Day 24 The Wheels on the Bus Go Round…

 

2Today we say goodbye to the canyons and desert as it is our bus trip to Iquique. We arrived nice and early at the bus stop at San Pedro de Atacama.1

The bus arrived, we put our luggage on, found our seat and off on the long straight road to Calama.

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We were upstairs and right at the front which is cool but not so cool when you get into town and see how close they get to bikes, cars, powerlines etc.

We had a 20 min gap between buses and when we arrived there was only one bus but it was being worked on …hmm.

Another bus pulls up 15 mins later but it’s not going to Iquique and the broken bus pulls off…hmm….now there’s no buses but lots of people. I’m starting to think we’re going to spend the night in Calama and I don’t speak Spanish.

A lady come out and says says something about Iquique. People don’t seem angry or walk off so that can’t be too bad. A bus pulls up labeled Iquique but it’s for a different bus company. A bunch of people look like they run inside and buy a ticket for that bus …hmm.

45 mins later an unmarked bus pulls up and the driver gets out and mutters something about Iquique (I think this is out bus!) Ok..its our bus and an hour late we’re off to Iquique.

15 mins up the road we stop and sit for awhile. Then the driver comes back and says something about a mechanical issue so everyone gets out. It’s getting cold so we get back in.

Eventually everyone gets back in and I think they say something like we’re going back to Calama to change buses.

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Back to the bus depot and we get on a different bus, move the luggage etc. and we’re off! For about 15meters to fill up the bus (you’d think they could have done this before we got there).

And we’re off again…2.5hours late. After a long drive we finally get to Iquique and we get ripped by the cabbie but I don’t care as it’s after midnight and I’m tired.