Overnight bus to Sucre
27.02.2013 19 °C
We woke up late and decided to go to Sucre for a couple of days, so we had to pack quickly and get out of the room - we're getting quite good at this though. We spent the rest of the day booking our hostels in Valparaiso, Santiago and Auckland and feels good to have things sorted in advance as we've been playing things by ear recently.
Andrew had wanted to go to the English pub, Olivers, so we went for something to eat. I had beef and ale pie and mash, and it was real comfort food! They had tons of travel books in there too so we picked up a New Zealand one and did a bit of planning, while we had a shandy.
To get to Sucre we have to go on an overnight bus this evening to land there at about 8am tomorrow. I'd heard they were cold so I bought some big wooly socks just incase on the way back to collect our bags from the hotel.
At the bus station we had to leave our backpacks at the ticket office, which felt weird as usually you see them go into the hold of the bus. I wasn't convinced we'd see our bags again! George and Lucy, who we'd met last night were there and we're getting on the same bus. The bus seats fully reclined into a flat bed and were also quite wide, which was great. What wasn't so great was that there was no toilet and we'd be on this bus for 12 hours!
We watched a couple of programmes on the iPad and then tried to get to sleep. It was only 9.30pm but it was dark outside and the bus was quiet, so it was quite easy to drift off. The chairs beds worked well when you were stationary but when you're swinging round mountains and bumping down roads, you tend to slide around a lot!
I woke up in darkness as the bus came to a halt - it must be a toilet break! Rushing to get my shoes on, I get outside to see...nothingness. Except the shady outlines of men peeing on the side of the road. Andrew, George and Lucy had got off the bus too and we were just deciding where to hide - finding places to go to the toilet being the most difficult thing for the girl traveller - and then the bus starts to pull away without us! We've since learnt this is just a Bolivian technique the bus drivers use to make you be quicker. But at what must have been around midnight in the middle of nowhere it was scary and we just jumped back on, still needing the loo. The next two hours was an uncomfortable wait until the real toilet stop, with no sleep and just the wild rocking of the bus at it takes a corner in the dark to keep us company.
2am the bus stopped and I was like a ninja - my shoes were on and I was off the bus before anyone else had got up from their seat! I paid 1 boliviano to use a loo - for which you also get a strip of toilet paper as they don't have it in the cubicles in Bolivia - with no toilet seat, no flush and even better at this time in the morning, no light! This is becoming a pattern. However, from what Andrew told me of the state of the men's toilet, it may have been best I didn't see what it was like in there.
Back on the bus, after mandatory hand sanitiser, I dared to have a drink of water for the first time in around 6 hours, I was so thirsty and dry lipped! Finally I felt like I could sleep...