Cross Country Argentine style

Trip Start Aug 25, 2008
Trip End Dec 16, 2008

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Argentina is huge.  Unbelievably massive.  At 1 million Sq Miles, it is roughly the same size as the United States East of the Mississippi. 

When planning my trip, I thought I'd just zip across the country to see Iguazu falls, the widest waterfall in the world - after all, Argentina looks kind of skinny on the map so I figured I was in the neighborhood and it would be a shame if I didn't pop in to check it out.

It's a 24 hour bus ride! 

Actually, it was 23 hours. When booking the trip, I asked the agent how long the trip was.

"24 hours" he said. 

"I heard it was 23 hours - is it 23 or 24 hours?" I asked.

"Does it really matter?" he retorted. 

"Good point.  VIP class includes free drinks, right?  I'll take one of those, please." I said.

Argentina is reputed to have the very best buses in the world, and after spending an hour short of a day in one, I actually have to agree. 

These buses feel more like international first class on Virgin Atlantic.  I'm calling them Air-Argentina from now on.

The buses are massive Mercedes or Scandia double-deckers and you usually have the choice of three or four levels of service (e.g. Coach, Business Class, or VIP)

My VIP class bus ($70) only had three leather seats in each row and they fold completely flat into a bed.  I even had curtains surrounding my seat and my own personal LCD entertainment center with new release movies.

Free champaign and little fancy cookies when we boarded, free drinks, and real food.  Now, Im not talking Wolfgang Puck anything - but the quality was slightly better than what you'd get on an international flight.  

On the opposite extreme, the US absolutely has the worst and scariest bus system in the world.  The buses in Bolivia are less dangerous and more comfortable than Greyhound.

(I thought the photo below was funny - this bus had a huge graphic on the side that I think was intended to show really happy people jumping for joy, but it looks more like the bus is trying to mow down terrified pedistrians.  After trying to cross the street in Argentina, I think the later interpretation is more appropriate!).
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