The Night Bus from BA to Mendoza

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A Mendoza Vineyard with the Andes as a backdrop Embarking on a thirteen hour bus ride from Buenos Aires to Mendoza is an exciting inauguration to my Mendoza trip. It’s an overnight ride, starting at nine o’clock in the evening, on a two story bus. I have not experienced the second level of a bus before, so that is where I chose to sit. There are not many differences; there is more swaying, and you can see over any vehicle on the road, besides other two story buses.

The tourist class, the least expensive, is similar to first class in some airplanes. Seats recline significantly and provide a decent amount of space for your feet. The leather expected on a plane is instead replaced with splatter-patterned fuzz. Unlike a flight, the turbulence does not frighten passengers, instead it’s a soothing reminder that you remain on beaten roads moving farther from where you were, and closer to where you’re going; in this case Mendoza, Argentina.

The three, thirteen inch televisions begin the show about a half hour into the trip. I was fortunate enough to be initially buttered up by an hour of US love song videos. The videos dated from The Righteous Brothers to Toni Braxton. I would assume that the copyright of the montage was around the mid 1990’s.

Between the love ballads and the featured film a complimentary food service was provided. The dinner could be referred as a Ham and Cheese Trio; ham and yellow cheese on crust-less white bread, ham and yellow cheese on crust-less wheat bread, and finally ham and yellow cheese on a medialuna (croissant). The trio was complimented with a fruit and nut cake, and finished with a four ounce cup of cola. At around eleven o’clock it was, in fact, a great snack. The featured film was a United States embarrassment, that was far less appetizing.

Lights are switched off after the film. Out of the window you have Orion hanging by a shoe string, as the lemon-lime colored seat numbers cast their glow on bent and dozing passengers. The stars smother everything between horizons. With so many in its arms the sky will occasionally drop one without embarrassment, for the few passengers have the opportunity to witness it.

When two busses have the opportunity, they throw wind in each others’ face, like bullies competing in a snowy park. The air rattles its opponent causing the curtains behind the driver downstairs to jump with chills. Fortunately for the passengers, the bugs on the upstairs windshield are the only apparent casualties.

You will sleep due to boredom, and most likely will rise with some cramp or kink by sunrise. The terrain between Buenos Aires and Mendoza is flat. The distance of visible horizons must be in close competition with mid-ocean views. After ten hours you would expect a glimpse of the Andes, but even after the sleep is pawed from your eyes, you don’t even see a peak’s tip.

Some read, some sleep, some simply gaze their glazed eyes upon the endless plain, but when the first person points out the Andes each passenger in their own way catch a glimpse. Clouds, and morning haze fail to conceal the brilliant white jagged stripe of the snow capped Andes. With still two hours left to travel, the entertainment of the mountains’ beauty escorts you quickly to your final destination.

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[…] After eating only junk food and bus food on the ride to Mendoza, I was craving a healthier lunch option upon our arrival. A book of mine suggested a vegetarian restaurant, however, after being chased down by the owner of our hostel and told not to go there, we changed our plans. Instead, the owner of our hostel recommended Naturata Restaurant Vegetariano, and I must agree that it is a fantastic restaurant. […]

[…] Once you locate your bus company stand of choice, all that is left is the bus ticket purchase. The first thing is to pick the itinerary most convenient to you. Then, most buses out of Retiro will offer multiple seating options. Using my overnight bus trip to Mendoza as an example, the seating options were semi-cama for $125 pesos, coche-cama for $150 pesos, and ejecutivo (sometimes labeled “royal suite”) for $175 pesos. […]

ben on July 7, 09

I’m very sorry, but I’ve never read anything quite like this. Would you like to be an author someday? Good luck

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