Sunday, September 30, 2007

el bus, el camión, el bus

Being what I call, ¨in transit,¨is hard. On travel days I usually end up missing a meal, with neck cramps, and in a general state of crankiness. Just ask Mandy because yesterday was one of those days. We woke up at 5:30 am, also known as way too early, packed and headed up to the bus station. Breakfast was milk and coconut bread that was so dry that to avoid instant dry mouth it had to be consumed concurrently with a sip of milk.
Once on the bus Eva announced excitedly that the seats reclined. Being five foot ten, which is giant in Costa Rica means that reclining seats directly translates to English as, ¨uncomfortable bus ride.¨These ones were especially bad, they were the kind that slide the rest of your seat forward as you recline, further reducing the space between your knees and the seat in front of you. This fact was combined with bus exhaust pouring in the windows as the bus driver collected the tickets. These moments are the times in traveling that make you go to your happy zen buddhist place and try to meditate on how friggin´great it is to be in Costa Rica.
Once we got going the breeze and moutain views put me right to sleep. The ride was totally beautiful, looking down into jade green valleys, brahma cows, and huge tendrils of clouds spilling over ridges. The roads were another thing all together, we were pretty much four wheeling on a huge tour bus. I mean dirt roads with rocks + huge ass bus seems like a bad combo, not unlike cheese and chocolate. And it turns out it is.
At some random jungle bus stop our bus driver managed to break the axel of one of the back tires. And rather than announcing any sort of formal plan he abandons all of us and takes off in a truck. Luckily Eva, she espeakas the espanish, otherwise all of us would have been how the french say it, le fucked. Some how we decided that rather than wait for the next bus to come and save us we would take matters into our own hands, cue the mobile disco. So we hiked our selves up the road a bit and stuck our thumb out at the first vehicle to come along, which was a truck with two ticos. Suddenly a man with the most shocking butt crack/paisley man thong combination is throwing our packs into the back of this truck. Eva tells us that Mandy is going to have to sit on my lap, while she straddles the e-brake. Turns out our two new amigos are owners of a mobile disco and are both extremely polite, friendly, and a fantastic comedy team. Eva is keeping the conversation going in both languages while Mandy is trying to avoid a concussion from the ceiling of the truck. The hour we spent sweating on each other while crammed in the tiny cab was totally worth the fact that as we stood waiting for the next bus to San Jose we saw the bus that we should have been on fly by filled with our old comrades. What I am willing to sacrafice in the name of a good travelogue.
I´ll catch you up on political marches, mimes, and costa rican farmers markets next time.

1 comment:

Susan said...

lol Gemma, enjoyed your read.
Don't inhale.