Catch It, Then Ride It

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February 6th 2010
Published: June 16th 2017
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On the RoadOn the RoadOn the Road

The bus windows were too fogged up to see much, but we could tell we were climbing all the way from Bariloche and every now and then we'd get a glimpse of forest or river or canyon. We were really getting into some gorgeous country.
Geo: -41.9667, -71.5167

This is El Bolson, tucked in between two towering snow draped mountain ranges close enough to touch. It's been raining all day off an on--mostly on, but now and then the clouds will thin and you can see gargantuan mountain peaks.

But let me tell you first about getting here.

We get to a bus terminal and it's a matter of who guesses best. How do you find the right bus?
In Bariloche there's only about 5 carriers--that cuts it down from the 50 or so in Cordoba or Buenos Aires.

Is it this bus? It's a Via Bariloche--right brand--it says Buenos Aires, but we've learned not to trust what the bus says...

No, not that bus--really is Buenos Aires.

The next one? No, that's Buenos Aires too.

Next one? I show my ticket. Yes, says happy boy in white shirt and tie standing at door of bus. Perfecto, he says.

We wait in line, in the rain, to load our suitcases--boy loading bags says, no, we go to Cordoba.

Cordoba? Happy boy said perfecto. I ask happy boy again--oh no, lo siento (so sorry), Norte, he says. Mas tarde (We're going north, yours is later).

We try next Via Barloche bus--I show him my ticket. Si, El Bolson, the driver says. We load bags, get receipt, tip boy, climb on to bus, climb up steep stairs to top deck. Sit.

What is your seat number? a nice lady asks. I show her our ticket--she takes it and shows husband. La misma, she tells hubby. We evidently have the same seats.

Boy in Bolivian ski cap asks to see ticket. Ahhhh, he says. This is 11:30 bus. You have 12:30 bus.

No, it's 12:30 I say, looking at my watch. I'm sure I'm saying this right--I can tell once from doce.

Si, says Bolivian cap boy--es 12:30, pero esta es 11:30 bus.

I see I say.

Grab stuff--hike down steep stairs, retrieve bags from luggage compartment (in rain) and stand on platform again.

I ask next Via Bariloche bus--says El Bolson--can't trust them though--I show them my ticket and ask. Si, this bus.

Load bags, get receipt, loading boy wants tip--sorry, no more change, get on bus. Sure hope loading boy doesn't throw our bags off.

And that's how you catch a bus in Argentina.


8th February 2010

Too bad we can't operate like this on an airplane......teeeheeeheee....
9th February 2010

We're taking so stinkin' many buses this trip I REALLY hope I get this figured out. But it's so weird. Sometimes they post where they're going and sometimes they just forget. How do all these other people find the right ones? I don't get it

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