Saturday, February 25, 2012

Between Carlos Pellegrini and Mercedes, Argentina 21 Feb 2012

Alarm rang at 3:30am but it always happen that I will wake up before the alarm ring, don´t that happen to you when you are scare to miss the bus or flight? My bus arrived on time at 4am to pick me up from the hostel. Here in this small village there is no bus terminal so the bus will pick up all the passengers from their respective house or accommodation. :-)

As we left Carlos Pellegrini, we have to cross that broken bridge again, I wonder how long will it stand with these big and heavy vehicle passing every day. The driver was very confident driving across, suddenly we heard a big "BANG" below the bus, he carried on driving until we reach the other side but something is wrong. He went down to investigate, he came back with 2 pieces of exhaust. Oups! I wonder will the bus function normally! He cleaned his hands and off we go but it was still making noise below, he went down and tighten up something, then no more noise.... I guess that is an OK to go!

The journey will be bumpy but at least at 4am in the morning, there is no sun and heavy traffic. We all dozed off in the bus. 1 hour down the road, the storm hit us, the road ahead was wet and muddy. We were woken up when the bus started to swirl left and right, just like those Rallys motocar in the desert. He turned the wheel to the left the bus swirl to the right and wise versa. Some of the passengers started to scream, that makes me nervous. He was doing all right with the swirling until the right wheels went off the road. Now we are stucked, it was still dark at 5am in the morning. we could only wait. The bus was tilted 30 degree to the right, which makes it hard to find a good position to sit nor sleep.

By 7am, we heard a sound of a tractor,woohoo the rescue team is here! We happen to be near a farm, they came to help. They attached the cable in front of the bus and started to pull, the tractor wheel was spinning none stop but the bus didn´t move an inch. :-( Looks like the bus is too heavy for one tractor, they went to get another tractor. We waited for another hour. Now 2 tractors arrived, they lined up and connect to each other like a train. We were all praying hard! This time it works! Off we go back on the road. We thank the farmers for their help and continue our journey, it was still raining.

The bus was still swirling all the way, the bus driver was very experience and very careful. We drove on for another few kms when the road get muddier. This time out of the control of the driver, the back wheels went off the road. He ram the engine hard but that actually make it worst and sank deeper in the mud. He finally stop when the rubber on the wheels started to smell. Meanwhile the other cars that are passing by one after another got stucked in all style. We were watching and counting since we have got nothing else to do. We waited for a long time for a rescue team but no sign of them. Our bus driver then decided to collect stones to put in front of the back wheels so it provide some grip to the wheel to advance. One of the passenger and me, we went down to help, wow! it was very slippery, I could hardly stand still, the rain started to pour again. We can't do anything. We waited and slowly all the cars one by one left us. I fell asleep.

When I woke up it was already 11am, of course we are still at the same place. There were no more cars around us. The rain has slowly die down but the road was still muddy. Where is the tractor? One guy in the bus, started to question the driver, why nothing is happenning, why no one come to help? Why this why that...Someone should do this or should do that... He was so selfish, he didn´t even help instead just sleep in the bus, he wanted to get back on time because he had paid for the bus ticket, he even asked the drive to stop him a car. Some people are really selfish and btw he is Israelist! I have met many of them on the road who were just like him. The driver was annoyed with him and he left the bus. "That´s great! Now we lost the driver too!¨ I said it out loudly. He kept quiet after that.

I think around 1 pm, we saw a sign of a tractor from far. The tractor was small but anyway we didn´t have a driver to drive the bus. :-( Half an hour later, we saw another tractor coming our arrived with our driver! Yeah! He went looking for one. :-) The 2 tractors combined effort to pull out the bus. We got out finally! One of the tractor tow us along the way till we got to a drier ground. We were so grateful for the driver and the tractors´help. We finally arrived at Mercedes around 3pm. A 2.5 hours journey end up to be 11. What an experienced!

My next available bus to Colon is at 9pm, I have 6 hours to kill. I went looking for Internet Cafe to see if there is any news of my passport. Pablo wrote me but he told me no news yet. :-(

I am still hoping as long as I am here in Argentina...

If you are my FB friends you can view this video clip.


Bus Mercedes to Colon - AP111


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