This is the bus from Bucharest that brought me to Chisanau. You can see it’s rather large. I was told that there was a bus that left Bucharest for Chisanau every hour or so from early in the morning until midnight. Most of them were minivans that carried 15-20 people. This one carried closer to fifty people. It was over half full. It cost me $22 and nine Continue reading
It was supposed to be a very simple morning. I was supposed to get up, get ready, and take off for Andorra on a bus. Sounds simple, doesn’t it. But, there was a small problem. When I went to the bus station I had my big pack with me. I didn’t really need my big pack when I was in Andorra so the plan was to put the big pack in a locker at the Barcelona bus station and pick it up when I got back. Sounds easy. Continue reading
I’ve ridden hop-on-hop-off buses in a lot of locations. I used to ride one every chance I got, but the truth is that they aren’t really as efficient as I once thought they were. Now if you’ve only got a day or two and you’re in one of those classic tourist destinations like New York, London, or Paris, they are a reasonable alternative. This is the HOHO bus in Seville. Continue reading
I’m being cynical. The airport was not busy at all where this picture was taken. Of course it was 11:00 at night. My plane left at 2:45 AM and the check-in ticket counter didn’t open until 10:45 PM for check-in to the flight going to the United States. What kind of flight leaves out at 2:45 AM? A weird one. There was no way that I wanted to fly out of anywhere at 2:45 in the morning. That’s just silly. But, I did it. And, to tell you the truth, the Dubai airport turned out to be very busy at that time of the morning. The boarding started at 2:00 AM and I went to spend my last three dollars at about the time boarding started. What I noticed was that I had to make my way through the crowd to find a shop that would sell me some food for 10 Emirati Dirham or less. It was truly busy at that time of the morning. I couldn’t believe it. Where were all those people going at that time of the morning? Who knew?
The hop-on-hop-off (HOHO) bus It’s one of my favorite pastimes. Riding them is such a joy. I was holding off on buying my ticket until I got a better lay-of-the-land. My big question was whether I needed a one-day ticket or a two-day ticket. I had thought I had seen on the web site that I could buy a one-day ticket and get the second day free. Maybe I had been a little tipsy at the time as the local brochure mentioned nothing of the sort and had what I considered to be a higher price point than I was willing to pay for the ticket given the limited number of sites on the tour. I could see $15 or maybe $20 for a ticket, but not $30 or $40. I thought that was a bit much. Had this been New York, Paris, London or Tokyo I wouldn’t have quibbled. But it wasn’t. In the end the ticket price was $22 for a two day ticket if I bought online. Not bad.
They’re cute. They’re everywhere. You even have to keep your windows up at the car parks so that the monkeys and baboons wouldn’t rob you. Apparently, they have no concept of private property. If it’s there, it’s theirs. The only way to get it back is to take it from them. We saw thousands of them in Africa. This is a pretty large group. I’d say they numbered over 50 but less than 100. However, we only the saw the ones close to the road. There could have been hundreds more lurking in the bushes.
They have lots of buses in Tanzania. They pass the truck all the time. I think most of the drivers that drive them were trained by ex-American crash dummies. They’re really bad. They get in a huge hurry. I think there may be bus companies that run reasonably safe buses from one location to the other, but it seems that the local companies that serve a small regional area tend to stop for every person that flags them down on the road. This makes for crazy bus drivers that drive wild to make up time because of all the stops they make along the route.
Bus travel is very common in South America. Most people do not have cars and buses are so much cheaper than flying. Consequently, 12 to 24 hour bus trips are not uncommon. I would never recommend taking a 24 hour bus trip to anyone. I will say that I have no problem taking them even though they are taxing on the mind, body and soul. However, you get to see a lot more from a bus window than an airplane window. Plus, there are some places where you just cannot fly. All that being said, the South Americans have buses that put buses in the United States to shame. Ormeno is one such company. I rode their bus from Guayaquil, Eduardo to Lima, Peru. It was supposed to take 27 hours. It took 30. The scenery was incredible.
Does this look like the typical bus seat in an American bus. No, of course not. The seats were quite wide and comfy and they reclined 160 degrees, which meant they were almost prone. Plus they had leg extensions that folded down I would say that it’s the closest I have seen bus seating come to matching or exceeding the seating in the first class cabin of an airplane.