Route: Buenos Aires – La Quiaca (Border with Bolivia)
Cost: 650 Argentine pesos (July 2013: 890 pesos)
00:00 [7th November] – 00:05 [8th November] (29 hours)
The bus took 29 hours, longer than expected. Anna and I were sat on the top level at the front on the left. At the front you gain leg room and a close television at the expense of cold nights and hot days. During the day, with the sun beating through the front windows, I had to strip down to the yellowing white t-shirt that never recovered from Anna’s washer, and even then my back was sticky with sweat. Then the air conditioning is turned on just as the sun is setting and the bus becomes a fridge. It’s just stupid.
A long bus ride is like being in suspended animation, you fall in and out of awareness, lights passing across your face like flames flickering, the bus turns and you follow it without thinking, the noise of a film plays out and you watch, smile, then wake up when all is dark and only the heaving sighs of sleep tremble in the cold.