Planes, trains and automobiles…
… and motorcycles, buses, rickshaws.
Over the past 4.5 months, i have taken a wide variety of public transportation options. From auto-ricksaws to cycle-rickshaws to motorcycles. Trains are hands-down my favorite. There is nothing like watching the India countryside speed by while sipping a hot cup of chai. But, the buses have been the most varied.
From the first buses that Katherine and I took in Nepal — the microbuses that were hot and crowded. Then we found the public buses that were also hot and crowded, but these had a whole of people on the roofs. My first bus in India tooked like it was on its last wheel and people had to get out each time the bus stalled to push it to pop the clutch. And I could see the ground through the 4-speed gear shaft. And did I mention how comfortable the seats were? Ha. And that was the ‘express’ bus that I got scammed for.
But buses in argentina are a whole new world. I unfortunately do not have any pictures, but let me describe them to you. First off, they are double deckers. Secondly, there are a gazillion companies and various options for travel. Since Beth and I were traveling overnight, we took the ‘cama’ – which is not the most delux, but not the worst, either.
In cama, there are just 3 seats across (two, then aisle, then one). So, the seats are bigger, wider, plush. comfortable. they play movies (mostly american films with spanish subtitles). there is free coffee that you can drink all day. there is a bathroom. they serve you food. I got wine the other night. yeah, this ain’t no greyhound.
Though the buses are expensive, everyone takes them – there is a good mix of Argentines and tourists on the buses. The buses travel all over the country, though it takes awhile. For instance, we traveled from Southern Patagonia up to Mendoza and over the course of 3 days (left at 4 in the afternoon and got to Mendoza around 7:30 two days later) we were on a bus or in a bus station for close to 50 hours! Fairly insane.
Argentina is big, there are a lot of sheep and lots and lots of prickly plants.
A quick note about food….
I cane from the land of amazing food (that land would be india and thailand and vietnam) — so the food here had high expectations to live up to. I am so so so sorry to say that it failed miserably. Argentines eat an amazing amount of bread and meat. With not a whole lot of flavor. The other day, on the bus, we had a total of 5 different bread products. with meat. it definitely leaves a bit to be desired….
next post…. our so very exciting plans for the nest few days! 🙂