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Published: March 22nd 2012
The road to Bonito
From the window of the bus
If anyone wonders why we try to upgrade from camping in tents to a hotel/hostel double room with shower and toilet, today is a very good reason. Had to be ready to leave at 4.45 am and who wants to stuff a sleeping bag into its stuff bag, a mat into its stuff bag and a pillow into its stuff bag and sort ourselves out for the day in the dark purely with torchlight and finally, take down and pack up a dirty damp (on the outside) tent into its bag and cart it with all the rest of our baggage to the bus before bumbling in the dark to the (not always clean) communal facilities several metres away?
Bus finally drove off at 5.30am - 30 minutes later than planned as organising everything and everyone at that time of the morning is never easy...............
A long, long journey through sunrise and sunset with several stops on the way - including a breakfast stop at 9.00 am at an out of town bakery where we bought 3 cups of coffee each to the amusement of the owner who couldn't quite understand why we needed three cups and the second
The road to Bonito
Driving into the sunset
one was free! We bought some biscuits which we later shared out throughout the bus......
Breakfast was fruits and bread, ham and cheese supplied by the hostel as we left too early to take breakfast there. Lunch stop was in a village with a supermarket where we bought cold drinks (a welcome change from the warm treated water available on the bus constantly). A journalist and photographer were so intrigued that the Dragoman truck stopped in their town that they came out to interview us and take photos for the local paper - fame at last!!
Scenery fairly unspectacular with huge green fields and eventual gently rolling green fields and forests. No main roads to speak of as we were crossing country and most of the roads quite slow A and B roads with speed bumps at various intervals where the bus slows to a virtual stop. Fifteen hours after the start (including breaks) we arrived at Bonito.
It would appear that all over South America, there are police stops along the main roads at varying intervals who stop traffic somewhat seemingly at random. Mostly, we have been waived through with a smile but occasionally, we have been asked to stop and boarded by police who seem to want to see passports despite having been shown a passenger list with details of everyone's passports. We are not sure what they are actually looking for but it seems to depend on what time of day it is and how bored the police are whether we get stopped or not!!!
Stopped in the town centre for people to use the ATM and then onto the hostel slightly out of town. Limited food available unless we wanted to walk back into town (20 minutes) and although it was only 8.30 pm local time, somewhere along the way, crossing the state border, the clocks went back an hour..........
All the group ate at the hostel last night as we were all awaiting information from the hostel guy about activities on offer the following day. There was snorkelling available in clear river water 55 kms away which is the main tourist attraction for Bonito. However, the price was the equivalent of 60 GBP each which we thought was quite high and neither of us were that much bothered. Seems to be a nice swimming pool here at the hostel and will be quite happy to relax tomorrow.
Recently built room with private facilities 50 metres away across the road from the main block. The only downside is that there is no air-conditioning - just a fan. Luckily this one does not wobble on its base and does not look like it might decapitate us in the middle of the night. (We think we have watched too many 'Final Destination' films).
And so to bed.
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