Mike & Elese's Adventure 2005 - 2006 travel blog

Elese perusing an Argentinian National Paper onboard our 18 hour luxury coach...

After finally leaving Buenos Aires, we had an 18hr overnight luxury bus to a town called Jujuy, a few hours south of the Bolivian border. The seats on our bus were like first class jumbo jet airplane seats. Loads of legroom, comfy leather and fully reclining to cama (bed). We were served food plus wine on board and a glass of champagne before bed. Nice one! Except for the family with 2 babies in front of us which were constantly making noise throughout the night and had several smelly nappy changes. Yuk!

After arriving in Jujuy, we noticed things had seriously changed. No longer was it the nice Buenos Aires type Argentina we had become used to. Instead it felt like we were in Bolivia already. The small town was very run down looking and full of poor indigenous people. We got the next bus (very cramped, with people even standing) which took us to the Argentine/Bolivian border, 4 hours away, arriving just at nightfall. We crossed the border into Bolivia on foot (it felt a bit dodgy) and had to stay overnight in Villazon -the Bolivian border town as the last bus to La Paz (the capital) had already left.

The next morning we another cramped, 18hr bus from the border to La Paz. Our first experience with Bolivian buses and definitely our worst. For about the first 5hrs of the journey, there wasnt even a road, it was more like a limestone track and with uncomfortable seats, no toilet on board and few stops made, it wasnt our idea of fun. Although to make us laugh, they were playing a tape full of western '80s music, including Land Down Under which was very strange in this part of the world! When we finally arrived in La Paz, it was 4am, not 7am like the cashier told us when we booked. (Oh and the bus didn't have air-con or a toilet like she also told us there would be - our first of many frustating experiences with the Bolivian liars that run the bus companies). So arriving to La Paz at 4am was pretty bad as there has been many stories lately of tourists being kidnapped for their cash & passports etc and as we couldnt check into our hostel until 7am when it opened, luckily we could sit on the bus for the next 3 hours until 7am (and daylight) approached...

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