Funny enough it seems like yesterday when M and I embarked on an exciting adventure to explore 9 Latin American countries together. It is very hard for us to believe that we are now on a complete different chapter, exploring the magical African continent. After many laughs, doubts, tears and incredible encounters, we left Latin America. Fast forward 13 months and we were again on another bus journey… which was interesting! As I am a fanatic of listing things (#sorrynotsorry), we realized that M and I had discovered 30 countries together, which meant: many local buses, chicken buses, shuttle buses, long distance buses and the least we can say is that we had our fair share of emotions and stories to tell! Our experiences were at times close to a disaster but mostly quite entertaining. Those stories are what make us love riding with locals while backpacking. Here are our most memorable moments:
- Uganda / Rwanda: Our driver furiously overtook hundreds of car and trucks in the middle of the night, excessively using his funky honk. For those who have read my blog or have been to Uganda, you know the road conditions: potholes after potholes. Driving dangerously over 100 km an hour, our bus shaking in every curve and any overtaking action, our very own “Fangio” flew us from Kampala to Kigali
- Rwanda: certainly the most embarrassing! I had decided to have some Indian leftovers and as it appeared, the restaurant didn’t close the doggy bag properly… Stuck in the back of a crowded bus, smelling like Byriani, ruining clothes and seats, certainly a good way to make friends with locals… not! Well done muzungu!
- Colombia: We got stuck for hours due to a trucker strike. We had already started making ourselves comfortable, thinking we stick for the night but the police arrived and let us drive through
- Bolivia: The most romantic one: when we discovered the love we both had (have) for traveling / Bolivia
- Colombia: We thought that we were going to die between Medellin and Neva – sitting in the front row was a mistake!
- El Salvador: We were entertained by a clown and a preacher. Both were pretty creepy
- Belize: We (read: I – my idea of heaven but hell for M) loved the sound proofers, screaming erm singing 80’s love songs on a very early Sunday morning
- Honduras: We got to sit tight with locals where a 2-seater bench welcomed 4 people. Definitely a good way to get acquainted
- El Salvador: We stood on overcrowded buses, getting pretty intimate with our immediate neighbors
- Peru: We felt like we were on a plane, it was so comfortable and spacious. With a 25-hour journey ahead of us, we were definitely happy to travel in style
- Indonesia: It smelled like onions and cigarettes. They apparently didn’t ban smoking in buses. At least we didn’t have to be embarrassed by being sweaty and smelly
Karma has been good to us and we are grateful that no French nor Swiss was hurt in the “bussing” process around the world. There is no adventure without adventure and for those funny, awkward or scary situations, we are thankful! To many more!
Next: our Rwandan exploration starts!