Santa Cruz - 26 to 27 July 2015July 26, 2015 in Bolivia ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C
An 18 hour bus ride...that's what we asked for and that's what we got. I want to tell you that it was awful, but it really wasn't that bad...well, for Keith anyway....
So we left an hour late and after riding for about an hour or so, and after working on the previous two blog posts for a bit, Keith decided to take a sleeping pill. Right before be was about to crash, he went down and inspected the bathroom for Jaime. He found that prior to leaving on an 18 hour ride across the country, the bus company thought it would be a good idea to embark without a handle on the outside of the door. Passengers had to use coins to squeeze the knob together to get it to turn. Keith saw no other issues once inside however...it was actually fairly clean. This was probably due to the fact that very few people could get in to use the facilities....
All of this information was relayed to Jaime. Keith even set her up for success and gave her the materials needed to open the door. He also assisted her in getting everything she needed prior to walking downstairs....including putting tiger balm under her nose to assist with any less than desirable smells.
At this point I would like to inform our readers (or remind them...whichever is more appropriate) that Jaime hates public bathrooms. Hates them. To the point she will make herself miserable in order to avoid using one. But this was an 18 hour bus ride...so she knew she had to do what must be done.
So Jaime sets off down to the bathroom with Keith quickly succumbing to the effects of the sleeping pill. Had he known what was going to transpire, he would have accompanied her and tried to help. Instead, after about 20 minutes, Jaime came back crying and borderline hysterical. Over the next few minutes, Keith was able to do figure out what happened. He got even more clarity the next day when Jaime was more ready to discuss her escapade....and he wasn't about to pass out waiting for her to get back.
It turns out Jaime couldn't even get in to the bathroom and had to get someone to help her. Once inside and after she was done, she attempted to return to our seats. Fyi...it was a double decker tour bus and we were sitting in the very back in the top...while the bathroom is in the middle on the lower level.
When she tried to unlock the door and come out she realized that the door wouldn't open..she played with it for a few minutes and then realized that it wasn't just her inability to open the door...something was broken. It was at this point that she started banging on the door. She later informed Keith that she knew he had taken a sleeping pill and that it was an 18 hour ride and she didn't know how long she'd have to be in there.
Her banging eventually got the attention of some Bolivian Military Police who happened to be along for the ride and they started trying to help. They found a lady to tell Jaime 'one minute'...but Jaime started getting more and more into panic attack mode. This was because everyone else was speaking rapid fire Spanish through the door and Jaime couldn't understand what was happening. Due to her predicament, Jaime was unable to understand the Spanish and she was only able to speak English...this created confusion on both sides...
They eventually were able to pry the door open with some screw drivers and allowed a sobbing Jaime to return to her seat.
When Keith saw Jaime walking back to the back of the bus with a quickness, he realized something was wrong. When she got back and was in tears, he tried to figure out what went wrong. She couldn't understand why Keith couldn't hear her banging on the wall over the sound of the road and the diesel engine. Keith felt bad, but luckily for him, the sleeping pill completely kicked in a few minutes later. By the next day, Jaime was able to laugh about the incident....her words 'if this had happened to anyone else, I would have thought it hilarious'...
Anyway, that was the highlight of the trip...we did stop and Jaime gave away some of our leftovers to a bathroom attendant who appeared to be lusting over our pasta dishes. She also gave some of our oranges to some kids at the train station once we arrived.
It took us 18 hours to get to Santa Cruz and once we arrived we bought another bus ticket to Campo Grande, Brazil...this will be our longest leg yet and will put us close to the Pantanal....a wetland wilderness known for the abundant wildlife.
Once we got to our hostel, we dropped off our bags and walked around. We had a late lunch and then decided to have some ice cream.
At this point, Keith would like to point out what a nightmare it is to take Jaime out for ice cream. This is because Jaime gets overwhelmed from all the choices and literally freezes up and can't make a decision. (No pun intended). She takes what should be a 30 second decision and drags it out for 20 minutes....
Luckily for Keith, her eventual decision was delicious. The ice cream was so good and so abundant that Keith and Jaime bypassed dinner and just walked around the square and people watched. More of the same is likely in store for tomorrow.
We get to hang in the city during the day and then we catch our bus at 8 pm tomorrow...the plan is to drive 10 hours to the border. Spend a couple hours at the border crossing taking care of the paperwork, and then drive 7 more hours to Campo Grande....we'll see if there are any more bathroom incidents on the bus. So far, Keith and Jaime haven't had the best luck with the bus bathrooms on this trip.Read more