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Published: January 28th 2009
Have you ever sat on a bus for 19 hours straight? The thought of it probably makes you sick? Well, this is because you’ve never tried it in Argentina. It’s 1600 KM from Buenos Aires to Bariloche. Most of the drive is through the flat lands of La Pampa. There are three classes of tickets you can buy, cama, semi-cama, and cama suite. It was only $20 USD more for the “suite” so we took it. Much to my pleasure, and soon to be terror, we were given the two seats in the very front, on the upper level. Oh ya’ baby.
The view was spectacular, but unfortunately we could see everything. As I explained earlier they drive, um…different than we do in Alaska. When sitting in the back of the bus you can see only the vegetation and terrain out the side window. There is no need to question the sanity of the driver. Up front it is quite different. This was our first opportunity to see what was actually happening on the road, and it left a lasting impression. Its’ is official…we drive like pansies in the US.
They served a good dinner with excellent wine and
showed a couple of movies, and provided nice clean pillows and blankets because our seats were soft, and they fully reclined into beds. I actually slept-in the following morning and the bus never stopped. We just rolled for 19 hrs with a few 5 minute stops at various terminals. To be honest, I could have gone another 10 hours, it was great. I do not know if the bus could have gone much further because we never stopped for fuel. Maybe the whole bottom of the bus is full of fuel mainly for ballast, and secondly for combustion just so the whole doggone monstrosity doesn’t tip-over while passing semi trucks, on blind corners, up hill.
Now a little story and then back to Bariloche: Two years ago, in April of 2006, I flew up the Powell glacier looking for 4 skiers scheduled to be picked up at noon. The weather was deteriorating and I took the flight earlier than scheduled hoping to arrive before the white-out, wind, and falling snow. I flew up the glacier as far as I could in the given conditions before turning around. I didn’t see anyone. I had hoped they would descend out
They are much more interesting on the 2nd floor.
of the clouds to an elevation that would be reasonable for landing but it appeared that they had stayed high on the glacier. Frusterated by the expensive waste of av-gas I returned home with an empty Super-cub.
I landed at the house in time to catch the phone ringing. It was one of the skiers on the sattelite phone asking, “Why the heck didn’t you land, you flew right over us.” Ahhh’… the not-so heroic life of a “bush pilot”.
On one of my 5 trips off the glacier later that day I had the pleasure of meeting Maria from Argentina. She explained to me, as we were flying, that she ran a little school in Bariloche, Argentina called “Spanish in the Mountains” (Spanishinthemountains.com) and that we would be welcome anytime. It’s a good thing she was serious because we arrived on the January 16th with very little warning.
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