Thursday, November 02, 2006

Bus experience

The old grasshopper was ready to consume us. That was the thought going through our minds, when we found our bus at the station in Uyuni: A small (20 seat) green and yellow thing with curly antennas looking like feelers and red lights making it out for the eyes…

We were heading for Potosi and 6 hours suddenly felt like a long ride as we squeezed into the out-of-order-almost-and-therefore-almost-horizontal-leaned seats leaving absolutely no room for our European legs. The real charm was the fact that the whole trip is on dirt road!

The driver was not in a hurry. He took his time stopping whenever a local was standing in the side of the road asking for a ride. Soon the aisle was crowded with people sitting on the floor.
The road too was crowded – with huge flocks they were scattered around near the small water pools we passed on the way. They couldn’t really bother less about the bus, and a big hunk from the driver was necessary to keep us going.
Despite the water pools, the landscape seemed hostile and ungrateful. Not much vegetation and we wondered were all the Bolivians are living, not passing any houses for ages.

Our real favourite moment though is bound to be when the bus broke down… or to put it more precisely: the crank shaft fell of. The drivers went out to take a look, with all the passengers still locked in. After ten minutes, the driver locked us out and we knew this could take a while…
Impressed by the drivers mechanical skills we sat down and watched the show, in the middle of nowhere with the sun burning. It was first when they started to use a hammer, Henrik got worried, but actually that was when they succeeded in fitting the shaft back again.

The rest of the trip went smoothly and we ended up being only 1,5 hours late...


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