A journey from Resistencia, the buses: holding on until morning

Having stupidly chosen a window I evaluated my route to the toilet in the underside cabin. It seemed simple… just climb over…

The bus system in Argentina is extraordinary. A network of buses meander across the entire country taking travellers to their intended destination using the long straight highways connecting towns and cities. Many companies operate routes day and night, giving you the advantage of saving on a hotel and sleeping on their bed-like seats called – “semi-camas”. The second trip we took, Resistencia – Cordoba was a 12-hour drive that we intended to do by night.

On leaving Resistencia, it wasn’t long before we were served our first meal. An entrée in the form of a thick Argentine style ham sandwich (no crust of course) followed by a plate of dried biscuits, plus a hot dish consisting of potato puree (mashed potato) and garlic chicken (a huge breast) accompanied by red wine.

We polished off the meal rather quickly in earnest to delve into a deep sleep.

Stretched out across their semi-camas, these seats are the desired form for a 12-hour flight. The ability to be stretched back 120 degrees with raised leg rests and enough width that will make a lard-arse happy, complimented by a pillow and blanket it didn’t take long before a sweet sleep set-in.

The bus continued on its night-drive through the great plains of Argentina passing the odd truck like lonely wanderers adamant not to lose a single second. It’s air conditioning kept the interior a mild temperature protecting us from the 25 degree + outside in the dead of night! However it also meant an incredibly dry mouth – fortunately thoughtful planning and resourcefulness we had packed a large bottle of water – gulping this throughout the night for rehydration. But the result of a lot of water intake is of course a full bladder.

Having stupidly chosen a window seat and my partner sound asleep to my right I evaluated my route to the toilet in the underside cabin. It seemed simple, just climb over him into the aisle. However remembering the width of the seats this would require me to perform the near splits while leaping from my side to the target zone. Another hurdle, the person in front of him was lying at full tilt, if that went hazardously wrong and I lost my balance falling one way or another no doubt would have caused a rude awakening with a 6-foot man landing on their lap.

My plan therefore would be to spring from one foot over balancing myself by thrusting my head forward to ensure the correct direction of travel. While feeling confident with this new approach the bus jaunted a couple of times on rough road. To which I could see myself falling head first into the aisle and knocking myself out - only to wet myself in the process.

- Therefore, I decided I had to hold it in until morning...only another three hours to go!

Bus to Cordoba: AR$285

R C Haynes

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