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Public transportation in Bolivia is – let’s put it that way- improvable.You’re lucky if you arrive on time, the roads are sometimes covered in snow, the tires of the bus are made for sunny summer weather. Bathrooms do not exist and don’t you dare to drink too much within this never ending ride.
I went from the Atacama desert to Uyuni with a bus that took 11 hours. It was 20000 BOB per person. We went so high up the whole landscape was covered in snow. I couldn’t feel my toes anymore and we had nothing to eat.
As everyone is late in South America I figured the bus wouldn’t actually leave at 11am. I kind of counted on 11.30-12.
Those bastards were punctual.
I had ordered some empanadas for breakfast and some fruit juices, but we weren’t going to eat them.
“Here’s the money – can you pay the restaurant?” I shouted to my friend, who had forgotten his drum at the hostel whilst I was running towards the bus.
“Is it enough?” I heard him shout.
“I guess so.” I replied, hoping it actually was.
It didn’t matter though, because we would never get the food.
The bus was in a hurry. My friend still missing. The bus left ignoring my half English- half Portuguese “NOOOO we cannot leave there’s someone missing” shouts.
They didn’t care!
I did and I got angry. The “no food yet” angry. The “I’m gonna stop that bus and if I have to jump at the driver” angry.
The bus left. My French friend got smaller and smaller in the back of the window.
My shouts continued and eventually they gave up and stopped at the side of the road. Damn why the heck are you so German all of a sudden?!
My friend made it, they finally opened the door, we sat down and off we drove though the Atacama desert towards Uyuni.
11 hours without food and Terminator in Spanish. This was the worst nightmare.
11 hours without food and I had wanted those empanadas so so much. “You can’t have it all” a voice whispered in the back of my head. And I cried. Damn yes I cried like a five-year old who didn’t get her lollipop. I was so so sad. And I was angry.
I hated Arnold and his stupid movie, hated the weird 80s girl with her stupid waving locks and her stupid smile and thought who the hell makes those damn stupid movies … 4 of them! There are apparently F O U R Terminator movies. Who watched that shit?
I guessed people with a huge pizza on their lap. And I got hungry again.
We stopped at the border in the middle of nowhere, went out of the bus and stood there in the middle of nowhere – freezing!
We had to get all of the luggage out, which was searched- again.
I remembered entering Chile with “armed explosives” as they noted in my online file. They had held me back for ages and taken away my awesome smoke bombs. I would get them back they had said.
Back in the bus we drove over the border. Same procedure, but this time I spotted a small tiny store along the desert. I left my bag with my friend and rushed towards it.
“Comida?” I shouted whilst approaching the little store when some stupid dog stacked me and bit in my trousers.
“Damn you motherfu*****” I shouted whilst the people helped me chase him away.
For around 50 BOB I bought all the cookies and chocolate they had and returned to the bus.
We got our luggage checked again and headed towards Uyuni after.
No bathroom in the bus. “Don’t drink too much” I thought. My butt would freeze down forever if I had to go outside to pee.
So I just tried to watch some stuff on Netflix and sleep.
We finally made it to Uyuni some 11 hours after, where I was to depart to the Amazonas and my friend to Santa Cruz.
Grateful for having had company that didn’t judge my changing moods (or at least did not really complain loudly about it) we said goodbye. Not commenting on my one of a thousand emotional moments here, but I soon was in a tiny plane to the Amazonian Rainforest ready to do a survival trip in the jungle.
What a ride.
Arnold traumatized me forever.