Squeezing the most out of life | An Aussie and a Colombian living life with a wandering spirit. Eight years together & over 60 countries up our sleeves, we're sharing the love |

Doing my worst for international relations

Staying up to fiesta all night before a lengthy bus ride was probably my first mistake. Knocking back several gin and tonics to celebrate the start of my solo jaunt being the second error in judgement. Add to that an over zealous consumption of chickpeas at an all you can eat buffet  and hitting the road wasn’t going to be exactly joyful.

So it was, dazed and confused, I said a reluctant goodbye to Andres and made it to the bus station. A 14 hour mission to Salta ahead of me. Usually I’ve found the buses in Argentina to be completely over air-conditioned, so I dressed accordingly, saving space in my back pack by wearing my arctic condition socks, hiking boots and jeans. No prizes for guessing the punchline. It wasn’t cold. In fact, as we watched Cordoba fade rapidly in to the rear view mirror I soon realised that I had grossly miscalculated the travelling temperature. It was in the mid thirties outside and the air-conditioning wasn’t behaving in any kind of cooling fashion.

Seated in the very front seat at the top of the bus, with a good view of the soon to be unfolding landscape, I began to sweat. And not just a little, with the full morning sun beating on my face. Copious amounts of nervous perspiration ran a marathon down all the wrong places. Some rather nasty detoxing gin fumes began working overtime, and last nights chickpea dish added to the loveliness; a gurgling mash of unlady-like toxic sweat sprang forth.

My new friend seated next to me had no idea what he was in for. With ample chagrin I made nice and chatted to Juan, a 55 year old Argentinian headed my way. A pseudo bus legend, Juan had endured 12 hours overnight to get to where I was starting.

We soon discovered that my Spanish was enough to carry on a conversation based solely around map pointing, charades and my trusty translation dictionary. The new Spanish word of the day being puna. Yes Juan, the landscape before us was sometimes that – bleak and devoid of life. I wish I could have said the same for the animal forming in my mouth.

All I know when we first started talking is that Juan was headed all the way to Salta. Why then half way through the journey did he not get back on the bus?

I’m just saying, maybe it’s not you Juan, it’s me.

The upside being a vacant seat beside me for the remaining seven hours and the chance to add more poison to the siutation by peeling off my socks. Oh yeah.

As it turned out I made it to Salta, mentally ready to erase the damage I caused to the general public of Northern Argentina.

Day one of Kris travels solo and already an embarrassment for Australia!

Kris

When one realizes that his life is worthless he either commits suicide or travels.
Edward Dahlberg – a Jewish Communist from the early 19th century.

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