Bus Narcolepsy – 1 of 3

Since we are in South America for 3 months, we are doing vagabonding the poor mans way.  That means little to no flights, and lots and lots of buses.  Lucky for us, we have developed the beneficial disease commonly known as ‘Jon drools on his shirt,’ more formally known as ‘Bus Narcolepsy.’  We plop heavily in those bus seats, with our valuables in small backpacks stuffed between our legs, and then wake up at our destination (we hope). As of today, we are officially 1 month in – so it’s time to post a few stats.

Number of bus rides taken – 12

Total hours spent in buses – 54 hours

Longest Bus Ride to Date – 21 hours

Best bus story – Dan gets food poisoning halfway through 7 hour trip

I must elaborate on the last point.  A few days ago (Sunday, to be specific), we packed up our jazz and caught a 2:15 bus from Tilcara to the Bolivian border – about a 3 hour bus ride.  2 hours in, Dan starts to turn a very light shade of green.  He begins to sweat, burp, and has that look of slight panic in his eyes that a dog gets when he thinks he is going to be trapped in a hot car with nowhere to relieve himself.  We get off at the border, a bathroom is found, and we walk the half-mile to the Border, only to find out that we need to pay $135 visa, and in US dollars, which of course we are not allowed to retrieve from any ATMs in Argentina.  Luckily for us, it was Sunday, and all the banks were closed, so our food poisoned friend had to walk up and down a labyrinth of streets, until we finally found an ATM.  After paying the BOHICA fee, we caught a very tight bus (luggage on our laps), crammed into small seats with young kids grossly slurping helatina (some nasty form of green jello) right behind us.  Dan turns a darker shade of green.

Over the next one and a half hours, Dan turns to me a few times, teeth chattering, saying things like ‘how can there not be a bathroom on this bus,’ ‘I’m not going to make it,’ ‘Bolivia sucks,’ and ‘If I go down, you know that you’re sitting right next to me. I’m bringing you down with me.’  Somehow he managed to hold it, we de-boarded the burp mobile, and found our hotel (read: not hostel! Yay!) for the night.  I checked us in while Dan waged war against the porcelain wizard through a very thin door right next to the reception.  Though the food poisoning only lasted about 20 hours, we have decided that for the rest of our time here, charcoal tablets and toilet paper are our new best friends.


One thought on “Bus Narcolepsy – 1 of 3

  1. Adam R

    Dan, it’s probably better that this happened now and you got it over with because you know that you could not come home without a story of some hilarious gastro-intestinal disaster. Maybe this even leaves you enough time for two or three.


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