South American Bus Journey
I normally wouldn't write about things as mundane as a bus journey, but as far as bus journeys go this was reasonably entertaining (or not!)
Paul left on Monday, and not really wanting to spend much more time in Santiago, I decided to book myself a bus ticket to Buenos Aires for Tuesday Morning. The bus route was that I took one bus to Mendoza, just over the Argentinian border, and then connected with another bus which would take me the rest of the way.
When booking the Mendoza bus, there were two available, one leaving at 08:30am and one leaving at 10:00. I thought I would get the early one as this would mean that I had time to cover any delays and that I might be able to have a look round Mendoza aswell.
Well, you can almost guess what happened can't you....The 08:30 bus doesn't turn up until 10am. I had asked which platform it was going from in Spanish, and so I was very worried that I had misunderstood - I would have been even more worried, but for the fact that there were 40 other Chileans huffing and puffing around me!
You can probably guess the next bit aswell. I was sat next to a Chilean lady and her 2 year old Chilean boy, who screached out the window at everything that moved. I thought he was in real pain, it took me a while to realise that he was just excited at seeing another bus - and believe me there were a lot of buses that he was excited about!!
We got about 3 hours into the 8 hour journey the bus spluttered and stopped - for no apparent reason. The bus driver pulled over, and then we saw the smoke.... It appeared that the bus had overheated and wasn't going anywhere again (probably ever)!
The bus drivers came up and told us not to worry, as they were going to send another bus for us... from Santiago.
So here we all were, sat by the side of the road, in blazing hot sunshine, with the little boy still screaching about buses. He did quiten down when I gave him my walkman to listen to - he was fascinated!
After 3 and a half hours the next bus came along and off we went. The border crossing passed without problem and we arrived in mendoza 5 hours late - an hour and a half after my Buenos Aires bus had left!
The bus company were not completely useless though, as they had bought the few remaining tickets on the last bus to Buenos Aires - leaving at 9:30pm. It was, however, the oldest banger that you have seen in your life! Having said that, it did take 12 hours before it broke down!
Luckily, the driver had obviously had this type of problem with his bus numerous times before, and knew exactly how to fix it - It only took him half an hour!
All that being said, I am now safely in Buenos Aires, but I might leave the exploring until I have more energy tomorrow!