Overnight Bus

Chillan Travel Blog

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My "bed" on the overnight bus.
Today began at a very early 12:15am, as I waited outside the bus station in Chillan for my overnight "sleeper" bus.

It was a few minutes late, but I handed the driver my bag, and climbed aboard.  The seat configuration was 2+1 in each row.  When I booked a few days ago, I was smart enough to take the single seat.  With near-fully-reclining seats, and a single, I figured I would be ok for the 8 hour trip.

Well, I was partially right.

Climbing aboard, I noticed immediately the bus was stuffy and smelly (people had boarded already, probably as early as Santiago).  You know that "sleep" smell, well that was it.  However, this got better as we got underway and the driver turned on the air con.

The "attendant" walked me to my seat and I got settled.  The seat itself was fine - and the attendant was nice enough to give me a pillow and cover me with a blanket.  I used my fleece instead of the pillow, because, well, i was not sure if those pillows were cleaned between trips.

As I reclined my seat, I sensed someone over me.  It was this little boy behind me who was sitting on his mothers lap, with his elbows at the top of my seat...with his chin just inches from my head.  Ok. I mean I like kids but not like breathing on me and talking right behind me for 8 hours while i try to sleep!  And his poor mom - how can she tolerate him on her lap for 8 hours!  So I asked the attendant "Is he going to be there all night?" and pointed in the direction of the kid. The attendant said no - and in fact they were just taking the bus a few stops, so after 30-45 min, they got off.  Phew.

The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful.  Better service than some airlines.  We got a snack and did not have to pay that new 7 dollar charge or whatever United or American is doing now.  We got a cool movie - Ironman - but something lame.  And the ride was pretty smooth and quiet.  I actually slept most of the trip.

Arriving in Puerto Montt, I pretty much immediately hopped a local bus back the other direction.  Puerto Montt is too big for my liking - over 100,000 people.  So I am heading to Puerto Varas, about a tenth the size.  There I will kick back and enjoy the quaintness of the heavy German influenced town.  Maybe do a hike or bike or raft ride.  But the weather sucks right now, so not ideal for outdoor adventure.  But I have quickly learned to just go with the flow and roll with the punches.  Its rainy and cold but hell I am in Chile on vacation, so its not all bad.  Some good coffee and empanadas will do just fine.  Maybe a pisco sour later this evening...

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My bed on the overnight bus.
My "bed" on the overnight bus.
photo by: dannyboytravels