We celebrated our two month anniversary of being in Argentina by hopping onto this fancy yellow double-decker sleeper bus for a 24-hour ride across Patagonia! Our destination was Puerto Madryn on the Atlantic Ocean. We were on a quest to see penguins!
Are We Crazy?
I was really excited to see penguins, even though it meant that we had to take a 24-hour bus trip east and north across Patagonia. Puerto Madryn is the gateway city to Punta Tombo, home of the largest Magellanic penguin colony in South America. We were both excited and a little freaked out to embark on such a journey. Were were crazy? Would we survive?
First Class, Please
We were consoled and somewhat empowered by the information we’d read and heard from other travelers. Many people take loooong bus rides and they always seem to survive. The big travel buses have two options: semi-cama seats (seats that somewhat recline) and cama seats (seats that recline flat into beds). Additionally, with paying the higher price for the sleeper seats you’re supposed to get movies, food service, nice bathrooms and an attentive host. It was a pretty easy decision for us to pay more and book the first-class experience.
What Really Happened
We boarded our big, shiny yellow bus at 4:00 PM with visions of smooth travel in our heads. Quickly reality came crashing down. Not only was the bus filthy dirty (as in crumbs all over the seats and floor and garbage littering the aisle) but our seats didn’t recline fully! Panic settled in as the bus began its journey because we knew there wasn’t anything we could do about it. Over the course of the 24-hour trip we didn’t get to watch any movies (the tv was about to fall off the wall), there wasn’t any food service expect for a cookie and instant coffee for breakfast, and the bathroom was a disgusting closet of skank and vile. Our fancy bus fantasy was shattered.
Mind Over Matter
Somehow we survived and honestly it wasn’t as horrible as we thought it would be. We both pretty much checked-out and went into autopilot mode. Always one to be prepared, we ate the snacks we brought so we didn’t go hungry. I was born blessed with the gift of sleep so I quite literally slept for 20 hours. Unfortunately Harry doesn’t sleep well no matter where he is, so he was quite literally awake for 20 hours. Poor guy — this is what he saw looking out the window for the entire boring trip across the desert of Patagonia:
I Need to Move!
The hardest part for both of us was the lack of movement we experienced in 24-hours. The seats were actually large and quite comfortable (more so than on an airplane), but sitting and semi-reclining for so long is just plain torture! The bus stopped a few times along the way so the drivers could switch and get coffee, etc, but since there weren’t any announcements made I was afraid of being left behind. Once the 24-hours were up we had only gotten off the bus four times!
Armed with my ever-faithful Queeze-Free wristbands, I am happy to report that I didn’t suffer from motion sickness at all. I even had Dramamine at the ready but I didn’t need to take it. I consider this to be a successful trip.
Thank heavens for cameras and self-timers to record important historical events like this.
After 24-hours of dry, brown, boring desert scenery imagine how excited we were to see Puerto Madryn off in the distance! The blue Atlantic Ocean never looked so good! There was even a friendly penguin at the bus station reminding us why we embarked on such a journey. We couldn’t wait to visit all of his friends in Punta Tombo!