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!