The large size in Argentina, together with our small budgets, makes bus travel a necessity. We’re not talking 4 hours to NYC on the Chinatown express, but 20, 30, even 40 hours straight on the same bus. We have spent 2 and a half months in Argentina and Chile so far, and by our calculations, have spent about 160 hours total over 7 major trips, for an average of 23 hours a trip. That being said, the following is a collection of thoughts and stories from buses in Argentina.
-The biggest factor on a bus trip is not comfort, nor whether it smells, and not even who ends up taking the seat next to you. It comes down to movie selection. Will the bus driver chose a poorly dubbed Nic Cage or Steven Segal movie? (This will make the bus ride very long). Or, something good, like Dark Knight in English. One time Morgan revealed that she had to watch “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” twice in a row.
-Buses can break, a 20 hours ride can quickly become a 30 hour ride, with 10 hours spent at a bus company warehouse. Also, on one ride from Rio Gallegos to Bariloche, the AC broke at around 1 in the morning. For whatever reason, the bus driver decided to jack up the heat. By around 4 in the morning, everyone in the bus was sweating, and the bus had a locker room scent. Good times.
-The seats recline almost all the way, they occasionally play bingo games with the passengers, and you get meals….sometimes. The best part of bus rides is the view. The buses will take you along some of the most desolate stretches of highway in Argentina, moreover, the world. Patagonia is one of the most uninhabited places on earth, nowhere is that more evident than a 35 hour ride across the Patagonian steppe.