Friday, November 7, 2008

Trip Ends

Monday 11th August to 17th August

52 hours on a coach!! 52 HOURS

I didn't want the expense and hassle of a flight back to Buenos Aires, and I knew a coach ride would not be fun. But.....

I could cope with the clapped out death trap of a bus for 16 hours to get to the Argentine border....
I could cope with the corrugated roads that give the back a work out to make the most sadistic chiropractor proud....
I could even cope with the window at my side that continually vibrated open to allow a minus 15 degree gale force wind to blow direct in my face....
And the 4 hour border crossing at five in the morning....

But 6 whole series of "Stairway to Heaven". Yes 6 series of a Chilean soap opera revolving solely round a Chinese family. This is a family that marries, argues, fights, divorces and gets re-married, then divorced again, sometimes in a single half hour episode. All in Spanish and all at top volume.... Repeated for 36 episodes. Somebody shoot me!!

To cap it all - I spend 6 untroubled months in South America, to finally develop stomach problems and diarrhea as I get on the bus. A bus with no toilet!!! No problem - just hang on for bathroom breaks.... until the bus breaks down, and after road side repairs, no more stops are allowed to catch up time!!! Aaaaargghhhh.

I overdose on Imodium. And my insides set solid.

The bus terminates on the outskirts of BA, and I am stranded with about 18 miles to go. Helpful bus staff inform me - ride to station, take train to underground, take underground to second train, take second train to BA centre, take third train out. No problem until I descend 3 flights of stairs to an underground that does not allow bikes. I then carry bike and gear back up 3 flights of stairs!!

And ride through rush hour BA... to have my first accident on tour. An errant taxi driver who tries to kill me by cutting across my lane and I make tyre imprints in his door panel. Seriously peeved by the last 2 days of bus travel and his lack of driving skills.... we communicate. Normally passive I am moved to threaten adding knuckle imprints to his angry face. A man of wisdom, he sees the ragged, maniacal glint in my eye - and retreats. Wise decision, stairway to heaven has me unhinged!

Finally the train station, a short ride and a warm welcome back at a good friend, Mick's place where my trip began sooooo long ago. Many thanks go to Mick and apologies for pretty much sleeping a 4 day visit away. 4 days of recuperation, then the flight home and tour's end.....

4 comments:

heather said...

well, congratulations on your trip, altho I am confused as to the jump to Vancouver, and then the Chapter 2 part.

Are you Canadian, or what?

(I am the person with the website, knapdalepeople.com, with the section on Castle Sween...

Daniel said...

... I'm a leazy cyclist, but cycling is better then this, I think. The first meters in Ecuador are no fun.
See more north.
Daniel

Sween in SAmerica said...

Hi Heather.

Yeah the Canada jump. I got home and decided I just wasn't ready for civilization yet. So I took a month, then flew with my girlfriend to start the next leg. I'm English, from Manchester by the way....

How's my castle doing? Keep the drawbridge down for when I get back...

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