Hobo TRAVEL TIPS - Colca Canyon Peru - How to choose a bus
Tip: How to choose a bus

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Colca Canyon Peru - How to choose a bus

HoboTraveler.com Travel Tips Newsletter
And Updates on Around The World Trip

ISSUE:  069
DATE:  May 16, 2002
TITLE:  Hobo TRAVEL TIPS - Colca Canyon Peru - How to choose a bus
TIP:  How to choose a bus :
LOCATION:  Colca Canyon, Peru



Hobo TRAVEL TIPS - Colca Canyon Peru - How to choose a bus
Issue 69 Hobotraveler.com - May 16, 2002
A Hobo trip around the world. Year 4


Hobotraveler.com webpage is having server problems.
I will be in the USA for 2-4 weeks.
There will be major house cleaning.
Sorry for any inconvenience.


~   HOBO STEW (A Dish of Meat and Vegetables)
~   Hoboguide.com (Go this way) Colca Canyon Peru
         “Deeper than the Grand Canyon”
~   TODAY’S TIP - How to choose a bus?
~   EXTREME HOBO TRAVEL - Dennis & Scott Bike Around World
~   TODAY’S TIP FROM THE - “Peanut Gallery”


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My subscriber list has never been, and never will be available
to any third party. ( That means nobody )


~   HOBO STEW (A Dish of Meat and Vegetables)


I took a vacation.
That is a misleading statement to most of you
that have read my letters for awhile and would think,
“He is always on vacation.”
That is true for the most part, but I have found myself
a little..
So I went on a little side trip to the Colca Canyon.
I think I am avoiding or procrastinating the 18 hour bus
trip from Arequipa Peru, to Lima Peru.

I have written about the Colca Cayon trip
in the next section.. Go this way....

Just what my soul needed. Less noise, and a change of
cultures from the predominately Mestizo culture of Arequipa
to the more Indigenous Quechua or former Inca culture
of the mountain areas of Peru.

The cities of South America can be quite stressful. Cars
that try to run over you, people constantly trying to sell
things to you. People that do not share the sidewalk and
bump into you as you walk. These are not big problems,
but after a couple years of this...CULTURE CLASH.

After my little vacation though. I am now clear why I am
a little stressed and needed some space or time to think.
I have been working on a project. I have lots of small
projects to keep my mind occupied and this is normal.
This project was another attempt at a very old project.

I want to sell the products from this country on my webpage
and they would then make and ship them to the buyers.
They could sell them for 2-3 times what they would here
in South America and we both would make some money.
I would have enough money to live in the 5 dollar hotels and
they can put the
“second chicken in the pot, and think hard about
a car and a garage.”

Some ex-president of the United States said something like that.
I often think I am in some Star Trek parallel universe and I have
went back in time to the conditions of the United States about 50-80
years ago. No lights in the rural areas, people just starting to have
a lot of cars, and questions whether drinking so much beer is a
good idea.

I looked in my CD ROM encyclopedia on who wrote about having
a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage. I could not find
it. But is was some ex-president around the depression time.

OK... I was stressed here in South America, after trying for
the last few weeks with Bolivians and Peruvians to have
travel products made. I am not going to explain in detail the who,
what, and why’s because you would definitely want to tar and feather
me after you listen to my opinions about doing business here. I am
positive a few of my honest, candid opinions are not wanted.
I will however say there is unlimited opportunity here. There is an
overabundance of cheap labor, and with the information revolution
the undeveloped world can sell products directly to the more expensive
countries. There is a good reason why the big multi-national companies
like Volkswagen, Toyota, General Motors, Ford and General Electric
are building factories in these countries. If they had stable money
there would be more investment.
A great place to turn a shoestring into a fortune.

I need to say thank you to Topica.com. This is the people or company
that allows me to send this newsletter for free. I went down to the
cafe and opened my e-mail box. I had 278 Emails. I either had lots of
mail or someone loves me. In reality neither. I did however have about
200 new subscribes to my newsletter, and was CC mailed of this.
Topica.com had recommended my newsletter in their very large newsletter.
I am not sure, how many, but think in the millions to read my
So aagh my webpages, newsletter archives, e-mail box very busy.
This is always good, but I am still having trouble with the technical
part of my WebPages, and my new server or host. I am not sure how
many new subscribers I will have after this storm, but it will make me
jump at least 500 hundred. Lots of new people to hit reply and either
tell me I am full of @$%@#$@ or send me nice letters. I think people
are naturally more inclined to complain then compliment. I kind of
like both types. I will again say. Thank You Topica.com
And welcome to all my new readers.
If you want a way to send a group mail to all your friends easily
and free... ( That ad at the top or bottom of this email is theirs.. )
I would recommend.

I am waiting very impatiently here in Arequipa for a new invention to be
together and made by the some local people. It is my latest
idea on how to stop hanging my clothes on the floor and staying
organized. I never have any hangers, or even a closet...
Well once in awhile, but for the most part. I have all my
clothes and stuff hanging on the floor. I do not want any of my
friends or my mother to write me about this, because
I have always hung my clothes on the floor, the couch,
or anywhere they fell, even when I did have hangers. But in
a hotel room it is better to have some walking space.
I also think I have more time to travel if I did not
have my whole backpack full of stuff thrown all over the room.
I will write about my new clothes organizer in the next newsletter

Got a really nice newsletter from a very intelligent girl.
She used the world “Vicariously”
I always like that word... I think it is one of the most common
words used in the nice letters sent.
(Not all letters are nice... hehehe )
The comment goes something like...
I read your newsletters regularly. I think I live my life vicariously
through you. That is a very nice compliment, but to me I think.
Hell with that. Come and visit. Spend some time being poor.
I will let you buy me lunch, and I will tell you stories, and we
can laugh and see some sites. I will also tell you the complete stories.
That I can not write in this newsletter for various reasons.
People always say... I cannot afford to travel. Give me a break.
You cannot afford 10 dollars a day.

I will leave for Lima Friday, and catch a plane to the USA to
have clean sheets, central heating, or air, and lots of peanut butter,
turkey sandwiches, and butter pecan Ice cream. Buy a new
camera and computer, and then take off for Thailand and lots
of deserted tropical islands to work on my tan, and take photos
of tropical scenery...
( NOTE: Scenery i look at, and nature is trees and mountains.)
I will go to the beach, so please use your imagination.

Life is Good !
La Vida Buena
Beso y Abrazos

Andy the hobo

Maybe it will help you to...
Be a Hobo, and leave your mark.

X     Hobotraveler.com was HERE!

Life is good.
The Hobotraveler.com

Article written by Andy the Hobotraveler.com
On year 4 of Hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
Subscribe to Free Newsletter at:
You may publish this article for Free
on the internet If this box stays attached.

~   Hoboguide.com GO THIS WAY !

Deeper than the Grand Canyon

I went to the top of the Hostal in Arequipa. There is a terrace
with wicker chairs, cabanas, and a great view of a volcano.
Snow capped mountains and a nice place to relax.
I was searching for a brush. I finally found a toilet brush,
I could have sworn I saw a normal brush up here the other day.
I need to give these jeans a better than normal hand washing
and I needed a brush. Standing there on the roof, after washing my
pants by hand and wringing the last drop of water out of the pants,
I to to hang them up on the clothes line I see the three
new Austrians over the edge of a dividing wall eating breakfast,
and waving. They appear to like to watch a grown man
wash his clothes by hand.
It is two women and one guy.

Austrians speak German, and we start talking in English.
They have only been in South America a couple of weeks
and I am the old timer. I also speak Spanish very good.
We do the who, where, and what thing, and have nice talk.

Colca Canyon is about 5 hours away from Arequipa.
I feel a little guilty because I have never visited the Canyon,
although at least 90 percent of the travelers purchase
a one or two day trip and go there. So everyday there are
lots of groups leaving and lots of groups returning
I suppose I am prejudice. But getting on an organized tour,
and listening to tourist or travelers ramble on in silly ways
for two days is not my idea of fun.

I have been involved in this conversation lots of times, and
I am sort of bored, and having fun making wisecrack comments.
They have a different guidebook than the normal traveler.
The normal guidebooks here are Lonely Planet and South
American Handbook. They have one called “Riese” or something
like that. I do not speak or read German. But they start
talking about a place called Chivay, and the hot springs that
their guidebook recommended
I say,
“Hot Springs!”
I like hot springs, and my friend Chris is always recommending
hot springs... So I am suddenly very alert and listening with
renewed interest. I have never heard about the hot springs on
the way, and that sounds really great. They do not want to
take a tour, and I am getting more excited.

My first real experience with hot springs was in Guatemala close
to the city of Quetzaltenango. I was with a couple from Israel
and the girl forgot her bathing suit. What she wore had little
Winnie the Pool logos all over them, and the we lauged a lot
and told stories When you first experience is good,
you carry along good memories and want to repeat the

The Austrians an me are having fun discussing the
pros and cons of Colca Canyon and the possibility of a trip.
Blah Blah Blah and one hour later we are getting on a bus.
Leaving for Chivay for the night. We will visit the Canyon
then return. A two day, and one night trip.

They were the perfect travelers. Not serious, eating cookies,
and enjoying the trips. They are very happy to have me along
and really enjoyed my company.... They said,
“It is really good you speak Spanish.”
Just when you think they love you for your charm, and
dashing good looks, you realized the truth.
“I speak Spanish fluently.”
Ok... Who am I to complain, both of the girls have
have them crystal blue eyes, and speak English with a
heavy German Austrian accent. and the guy was
good fun.

The road to Chivay is the winding and curving type.
Rising and falling, Swaying back and forth. The bus cost
10 soles or about 3 dollars USA for about 3 hour trip.
The road is normal in the Andes mountain range.

As we departed the city the landscape changes.
From clusters of concrete, or red brick two story building to
shorter adobe, or stone buildings. After passing the last
gas station, roadside food stand, you start to leave the
feeling of asphalt roads, and starte to get the feel of road dust,
and gravel.

The roads in Peru are like a bed in a cheap hotel.
But you do not need to put in a quarter for the vibrator to start.
The vibrator is stuck in the on position and never stops.
The window vibrate and shake in their casings,
and there is a tingle in you body as you sit in your seat.

They have cut the road out of the rock in the mountain. Then
crushed the stone into gravel and made a road. The rain falls
on the road and make the road look like the old fashion washboard
to clean your clothes.

In modern countries, or on very good roads when a
mountain stream forms as the snow melts, and slowly
trickles down the mountain they create channels or
steal culverts to help the water go below the road. But on a
road like this it goes over the road, and we drive very slowly
through these small creeks. The bus rocks back and forth
and works it way through, and the Latino guy punches the
gas peddle hard the minute the bus stops rocking, and clears the

We have packed light, and each of has stored our small
day packs in the rack above the seat. The further we get
away from Arequipa, and the closer we get to Chivay
things start to happen. First a water bottle falls, and
with a lot of shaking and rattling a bag falls on my head.
We decide to move all the bags under the seat for

Nature is beautiful, spacious, and goes on forever.
High mountains, deep valleys, ravines, and sharp edges.
Snow on the top of a mountain, and hot glaring sun.
Although a little like living in a stone or gravel pit.
Very few trees, and lots of stones.

The sky is very blue and very beautiful. There are
Indians here with colorful clothing. I have discovered
they have change their hats in this area of Peru.
Normally they wear a small bowler type hat,
that sits on top of their head, and always looks like it is
about to fall off. They now have a larger white hat,
with the front bill bent over. Its more feminine, and the
clothes are happier.

Indians or locals of the mountains are not all the same.
Every Pueblo has it own colors, hats, and type of clothing that says.
“I live in this village, and am from this area.”
I am feeling very good.
People of the world are not the same. Some really
do smile more than other, and are more friendly.
I would give these people a 9.
The are very friendly, and happy to be here.

The Austrians are telling me about the musical called the
Sound of Music. It is set in Austria and they think it is funny.
Very famous in the USA, but no one in Austria knows of the
musical, but all the tourist that go to Austria ask about the movie..
Austria has a lot of mountains and they say that this
area looks like Austria before tourism and the ski resorts came.
Although Peru is too warm for ski resorts.

I have heard of a few places where they ski, but very few and far
between. You need to go to Argentina or Chile to find
enough Snow to ski easily.

We are climbing with the bus. We will soon go over the top
and through a pass, and then start to ascend. It is getting
colder and colder and we put on our long pants, and light
jackets. Clouds are getting dark, and we see spots of water form
on the windows of the bus. No one like the feeling. It feels
like rain, and rains does not make travelers and tourist happy.
We paid all this money to come here, and it rains.
“How could they do this?”
It’s not really rain. It was snow. We are maybe at
4000 meter above sea level, and a perfectly normal thing happens.
It gets very cold, and there is snow.
You will also discover it hails a lot. The rain will be interspersed
hail. Very noisy and seems dangerous.
I have walked along in the high altitudes,
and suddenly the sky starts to drop small
golf balls on my head made of ice.

We ascend into the small city of Chivay. We have been worried
where we would sleep, but soon a group of people gathers around
as we get off the bus We now know that a Hostal is not a problem.
One says 10 soles. The other say 8. The next one says 5.
They have pictures and small brochures of their Hostal
I am having great fun. I am talking in Spanish and asking questions.
It is raining and I have an umbrella. So we soon run for shelter inside,

and the whole group of Hotel or Hostal owners follows.
OOooops !

The Austrians do not speak Spanish and they are all looking at
Que Quieres?
What do you want?
They are looking at the people. They are listening to people.
They have small brochures in their hands. But it is all Spanish.
I am here to translate, and they want me to start work.
5 soles sounds good, and we go to look at the Hostal.
That is is about 1.50 dollars USA per night, per person.
The owner shows a room with 4 beds and a toilet.
I go check the showers outside the room.
They keep saying it has hot water, or agua caliente.
Whenever you get over about 1500 meters.
The concept of hot water showers becomes more important.
I think we are at maybe 3000 meters, so I am very concerned.
I like to be clean, and I do not have need a cold shower.
I also do not come up with juicy rationalizations of the benefits.
The water is hot, and we say OK.

Yes... We went for pizza.
There was a small quaint restaruant close
with a very beautiful waitress...
The pizza cost more than 3 nights in the room,
but was better than normal, and we ate and laughed.
I tried to propose that pizza is the only food in
the USA that was culturally started in USA.
Nowhere in the world do they have American Pizza.
Nobody ever agrees with me on this point. But I will keep trying.
Maybe I can convince the rest of the world that Pizza is from
the USA, and what they serve in Italy is a very bad copy.

I am talking with the waitress, and have decided this place
is very beautiful and I would like to return to the village to look
around. It appears to me that the village is perfect... Of course
I cannot seem to stop talking with the waitress. I will have to admit.
She was special. Polite, formal, respectful,
and a small glow around her face.

My new friends drag me out of the restaurant, and want to
navigate our course for the “Agua terremotos”
I can never remember the correct name.
But it is the Hot water that comes out of the Volcano
and fills up the swimming pool. Always located on
the edge of a mountain. I have ask Lily the word, but I am having
trouble remembering the word, and pronouncing it correctly
in Spanish. I am quite sure that Lily our waitress would be
a very good guide and am trying to ask her to help.

One dollar for a taxi, and one dollar to enter.
I do not know where all the other tourist came from?
But the place is the United Nations in bathing suits
Sitting in hot water. Talking all the languages of the world
with no interpreter.

A very modern facility, showers, lockers, and ready for the
Gringo money. The air is COLD, and jumping in the hot water is
necessary, and getting out of the hot water is something you need
to do after awhile, but is a difficult decision.
“Hmmm. Shall I be too hot in the water,
or shall I be too cold in the mountain air?”

I give them short version story that my blood is made for the beach
and not for the mountains. I am still cold, but they are getting
hot and sleepy. There is a strong sulfur smell around the pool
and from the water coming out of the hot fountain of water at
the edge of the pool.
We discuss what is smells like....

This is a great way to help the sun go down
in the mountains after a long bumpy bus ride.
A South American pizza, a swim in Volcano water.
We return to the Hostal warm, and sleepy after a long soak.
The two girls fall asleep and complain about their
stomachs and pizza. I am thinking.
“I wonder if the restaruant is still open?”
Instead we walk around and find.
“The Highest Irish Pub in the World”
A pool table. A few travelers.Lots of funny hats, and
an English guy with a poncho. 4 French Girls with boys.
4 Holland girls that left their men at home. Assorted other
talking about trekking and mountains.

The next morning the owner of the Hostal wakes us for the bus to
Colca Canyon. We need to rise very early so we can reach
the lookout point. There are Condors that fly just as the sun
rises above the tops of the mountains, and into the valley and
canyons below. So in the tradition of Latino world, the owner
wakes us up, just as the bus arrives. We need to jump out of
bed, dress, pack and leave in 2 minutes.
I guess I did not need to check on the hot shower.
There was no need.

Entering an overloaded bus. Everyone has blankets on their
laps for warmth.One, or maybe two blankets
for each of the local Indians.
I am instantly worried. I have gotten on buses or trains where
everyone had 12 blankets. This is not a good sign.
I soon relax when I realize there is heat on the bus.
We fall into a seat at the back of the bus for a bouncy ride,
and fall to sleep. We are not yet awake,
but we are on the bus.

The bus unloads us at a “Mirador” for Condors. Or a lookout.
Cold breeze, a few Indian women, and no coffee. There is
a group of women there selling blankets, jackets, and
chocolate. I am telling them in Spanish.... There is a market here
to sell coffee, and hot soup.
They are all laughing at me.
So what if the Gringos want coffee?
We want to sell... What we want to sell.

We are all rubbing ourselves for warmth,
and putting on more clothes.
We walk toward the edge of the canyon.
Looking around and getting our bearing
as the sun starts to break over the top...

You all think this is beautiful...

We just woke up, rolled out of a bus, we are freezing.
It looks like you could fall off the side if you get too close.
It is too dark to see a bird. I am having caffeine withdrawal.
Our legs are not working that good after being in bus that has
a day job as a vibrator. We are trying to walk up to the side of
canyon to look over the edge. There is no guardrail.
“Where are the @$#@ condors?”
I was made for the beach !

Then God turns on the lights.. Rays of sun break over
the distant snow peaks. A cross on top of the mountain
starts to take shape. Everyone scrambles for their camera.
The day is here, and life is good.
We all waddle ever closer to the edge. Like a bunch of frostbitten
Penguins... Then we see the Condors. First one, then another.
All the Penguins are jumping now for the water.
Climbing up and down on the cliff.
Trying to get a better perch to see.
I am not yet excited. I have heard the story before....
Go see the condors, and freeze.
Ah too bad... They are usually there.

I am surpised.
One graceful bird dives. Another climbs and turns
and we see the full breath of their wings.
Like a bunch of airplanes in a dogfight over enemy territory.
They are below us and everywhere. Dozens of birds.
We are looking over the edge of at least a 1000 meter drop.
The Condors are in the middle of the Canyon and
seem to be playing in the up and down wind drafts of the Canyon.
I am no longer cold, and the day looks very bright and clear.

National Geographic or Sony please send me a digital
camera with a large zoom lens for Christmas.
I will be a good boy all year.

The sun rises and other late risers arrive on more buses.
We were the first, and there are new travelers arriving.
It is time to leave, and go to “Cabanaconde”. or toward the
Canyon. Actually we are at the Canyon, and riding in a bus
along side the Canyon.

The Colca Canyon is compared to the Grand Canyon.
Deeper, bigger, etc... It is difficult to say what this means.
I believe the Grand Canyon is drier and the walls are almost vertical.
The sides of this Canyon are more like the sides of a mountain.
And are very steep, but they are not vertical.
In some ways it is more of a valley
and less of a Canyon.

The word deep is strange word. What this means here
is when you have a 5000-6000 meter mountain, and the
distance from the top of the mountain to the river below
is how far it drops or falls, and is that deep.
I have a photo of the guidebook that compares
the Grand Canyon to the Colca Canyon

1 1/2 hours later we arrive at the small village of Cabanaconde.
Built on the edge of the Canyon and at the end of the trail ... almost.
A place where the air feels cleaner, and the sky more blue.
You will find yourself saying,
“Lets go take a walk!”

There is an Oasis at the bottom of the Canyon.
It is about a 2 hour walk down, and a 4 hour walk back up.
The same distance, but easier to go then return.

There are various small family ran Hostals scattered through the
Canyon, and a great place to spend a day or couple of weeks.
Alpaca, cows, donkeys, women and men in traditional clothes.
Small children playing in streets. People carrying packs of
fresh vegetable, or people harvesting potatoes along side the road.

Visit Colca Canyon.
This is a warm and gentle place.
Friendly people with farms on the edge of the world.


Maybe it will help you to...
Be a Hobo, and leave your mark.

X     Hobotraveler.com was HERE!

Life is good.
The Hobotraveler.com

Article written by Andy the Hobotraveler.com
On year 4 of Hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
Subscribe to Free Newsletter at:
You may publish this article for Free
on the internet If this box stays attached.



What is a good bus?

In the more developed country there are
lot of cars and very few buses.
In the USA it is normally Greyhound,
and in Europe that mean Eurolines.
The bus is an excellent way to travel.
People will tell you about trains and I agree.
Trains are comfortable, and smooth.

But to get to that remote jungle village, or on
top of the highest mountain in the most remote
place you know..
It is best to take a bus.

Jeeps, 4 wheel drives, motorcycles, and even
a tank would be nice sometimes. But unless you
are a millionaire they all are inconvenient and the bus
is the best. Driving around in some places with a
4 wheel drive is like a sign saying.
“I am alone, a foreigner, and easy to rob”
You would need a bodyguard.

In the developed countries you have no choice.
When is the bus leaving? Where? How much?
But walk into a bus stop in Mexico City,
Quito Ecuador, Guatemala City, Buenos Aires
Argentina, or La Paz, Bolivia and you will find.
You have lots of choices.

So you will have to make choices.
In a different languages. Different prices.
Different classes. First, Second, Executive
And my favorite.
“Chicken Bus”

What is a good bus?

You will be tempted to think. I will get a faster
safer, cleaner, and better bus if I pay a little more.
Wrong. But you will pay more for sure.
And of course your bragging rights are better.
“I was on this bus, and paid this much...”

1. Get to you destination alive.
2. Not have your backpack stolen or lost.

The first goal is probably easy,
the second is a little more complicated,
There is a third goal
3. To have a comfortable and enjoyable ride.

To choose a bus is like an interview.
You walk around and talk to a lot of candidates before
you hire one. You need to ask good questions.
I like to talk to all the bus companies before I choose.
That can be two to ten according to your destination.
This become more difficult when there is not bus terminal,
Only a place where there are hundreds of bus parked waiting
for prospetive passengers.
But the same rules apply,

I suppose this is my big priority. Is the price correct?
Same or below the other buses.
The price should be very competitive
but the lowest price should not be the only
reason to choose a bus.

A good busline allows you to choose your seat.
I will chose a seat about 3-4 rows back.
Just behind the front wheels on the bus, and
if there is a television for movies. It will be about
3 rows in front of the TV on the aisle.
I choose the aisle for 2 reason.
A. More leg room.
B. I will sit down. Locals get on the bus.
See a foreigner and decide to try to find a seat in the back.
( I can then lay down and sleep in 2 seats.. hehehe )
If you choose a seat in the back of the bus.
It will be better to party if you wish to drink on the bus.
But you will be closer to the toilets and it will smell.
Plus lots of people will walk by you all the time.

I get motion sickness. So the best seats are from the
middle of the bus to just behind the front wheels.
In the very rear of the bus, it will bounce up and down more.
The up and down motion will make you sick the fastest.

Sometime you check your bag in with the attendant.
But normally you will carry your bag to the bus and
load it on the bus before the bus leaves.
There is a compartment on the bottom of the bus,
below your seats, Or they store you bag on top of the bus,
or in very rare cases you will carry the big backpack onto the bus.
Then you will have it on the seat next to you,
or in the very back.

Below the bus. At the front of the bus.
There are compartment on the sides. This is normal.
Sometimes in the rear of the bus. This compartment
gets a lot of dust, and engine fumes, and bounces.
The closer to the front of the bus the better.
If you are in an area where it floods, they will sometimes
drive a bus through a river. The baggage compartment will get
flooded. You do NOT want to ever store your COMPUTER
in the lower compartment. Carry it one.

Be careful when you give your bag to anyone.
They will throw it. Drop it. And in the Coca Cola bus
stop in San Jose, Costa Rica. They will take it and run
away. (Steal it) Put the bag on the bus yourself. Know which
side and where. If you stop and they open that compartment.
Look out the window and see if your bag is leaving also.
Do not let people carry your backpack.

In the bus on the seat next to you.
You may think this is the best. But if you fall asleep,
or go to the toilet, or get off at the border to get your
passport stamped. You may find the backpack gone,
or things stolen. They like to place it in the back of the
bus, then 10 people will decide to sit on your bag.
Steal, smash, and break anything inside.
For short trips this is pretty good.

On top... This can be better than in the bus.
But.. You have to see if they have a tarp to protect the
bag from rain. If they do not. Do NOT put it up there.
It should be tied down and covered.
I was trying to get on a bus in Potosi, Bolivia to go
to Uyuni, Bolivia. I ask the bus driver where the tarp
was? He kept saying they had one. I said when I see
one, I will give you the bag. I never saw one. I walked
on the bus through the bus driver, and put the bag on the
seat next to me. This bus had people standing in the
aisles. Very, very overload. Everyone was laughing
at me, and they soon were telling me how smart I was when
it started raining 30 minutes later. Be very careful if another
traveler gets off the bus. The will climb up on top and throw all
the foreigners backpacks off, and drive away.

Sometimes you check your bag in, like you would do
at an airport. This is dangerous. Look where they
store the bag, and no one can get to the bag. Plus make
sure it is dry. You will now have to watch the bag until it
is loaded on the bus. Follow the bus people the whole time.
Sometime they will give you a tag, and sometime they don’t.
The tag seems good, but they will often give you a tag, and
then just let you grab any bag when you get off the bus.
Do NOT trust them to handle the bag, and watch your bag
and see that it gets on the bus.

The closest I ever came to losing my bag was in my own
country. In Atlanta when Greyhound was transferring the bags
from one bus to the next. The attendant told me not to worry.
I said I would not get on the bus until I saw my bag.
He became very angry. I was bigger. He found my bag.
It was located on another bus. He said that both
buses were going to the same location. They did not.
I still have my bag because I refuse to trust them.
Trust yourself and watch your bag.

Do not be some TOURIST....Having you bags carried
and everyone helping you. You will have your bag stolen
or lost.

Even the cheapest grimiest bus will give you ticket
or a receipt. Lots of places.. especially in Mexico will
try to not give you a ticket, and cheat their company.
If an bus official gets on the bus, you may be asked to
leave. I have seen bus officials get on buses. Throw
people off the bus that I had seen pay. But had no
ticket or receipt. I one time saw the guy throw the driver
off. If someone gets on the bus with the same ticket number
as you... You know the bus sucks. When you stop at
a bus station. Watch your seat.

A very good bus will only pick up passengers at the
terminals. From Mexico to Argentina that is maybe
1 in 100 of the buses. They all will stop an pick up
anyone with money. It is extremely common to leave
the station and instantly one block away 20 more
people get on. If you have no money. This is the
way to pay less, but you make be standing in the
aisle for 10 hours. I will not get on a bus, unless I can
see a seat to sit in or I have no choice. I have only stood
in the aisle twice in 4 years. Once in Costa Rica and
the other in Mexico. I had no choice.

If you are on a First Class bus, and a big fat stinky
lady has her rear in your face for 12 hours.
Is it first class?

A good bus company is normally friendly and

If you can see the bus, and it says....
Air conditioning. That means very little. All the windows
should be closed. If the are all open...? Think.
I always carry a blanket with me. The bus is always too cold or
too hot. You can be in the hottest tropical environment and think
Shorts and tank top are good. Then the bus driver has the air
conditioning ups so high you freeze.

I often ask which movie?
Is it in English? Etc.
They will tell you there is a movie, and there is no movie.
I do think that buses that say there are movies and even
if there is no movie, are better than the others that do
not even pretend to have good service.

A week bladder and you may need to stay at home.
Short trips are ok. Go to the toilet before you leave,
and do not drink a lot. You do NOT want to use the toilet
unless you have to. Mexico is the worst.
Some countries have toilets and other do not.
Peru doeS not normally have toilets on buses.
Ask? ALWAYS carry toilet paper.

The bus needs to arrive before 3 in the afternoon.
So you can find a hotel in the light of day.
If you take an all night bus, it should arrive no earlier
than 4 in the morning. If you do arrive before that. Or
before the sun rises. Stay on the bus and sleep.
If you are going to arrive at night, midnight, or anytime
in the middle of the night.
Call your mother and ask for money in advance.
You are the prime candidate to get robbed.
A good bus has schedules that are convenient for
travelers, and to catch on onward bus.

A good bus will keep the radio or stereo at a
reasonable level and will turn it off at night for people
to sleep. If a fellow passenger has a boom box, large
stereo, or walkman and is too, they should be asked
to turn them down by the bus driver.
(Greyhound is the ONLY bus I have ever seen do this)
In most countries is best to go threaten them.
My normal technique. Earplugs are needed.

A good bus will try to keep the people that wish to
talk loud quiet.
Earplugs again, or threats.
Most countires have no respect for other people.
The feel no remorse or embarrasment if they wake
the other passengers. This was hard for me to
understand or believe when I first started travel.
It is the job of the managment, but normally
the managment behaves the same.

The best way to cross a border quickly and safely
is to be on a bus that goes across. The driver will have a relationship
with the customs official and can make life easy for you.
If you go across in a rental card, or your own car.
You may want to live there, or learn what the a bribe is and
how to pay one.

Watch your bags very carefully at the border. Take your carry on with
you when you leave the bus. If for some reason they say you must be
leave your bags on the bus. Be the last to get off, and try to be the
first to get back on the bus. If there are people walking around in the
at the border. Go knock on the door, and try to get in to check your

A good bus driver will not let you walk around at the border. They
will have everyone corralled and controlled. Making sure to count
that everyone is on the bus, and leaving with the bus.

A good bus is not going to allow people to enter to sell soda,
and food. Althought most are bad buses. They will stop and pick
up andy vendor. The bus driver gets a free meal
and you get to have food hanging in your face. It is better
when they sell the stuff through the windows
and not in the bus.
Anytime a non-passenger enters the bus the danger of
theft and trouble increase. This includes the police and
custom officials. Grab hold of all your stuff, and
hide them if possible.

16. FOOD
Meals on the bus... Now that is a luxury.
Very very unusual. Not worth the extra money.
Buy some crackers or cookies. If you wish to be
healthy. Buy a can of tuna.

A good bus has curtains, and windows that work.
If there are no curtains, or they are torn or
hanging loose at the bottom. Pay special notice.

Junk, paper, toilet paper, fish, chickens,
people that stink, liquor bottles, cans, water bottles.
A great bus has plastic bags for trash. Very unusual in
the underdeveloped countries. There are highways that
are so up and down, and weave so much that people will
get sick. A good bus has plastic bags for people that get
sick. I was on a bus in Chile. A lady gots sick.
The bus attendants did nothing for 20 hours.

You have 3 major types of seats.
A. Normal recline type. 90 percent.
B. Bus seats like school bus and no leg room.
C. Bed type.. These recline very far back and
have support under your legs like a recliners.
If you have the time and the knowledge it is go to
ask what type of seats.

It is nice when a bus stop for a break. Stretch the legs
and get some air. In Brazil they have showers at the
bus stops and can be unbelievably great, with food
you can buy by the kilo.

Always take your carry on bag with you, and remember
where the bus is parked. They my move the bus to service it or
get air in the tires. Do not think they will come looking for
your, find a partner to help monitor the bus.

A really bad bus will stop about 10 minutes befpre the end
of the trip. You will be very tired, and hungry. The driver will
get a free meal. You will wait around for 1/2 hours while the
food is overpriced they take a break before going to the
terminal. Hard to believe the level of self centered and
greedy people sometimes. Willing to make 50 people wait
for them to get a free meal. Buy some chips, crackers,
cookies, and water before you ever get on a bus.

When you get on a bus, a train, a plane, a boat.
Beware.. You are in harms way.
The bus is the best way to travel
if you want to SEE the world.

Maybe it will help you to...
Be a Hobo, and leave your mark.

X     Hobotraveler.com was HERE!

Life is good.
The Hobotraveler.com

As always, these are suggestions. Please realize I am
giving guidance, and there are always other opinions.
“One mans paradise, is another mans hell”
This way we do not all go to the same place.

Article written by Andy the Hobotraveler.com
On year 4 of Hobo trip around the world.
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I made a comment about the Ormeno bus line
and friend wrote me a nice letter, but disagreeing.
I have a mental list in my head of what I look for
in a bus, and this is the new written list.
Only about 1/2 of these things was Ormeno even
adequate. The were especially lax with the safety of
the passengers and baggage. Me getting dropped
off at 3 in the morning 1 hours away from the city
with no rides was a first. We walked aimlessly at the
border while vendors got on the bus. My bag sat in
the middle of the office unprotected. They assigned a seat where
my fiend Claudia was sitting and she almost lost her
seat, and they picked up people for extra fares.
It was clean. But the people were rude.
I did not get to my destination,
and I my bag was not safe.




Argentina by Bike.


TODAY’S TIP FROM THE “Peanut Gallery” Fun tips
Here's a little tip from me, to you, as an experienced traveler.

If you are walking on a sidewalk in some
far off land and you see a puddle of water on
the middle of the sidewalk.
Step over it, or walk around it.
It probably is not just water.


"Thank you, Lord, for thinkin'
'bout me. I'm alive and doin' fine."
I’m alive and doing fine.‘
Song by: Five Man Electrical Band



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