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Bolivian bus ride from hell.

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Dec 2nd, 2011, 05:11 PM
  #1
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Bolivian bus ride from hell.

An entertaining tale of trauma between Potosi and Sucre. The company was Trans Emperador. I am one of the participants but not the author.

You hear about crazy adventures people have, well now I have lived one too. OK, well all started fine, until we got to our first stop 3 hours in and I was desperate for the toilet! No toilets on board so i was glad of the stop. However, the little hut full of locals hudled round eating we were told no toilets! So three of us all ran round the back of a lorry and had to go au natural! Thank goodness it was pitch black. It then began chucking it down - just in time i thought. However, after a short time, the driver came on the bus and told us all (in spanish of course) that we had to all change buses to get to Potosi. So we all had toget up and all move our luggage onto another bus. No explanation but another 30-40 minutes added onto the journey time. We set off and it all seemed a bit weird as we were plunged into darkness witha huge huge storm outside! A. was convinced he was driving with no lights but I thought it couldnt be so and just tried to get some sleep. However, i kept waking up as the bus was stopping and starting. After about 50 minutes of this, some other tourists at the front of the bus started standing up and thats when I thought there might be a problem. I went to the front to find out what was going on and we found out that the alternater wasnt working on the bus and the driver had been driving in the pitch black with no lights! So so dangerous as Potosi is a mining town and there are loads of big trucks coming up and down the small, non lit, mountainess road that we were on! All the locals didnt even seem to care (some were sleeping )but the 10 or so tourists that were on the bus were obviously not happy about the driver continuing to drive like this! However, the driver just shut his door and ignored the tourists banging on his door to stop! Finally their tour guide made him stop. We wanted them to send another bus but we had no phone signal! It was freezing cold and raining outside! Finally they flagged down a passing car and he led us up the hill with his lights to get signal. As soon as we got there the car took off! Obviously didnt want to lead us all the way! Finally they got hold of the bus company and demanded they send another bus. Apparantly one was being dispatched and should be with us in a hour. The driver then tried to carry on!! We finally got him to stop and turn the engine off. We had to flash our torches out of the window when cars / trucks were coming to warn them we were there as we were sat in pich black! 3 hours later another bus turned up! Freezing and extremely tired (after having being up since 4.45am) we transferred to the next bus (nearly 2 hours later) and finally got to Postosi. Everywhere was shut so A. and I decided to go with M. and the other tourists to their hotel and hope they had room. M. also wasnt sure if she had a booking. Luckily they had one triple room left so the 3 of us were so happy to have a dry safe place to stay! It's actually a quite nice hotel and where I am now writing this. I feel so much better after a hot shower and a good nights sleep (well 5 hours sleep anyway!).
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Dec 2nd, 2011, 09:49 PM
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How terrifying!

Something similar happened to me years ago in Greece, plus I've known two people who got in horrible accidents on night busses with tired drivers/ bad roads. I will never again go on a night bus. I won't even go on long distance buses unless I KNOW that it is level driving on decent roads!
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Dec 2nd, 2011, 10:56 PM
  #3
 
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Excellent, entertaining report! A tale to tell the grandchildren. Makes me quite glad that they closed the boreder to Bolivia when we wanted to cross from Peru in 2008..
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Dec 3rd, 2011, 03:57 AM
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Bolivia roads are being featured on the History Channel IRT
right now that is a super dodgy route especially remember
the small one vehicle tunnels VERY scary.

That almost beats my abduction by shining path rebels
on the night bus on the way from Nasca to Cusco story.

Hang in there might come up the coast on the ways back

lots nicer...
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Dec 3rd, 2011, 04:01 AM
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Follow HISTORY and IRT: Deadliest Roads.Bolivia
Facebook Fan Page Truckers Lisa Kelly and G.W. Boles

www.history.com/shows/irt-deadliest-roads
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Dec 3rd, 2011, 06:15 PM
  #6
P_M
 
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I went on a bus ride from hell in Peru but yours was much worse. At least my bus ride was in the daytime and weather was decent. But the driver still scared the living hell out of us.

I'm glad you survivied and you have a good story to tell.
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Dec 11th, 2011, 12:48 PM
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I will be in Bolivia next January and I am so worry about my transport in La paz, I am planning to take abus from La paz to Puno in Peru where I will get another Bus to Cusco, Do you guys know if the transport in Peru is as terrible as Bolivia.
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Dec 11th, 2011, 07:25 PM
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We found the bus service around Peru to be fine (and we used them a LOT). Pay a little extra and get the Inca Express from Puno to Cusco I it is well worth it.
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Dec 11th, 2011, 07:58 PM
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That is something that you have to know before take the bus In Bolivia, I will go to Peru too and I will definitely take Inca Express.
Thanks
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Dec 12th, 2011, 05:12 AM
  #10
P_M
 
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javi342, my bus ride from Puno to Cusco was awful but I did not take the Inka Express. I've heard from a few people the Inka Express isn't bad.
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Dec 14th, 2011, 04:32 PM
  #11
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It depends on the bus company and the route. For example the route from La Paz to Puno via Copacabana is completely paved, although there is only so much one can do about the quality of the drivers (in either country).

Also the 4-M bus service between Puno, Colca Canyon, and Arequipa is excellent. You will need to book it with a travel agent inside Peru.
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