnuts, with a few granola bars for flavor, there’s no way you can avoid buying snack food when the bus stops at a small town or checkpoint to refuel. You’re simply just so happy to be walking around ON YOUR OWN FEET that you can’t help but want to celebrate. Lay’s for everyone (the potato chip…this isn’t that kind of celebration)! Alfajores? Don’t mind if I do!

Good thing I’m walking around so much. Oh wait.

I also learned that alpacas are fuzzy in a way that sheep only wish they could be.

Also, Chilean checkpoints take forever no matter where you try to cross from Argentina. I crossed once on my way down to Ushuaia, and both times it’s taken literally hours to get a bus full of maybe 30 people through the line, their passports stamped, even when rushed to the front of the queue.

The logisticis of this are boggling to me…I’ll report back if I’m able to figure out how they’ve mastered the art of the time warp so thoroughly as to make it part of their border-entry process.

Northern Argentina looks a whole lot like Arizona, so if you’re wanting to make the journey from the US, save some doloresvand just head down there. Another similarity: many stops don’t have running water or restrooms.

Possibly the most disturbing thing that I discovered today relates to the bus I’m riding in itself.

It turns out there is a spare driver kept in one of the baggage compartments.

To help paint a mental picture of why this is so strange, the luggage is in a small compartment under the floor of the bus. While we were stopped at the Chilean border this guy just popped right out and I thought ‘Holy hell, there was a guy who got stuck in there and he’s been there the whole time! He’s got to be happy to be alive!’ I peeked in the compartment and saw a pillow and a blanket…I guess this is common with this calibre of bus company.

And even knowing how common it probably is, all I keep thinking is: that compartment is, like, right under the urinal.

I guess my seat isn’t so bad in comparison!

42 comments

  1. Colin, I must say I love the way you narrate all this journey. It’s inspiring in a very weird way. By the way great picture too.

    I do agree that bus sounds horrible, but the extra driver is somewhat a not so rare thing. I think the bus you are riding is similar to the very cheap ones you can ride here. On those there is no space for the second driver. So they do what you describe.

    In the more modern buses, the second driver has a spot by the regular one near the door (I bet you have seen this). Which seems a lot more comfortable.

    I always thought being a bus driver was not exactly a great job. Of course I may be proven wrong, but your story just makes me remember that.

    Good luck!, you are almost there man!

  2. Colin, I must say I love the way you narrate all this journey. It’s inspiring in a very weird way. By the way great picture too.

    I do agree that bus sounds horrible, but the extra driver is somewhat a not so rare thing. I think the bus you are riding is similar to the very cheap ones you can ride here. On those there is no space for the second driver. So they do what you describe.

    In the more modern buses, the second driver has a spot by the regular one near the door (I bet you have seen this). Which seems a lot more comfortable.

    I always thought being a bus driver was not exactly a great job. Of course I may be proven wrong, but your story just makes me remember that.

    Good luck!, you are almost there man!

  3. Colin, I must say I love the way you narrate all this journey. It’s inspiring in a very weird way. By the way great picture too.

    I do agree that bus sounds horrible, but the extra driver is somewhat a not so rare thing. I think the bus you are riding is similar to the very cheap ones you can ride here. On those there is no space for the second driver. So they do what you describe.

    In the more modern buses, the second driver has a spot by the regular one near the door (I bet you have seen this). Which seems a lot more comfortable.

    I always thought being a bus driver was not exactly a great job. Of course I may be proven wrong, but your story just makes me remember that.

    Good luck!, you are almost there man!

  4. Colin, I must say I love the way you narrate all this journey. It’s inspiring in a very weird way. By the way great picture too.

    I do agree that bus sounds horrible, but the extra driver is somewhat a not so rare thing. I think the bus you are riding is similar to the very cheap ones you can ride here. On those there is no space for the second driver. So they do what you describe.

    In the more modern buses, the second driver has a spot by the regular one near the door (I bet you have seen this). Which seems a lot more comfortable.

    I always thought being a bus driver was not exactly a great job. Of course I may be proven wrong, but your story just makes me remember that.

    Good luck!, you are almost there man!

  5. haha after living in Mexico for a few years, it is common to keep a spare driver in a luggage compartment. They make a bed up there and everything. That way the get some shut-eye before their next turn!

  6. haha after living in Mexico for a few years, it is common to keep a spare driver in a luggage compartment. They make a bed up there and everything. That way the get some shut-eye before their next turn!

  7. haha after living in Mexico for a few years, it is common to keep a spare driver in a luggage compartment. They make a bed up there and everything. That way the get some shut-eye before their next turn!

  8. So was this Alpaca just kind of wandering around? Or was he on the bus as well? :-)
    Love the bus stories – can hardly wait to hear all about them in person – take care!

  9. So was this Alpaca just kind of wandering around? Or was he on the bus as well? :-)
    Love the bus stories – can hardly wait to hear all about them in person – take care!

  10. So was this Alpaca just kind of wandering around? Or was he on the bus as well? :-)
    Love the bus stories – can hardly wait to hear all about them in person – take care!

  11. So was this Alpaca just kind of wandering around? Or was he on the bus as well? :-)
    Love the bus stories – can hardly wait to hear all about them in person – take care!

  12. Colin,

    Haha, that does seem really strange. G’thing you didn’t make any comments out loud “You must be so happy to be alive!”

    Your stories are entertaining to read, so keep it up!

  13. Colin,

    Haha, that does seem really strange. G’thing you didn’t make any comments out loud “You must be so happy to be alive!”

    Your stories are entertaining to read, so keep it up!

  14. Colin,

    Haha, that does seem really strange. G’thing you didn’t make any comments out loud “You must be so happy to be alive!”

    Your stories are entertaining to read, so keep it up!

  15. Colin,

    Haha, that does seem really strange. G’thing you didn’t make any comments out loud “You must be so happy to be alive!”

    Your stories are entertaining to read, so keep it up!

  16. @Oscar: Yeah, I guess save those pennies where you can…

    @Alejandro: Ah, I didn’t know how common this was, but if you’ve seen it too, it’s probably more widespread than most people would like to think! Thanks for the info!

    @Robert: Thanks, Robert! Keep on keeping on brother!

    @Nate: Thanks brother!

    @Greg: Pretty wild, right? I was just shocked to see that guy pop out of there.

    @molly: Won’t be long now! I’ll regale you with allllll the stories I can think of. And yeah, the alpaca was just wandering around at one of the border crossings (I think into Chile). He was friendly and super soft (and wearing some kind of necklace).

    @Rob: Haha, indeed!

    @Moon: Thanks Moon!

  17. @Oscar: Yeah, I guess save those pennies where you can…

    @Alejandro: Ah, I didn’t know how common this was, but if you’ve seen it too, it’s probably more widespread than most people would like to think! Thanks for the info!

    @Robert: Thanks, Robert! Keep on keeping on brother!

    @Nate: Thanks brother!

    @Greg: Pretty wild, right? I was just shocked to see that guy pop out of there.

    @molly: Won’t be long now! I’ll regale you with allllll the stories I can think of. And yeah, the alpaca was just wandering around at one of the border crossings (I think into Chile). He was friendly and super soft (and wearing some kind of necklace).

    @Rob: Haha, indeed!

    @Moon: Thanks Moon!

  18. @Oscar: Yeah, I guess save those pennies where you can…

    @Alejandro: Ah, I didn’t know how common this was, but if you’ve seen it too, it’s probably more widespread than most people would like to think! Thanks for the info!

    @Robert: Thanks, Robert! Keep on keeping on brother!

    @Nate: Thanks brother!

    @Greg: Pretty wild, right? I was just shocked to see that guy pop out of there.

    @molly: Won’t be long now! I’ll regale you with allllll the stories I can think of. And yeah, the alpaca was just wandering around at one of the border crossings (I think into Chile). He was friendly and super soft (and wearing some kind of necklace).

    @Rob: Haha, indeed!

    @Moon: Thanks Moon!

  19. @Oscar: Yeah, I guess save those pennies where you can…

    @Alejandro: Ah, I didn’t know how common this was, but if you’ve seen it too, it’s probably more widespread than most people would like to think! Thanks for the info!

    @Robert: Thanks, Robert! Keep on keeping on brother!

    @Nate: Thanks brother!

    @Greg: Pretty wild, right? I was just shocked to see that guy pop out of there.

    @molly: Won’t be long now! I’ll regale you with allllll the stories I can think of. And yeah, the alpaca was just wandering around at one of the border crossings (I think into Chile). He was friendly and super soft (and wearing some kind of necklace).

    @Rob: Haha, indeed!

    @Moon: Thanks Moon!

  20. Wonder what happens when the spare bus driver needs to use the bathroom? Poor guy-can someone get this dude a mini book light, at least? As a reader, I am going to vote that you spend an evening riding under the bus, just so you can document all of the weird, random shit that would likely cross your mind. Do you prefer LED or regular bulbs? ;)

  21. Wonder what happens when the spare bus driver needs to use the bathroom? Poor guy-can someone get this dude a mini book light, at least? As a reader, I am going to vote that you spend an evening riding under the bus, just so you can document all of the weird, random shit that would likely cross your mind. Do you prefer LED or regular bulbs? ;)

  22. Wonder what happens when the spare bus driver needs to use the bathroom? Poor guy-can someone get this dude a mini book light, at least? As a reader, I am going to vote that you spend an evening riding under the bus, just so you can document all of the weird, random shit that would likely cross your mind. Do you prefer LED or regular bulbs? ;)

  23. Wonder what happens when the spare bus driver needs to use the bathroom? Poor guy-can someone get this dude a mini book light, at least? As a reader, I am going to vote that you spend an evening riding under the bus, just so you can document all of the weird, random shit that would likely cross your mind. Do you prefer LED or regular bulbs? ;)

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