So yesterday, Monday, was the start of a long epic trip. We got to São Paulo bus station ( the largest in South America, and second largest in the world) with 3hrs to spare, so we hung around, having a beer and watching loads of beautiful coaches coming and going, all very modern. And then ours arrived. It was like a charrabang from the 1950s. I wouldn’t have been surprised if it had Joe Maplin written on the outside and to find Ted Bovis and Peggy as our drivers. Whereas other buses were advertising “Wifi onboard, free bar, personalised televisions, waitress service, topless massages” ours was proudly stating “this bus has a driver, and wheels, and seats”. Hmmmmm. And we had been allocated the seats for obese people!!! Brilliant! Although looking at the sign I couldn’t work out if I was obese or deficient, or both! So off we went. Our driver, Jose, a squat rotund chap in a very fetching salmon pink uniform (Pluma bus company. Avoid) seemed to be the only member of staff. For a 16hr journey. We settled in and hoped for the best.
Throughout the night we stopped every two or three hours so that Jose could go to the bathroom to take some more amphetamine. He was becoming more manic and bedraggled as we progressed. Eventually after 16hrs and 650 miles we arrived at our destination, Foz do Iguaca, at 10am. Poor old Jose. By this time he was just sat there in his sweat stained salmon pink underpants. He’d changed his name tag to one that now just said “Flibberdy Gibberdy”. His face was caked in cocaine and amphetamine paste. His eyes, held open by clamps, were locked in a 1000 yard stare. He was rocking back and forth in the drivers seat and varying intermittently from insane giggling, to sobbing, to sitting there repeating “Brrrrmmmmm, brrrmmmmm”. Eventually two staff from the bus station came and carried him away, still locked in his seated position, and placed him on the Tarmac where a doctor administered a sedative. They were going to allow poor old Jose a 30 minute sleep before he had to make the journey back…..
I too was carried off the bus, in a state of cryogenic frozeness. The air con had been set at -26 all night, and I was in shorts and t shirt. Charlotte had even put Shelley’s Montane jacket on, and with the hood up and her eye mask on she resembled Chris Bonnington dressed as Cat Woman.
Yes. A proper experience.
Anyway, aside from that we’re resting and sleeping today before leaving Brazil tomorrow!!! Very sad. We have loved Brazil, and I really hope that one day we’ll be back.
However, tomorrow we go to the incredible sight that is the Iguazu Falls, and from then on we’re in Argentina! Don’t mention the war!!! I’m just reading up on how I need to change my dollars on the black market to get a decent rate as the money system in Argentina has pretty much collapsed. No doubt this will lead to further calamity and disaster that I can report on!!!
We’re currently in a very young persons hostel and we feel very old. However, for £15 for the night, it’s one of the best yet, and has rooftop terrace with pool and jacuzzi! But the kids are up there, and we daren’t go….
*written after about 30 hrs without sleep so it is more than likely that much of this is fabricated/embellished