Continuing the 12 Days of Christmas posts, it’s now ten days until Christmas Day so here are 10 different modes of transport I’ve taken.
Buses. I’ve sat for too many hours in buses. I’ve travelled far too many miles by bus. From the insanely plush WiFi equipped bus from Lima to Huaraz to the Chicken Buses of Guatemala. The worst journey by far though was from La Paz to Uyuni – 13hours of bouncy, jiggly hell, only punctuated by the jarring of your knees into the seat which is reclined in front of you!
I’ve sat through a couple of speedboat journeys and discovered that I love the speed! Between the Galapagos islands we were cresting huge waves, in Utila the boat captains took up the challenge and teased me about how fast we were going, one boat was even wakeboarding between La Cieba and Bocas Del Toro… Speedboats are fun!
I haven’t taken many Taxi’s or cars due to the costs, but in Somoto we managed to fit 8 people into a taxi (the driver, 2 in the front seat, 3 in the back and 2 in the boot).
The plane to Rurrenbaque was tiny and you could see the pilot and co-pilot flying the plane up front. It landed at a grass airfield and had the strangest fire-engine I’ve seen!
I’ve ridden bikes in various places but the most memorable is the downhill experience in Sorata, Bolivia. It was tough and demoralising to be riding along the flat panting for breath and unable to keep up with the others – we were at 4,600m which is quite high.
If getting 8 people in a taxi was impressive, 5 people in a Tuk Tuk was tighter. It was between the bus stop and the town centre of Granada, Nicaragua and I was sat in the front hanging on whilst three people were crammed in the back! A very surreal experience which became perilous when the front tyre punctured.
Walking everywhere has become normal for me and I’ve destroyed a pair of shoes and sandals by doing so. I’ve walked in cities, on mountains, volcano’s, beaches, ancient pathways and through rivers. The most physically demanding due to the altitude has to be the Inca Trail, Peru though – starting at 3000m and climbing 1200m, in the cold rain whilst not been able to breath was particularly tough.
Ok, so maybe it’s not efficient transport, but learning to Scuba Diving gives you enormous freedom. The ability to travel in any direction, at any speed, to flip, spin, hover and swim backwards is not to be sniffed at!
After the Inca Trail we had a few beers, went to the hot springs and took the train back from Aguas Calientes. It was memorable for me as I was on a high after finishing the trek (and the Pisco Sours) and sat opposite random, tired out hikers and talked at them whilst munching the pizza I’d brought along for the ride.
Maybe not unique in terms of this list but it deserves a place of it’s own. Pick-ups. On Lago Atitlan we hitch-hiked to the nearest village and the driver took great joy in power-sliding around the corners trying to make us fall out. In Summuc Champey we had 18 people into a pick-up and were careering off-road! Pick-ups are the easiest method of travel!