A TRAVELLERS TALE
Driving along the Bruce Highway with what seemed like a never-ending number of hours before me on my way to Airlie Beach had me reminiscing about some of the bus journeys that I’ve made on my travels. I haven’t done too many long haul trips as I tend to take the option of flying, or travel the trains across the countries, or as in the last few years in Australia I’ve been lucky enough to be able to cruise along in my beautiful van and camping with my car.
READY FOR THE ROAD
So, why the bus this time. Well, why not?? Taking this route definitely allows you to see a lot more of the countryside and landscape that you would have missed travelling along in the train or flying so high up in the sky. Most times it works out cheaper for getting to those locations that only business people and miners seem to be flying in and out from. And for speaking for one who has spent PLENTY of hours driving here, there and everywhere, it’s been a pleasure to be a passenger for a little while and letting someone else do the guiding for us all.
This is my first ever bus trip in Australia and I have to say that the Greyhound bus for me hasn’t been all that bad at all. Ever so friendly, efficient, comfy, with free WI-FI and USB chargers at your seats, what more could you want!! It’s funny to turn around and see most of the passengers around you busily on the net, doing their thing! These are modern times we live in.
The price for the one way tickets all depends on where you’re going, but Cairns to Airlie Beach at $96 doesn’t seem too steep. But the better option would have to be the Hop on, hop off bus ticket. Judging by the fact that the bus I journeyed in has to have been at least 90% backpackers (this time off to the islands, living the dream!!) travelling all around this continent, I’d say that the Hop on Hop Off option is as good as the Euro-rail pass is in Europe. Remember, you’re visiting an Island, a Country and one spectacular Continent in this land of Oz.
MY TWO MOST MEMORABLE BUS TRIPS WERE ONES OF GREAT DISTANCES AND UNIQUE EXPERIENCES.
The first trip was when i was in Rome and after doing too many work trials at too many retail outlets I’d had enough, wanted to get my savings up and decided to take the cheaper option of the Euroline bus, heading for Holland and the prospects of a real job. Rome – Amsterdam, via god knows where, for goodness knows how much (this was quiet a few years ago), who remembers all the details! But what I wont forget was the fact that for 26 hours I was trapped in my little cargo seat. Now there’s only so much refreshment that the rest stops can actually provide. Walking around in freezing conditions to stretch your legs in the night might not have been one of the best ideas, but it helped.
I also remember waking up in the middle of the night along with all the other passengers, having to hand over our passports to the Switzerland Border Control. I’m lucky to have an Italian Passport so I turned back around and tried to get back to some form of sleep. When my passport was finally returned we all watched as one lone gentleman was escorted from the bus. It’s safe to say some paperwork wasn’t up to scratch for the customs. But this experience made me appreciate whole heartedly how lucky I was to have this opportunity of my Italian passport, or even just to have a passport, as this was my ticket to discovering so many sweet cultures, and my opening to so many possibilities beyond my borders when others had to struggle just to get a chance.
OUT OF THE BIG SMOKE
The second trip i’m remembering was in beautiful Argentina. I’d been in Buenos Aires for a few days but desperately needed to escape the heat of the city (and the smog) so I headed south and off to the beach, to a beautiful place called Pinamar. Bus travel in Argentina is pretty cool. Great airplane style seating that gave me plenty of room and comfort. Meals were also provided, all set out just like airplane food, everything in it’s own sealed little section. They even had movies on the tv screens scattered around the bus for our visual entertainment. Nice, one would think!!!
I was seated on the top level of the double-decker bus because I love the elevated view, looking out and over at everything that is out of sight when you’re on ground level. As I was slowly waking up out of my nap to a beautiful bright sun shining day, I heard this ear piercing scream, and then another. That quickly woke me up!! I was looking around the bus for who it was, what was going on, but everyone I looked at were just going about their business. What the heck was going on?? As my waking mind slowly caught up to reality I figured it out that the scream was actually coming from the TV. But here’s the thing, it just really made me wonder, why would you ever put a morning movie on that was 100% pure bloody horror?? Why would you pick for a movie to the beach one of the goriest films that I will never ever watch for more than 5 minutes?? What was that movie you ask?
SAW – THE ORIGINAL!!! WWHHHHYYY????
But these times all up add to be parts of the sweet Adventures! All combine to fill the memorable parts of a Journey! And what’s any travel without a few crazy ups and downs to help make it all the more memorable.
So that’s a couple of my own personal experiences. What about you all out there?? What’s some freaky, funny or just plain weird travel adventures that you’ve all experienced on your own journeys?
Bus, train, boat, camel?? Pass on your stories and lets share the giggles.
Until then, be sure to keep on making those memories magical..
Happy travels, TCT.