Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bogota to Cartagena. One bus ride I can't recommend to anyone.

Sometimes buses suck. That's just a fact of life when you are traveling, and I feel like I have done a pretty great job being fairly Zen about it. Just except it and move on. Unfortunately, it's not always that easy. Case in point, the worst bus ride of my life, which I just completed yesterday afternoon, and after telling this story here I never want to think about again. And yes, it involves vomit and feces.

It all started by boarding what was hands down the nicest bus I had ever seen. I mean the seats reclined almost all the way to a bed, and the leg rests were actual LEG rests not just a platform to place your feet. It was like those seats you always see in the first class section of a transcontinental flight, but never get to sit in. Instead, you just keep walking back to your cramped little seat, without the kick-ass leg rests.

And then it began...

The treacherous, winding road turned the ride into a roller coaster, made worse by the pedal-to-the-metal driving style of our conductor. This caused my seat-mate to vomit. Twice. The second time resulting in vomit on the floor, her bag, and, worst of all my bag, all thanks to a leaky plastic bag that just didn't quite do the trick. Thus, for two hours we sat in the aforementioned spewed chunks, waiting for the bus to stop so we could clean everything up.

OK, everything was clean, we had some food and the bus started out again. We could still recover from this. But then the bus broke down. And then we waited on the side of the road for about an hour as the driver tried to fix it, finally we were able to start driving again, only to be forced to change buses an hour later, which would not have been so bad except there were not enough seats on the bus for everyone. By "everyone" I mean myself and a German guy who had come along with us on the ride. And that is how I found myself lying on the floor in the middle of the aisle at the back of the bus, next to the lavatory.

Now, lying on the floor of a bus when you have a twenty hour ride (1l down at this point) is pretty unpleasant, but it was made all the more unpleasant by the fact that the toilet on this particular bus was not flushing, that the bus was not making any rest stops (and thus everyone was using the lavatory), that the sun was starting to rise, that the rising sun meant warmer temperatures, and that warmer temperatures meant a stench that you could not possibly imagine began emanating from the lavatory. Which happened to be where my head was located.

Luckily after a couple of hours I was able to grab a seat and ride out the rest of what turned into a 22 hour ride sitting in front of a kid who decided that he needed to frequently kick the back of my seat as hard as he could in order to exercise his legs. But you know what? After lying on the floor with my head next to the lavatory for two hours it wasn't so bad.

And that was my worst bus ride ever. The End.


Heather said...

That really does sound like the type of bus ride that you never ever EVER want to have to repeat EVER again! Vomit and feces are never a good thing when having to deal with them on a bus...

dee said...

Fleming heck!!! Reading your blog just put me off riding long distances buses when I go to SA (lol).

MultiStreetsSmarts said...

That was funnyyyyy!!!