Diary of a 23 Hour Bus Ride

Puerto Iguazu Travel Blog

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3.00pm - Get on Bus, set up camp with wine bottles and daypack safely stowed at my feet.

3.01pm - Meet Julian the German, who will be sitting next to me for 19 of the next 23 hours. He looks like the 10 year old bastard child of Boris Becker. With a wispy beard.

3.15pm - Tire of talking to Julian the German. Put on earphones and listen to Radiohead instead. Contemplate the many, many hours that lie ahead. Feel a little down.

5.00pm - A terrible, terrible American film about dancing is played on the bus TVs. Miss the title, but it might as well be called The Dirty Flash Last Footloose Coyote Ugly Dance. Watch first 10 minutes. Resolve never to watch another formulaic American film in my life, particularly if it involves dancing and a boy/girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Listen to more Radiohead. Feel fitter, happier, more productive. 

6.30pm - Dinner is served. It consists of unnaturally white bread "filled" with ham and cheese sliced to the thickness of an atom. It tastes like cereal box cardboard. There is also a sweet biscuit which, given the circumstances, is a significant bonus.  

8.00pm - A second terrible, terrible American film is shown, License to Wed with Robin Williams. Mercifully, it´s badly dubbed into Spanish so I only have to endure the occasional involuntary glimpse of the hilarious "physical comedy" that makes up the majority of the plot. Robin Williams really should have stopped after Good Morning Vietnam. Consider the ethics of forced euthanasia for over the hill Hollywood actors. Decide it´s probably a goer. Feel better.

10.00pm - Try to read my new book - it´s somewhat slow and boring after Bonfire of the Vanities. Give up and listen to an alternative rock MP3 compliation instead. Hear You Ought to Know by Alanis Morissette and genuinely enjoy it both for its eloquent bitterness and strong musical content. Check pulse and temperature. Both normal, no fever. Very concerned.           

12.00am - Just as I feel that my left kneecap is about to seize up from inaction, the bus stops and we all pile off for a few swift laps of the petrol station car park. Purchase and consume an icecream lolly on a stick (Flavour: chocolate with unidentifiable crunchy bits). Feel better. Icecream is my God.

12.20am - Get back on bus. Immediately feel worse again. 

1.00am - 7.00am - Try to sleep despite arctic conditions created by the bus´s air conditioning unit. Drift in and out of consciousness. Wake up at one point realising that I have definitely just farted. No comment from Julian the German. Unsure if he is genuinely asleep or just embarassed by my bodily functions. All remaining sleep could accurately be described as fitful.

7.30am - Breakfast is served. It´s plain bread crackers, followed by sweet bread sticks. There is no sign of butter or alternative form of spread. Try to convince myself that it´s all deliciously dry, like a fine wine. Fail miserably but eat it anyway.

9.00am - Julian the German gets off the bus. We shake hands as if our brief conversation meant something, like we are now comrades who have broken bread (and wind) together. As soon as he is gone I take advantage of the extra leg room left by his absence. Left knee infinitely better off with more space.

10.00am - A film, I am Legend, with Will Smith comes on. In English with Spanish subtitles. Despite the obvious shackles of Hollywood production and laborious plot explanations included in the film for thick people, it´s not a bad effort. Decide that perhaps Will Smith should not be euthanised for the moment; this is despite the abomination that was I, Robot. Feel decadently magnanimous about the stay of execution.    

12.00pm - 2.00pm - Listen to 60´s classics MP3 which is about 50% Beatles material. Decide that, although McCartney produced some individual gems, Let it Be, Yesterday, Back in the USSR etc. Lennon was still the better songwriter and singer of the two. Realise that this is the view of most people and I´m about as cutting edge as Dirty Flash Last Footloose Coyote Ugly Dance. Shrug and accept that life´s a bitch.  

2.00pm - Arrive at Puerto Iguazu. Heave huge sigh of relief and step off bus into 35 degree heat wave. Sweat a lot and manhandle my backpacks and wine bottles to a nearby hostel. Realise I am somehow developing a swollen and bruised right eye. Very confused as to the origin of this. Consider the theory that perhaps Julian the German was excessively offended by my nightime flatulence and smacked me one whilst I was sleeping. If not then it´s one for Mulder and Scully. Realise that some kind of blow to the head may provide a rational explanation for the sudden liking for Alanis Morissette. Heave second huge sigh of relief.    

3.00pm - Eat big steak and chips - feel I deserve it after 23 hours of bread. 

3.30pm - Eat icecream lolly (Flavour: white chocolate). Icecream is my God.    


mfmcp1982 says:
Have just laughed my socks off...
Posted on: Feb 01, 2009
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Puerto Iguazu
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