The Buses of Doom
Day 80: Foz do Iguauzu, Brazil
Somedays it feels like no matter what, you`re going to get screwed in every way possible. Today was one of those days for sure. After making it through the border back into Brazil within 5 minutes, we waited for 2 hours in the blistering hot sun for the next border bus to come by. Even standing behind the rickety metal bus stop in the shade (where some human had decided to take a big shit a few days earlier…thanks buddy) the air was so hot it was hard to breathe.
For some reason, on a typically busy Saturday afternoon, there were less border buses than usual. Finally we made it back into Foz do Iguazu and got onto yet another bus headed for Campo Grande ($40 for the 14 hour ride). For some reason our bus was stopped and searched by “police“ with some rather serious looking assault rifles and civilian clothes underneath a bulletproof vest or, in one case, just a neck badge. They dragged off 3 young guys who didn`t look a day over 18 and ended up searching their bags from under the bus and even made them take off their shoes and shirts to be searched as well. In the end, they just got back on the bus because they didn`t have anything illegal but we were behind schedule by 45 minutes and our driver was pissed. We all were trying to make connections in a smaller town to go on to our final destinations and we were defintely going to miss them. He drove like a madman!
Finally we arrived at our connecting station where we had to be bumped to the very last bus leaving the station where the only seats left where right in front of the bus toilet. And then, after all of that, our stupid bus broke down 10 measley minutes after we left the bus station! And then the bus driver informed us that we were broken down in a very dangerous part of the shitty city and that we should probably stay in the bus. After an hour and a half of trying to figure out the problem with the bus and trying to find another bus to take us onward (since we were the last departure for the night), we were finally rescued and on our way to Campo Grande. It was a horribly long, long ride that smelled like shit and piss the entire 14 hours. It never stopped– it just got worse. The longer we drove, the bumpier the road became. It was a stink so bad that even if you could drift off to sleep for a few sweet minutes you were awoken again by the fear that you would suffocate and die from methane poisoning. What a slow, embarrassing death that would be!