Bus Trip to La Serena
Santiago Travel Blog› entry 2 of 27 › view all entries
The reason we buy guide books and read them is then to remember what they tell you.
So when it says the clock in the front of the bus is the time the bus leaves, don't get on the bus going to the same place but with a different time on the clock.
The day started poorly, no resposes from the hostels in la Serena about availability or all booked up. Anyway my ticket was booked I would find something at the othr end.
At the Los Hereos bus station i tried phoning a hostel only to realise how much little Spanish I actually understand. It dawns on me that after 10 weeks of Spanish lessons i only learnt or retained enough spanish to order a beer and politely ask for the bill.
So i then get on the bus to la Serena afterconfirming with the luggage ticket man. There was someoneone in my seat number 21 but lots at the back so just took any seat. The bus gets going all the tickets collected, lots of leg room this is going well. Well going well for about 15 minutes as the ticket guy starts interogating the guy in seat 21.He then looks around the bus and starts re checking all the tickets. Five minutes of inevitability passes as he then says several things in spanish. "La Serena" I offer "si" he replies "no bus" alot more chat and he sits down.
A further ten minutes pass and we stop at a toll booth (there were many for those driving in their own cars), I consider the consequences of being dropped off here so am relieved as we pass through, only for the bus to abruptly stop 100 yards passed and me and my luggage are ejected!!
I'm given my ticket back, a chat ( i had no input aprt from pointing at my watch) about waving it at other buses in about 30 minutes, a pat on the back, a thumbs up and the bus was gone. Glad they felt so in control of the situation!!
Half hour passes and i see the bus belonging to the bus company, wave ticket, bus stops, I'm on baord, it's luxury, reclinng seats, given a cola. I was basically thrown off for sluming it !!! I was then asked what i wanted for breakfast bit worrying as it was only 3pm and only a 6 hour trip!! We agreed on tea for tea.
Very comfortable my bus, only 24 seats all reclined costing 13 pounds from Santiago to La Serena. National Express pull your finger out !!!
We stopped in Colique where for the millenium they built an 840 foot cross on top of the hill, for once i felt thankful we had built the millenium dome.
At least the bus fiasco had taken my mind off the non accomodation issue, so arriving at 9 in la Serena I was grateful to see someone holding a hospejas sign. Yes they had a room, her brother would drive me to the hostel.
We pass the minibus, the 4x4, the saloon and squeeze into a cherry red VW beatle with less working parts than Paul Grays'. The driver Thomas on then establishing i'm from London announces "ELO ELO great musico". Not the first thing that i would connect with London but in one far corner of the globe ELO is London.
I am given a room, i'm asked to change rooms, but then given a huge thermos of tea. You can judge a city on it's generosity of tea, so far La Serena is way in front.