Most Americans would rather have a root canal than endure a 17-hour bus ride. Almost any form of transportation is preferable to riding the dog.
Not so in Argentina.
More than one person had told me that Argentine long-distance buses were comfortable and affordable. But we were all surprised by how enjoyable it is to travel on them.
Truth be told, by the time we had reached Puerto Iguazu after the overnight journey from Buenos Aires, none of us wanted to leave the Crucero del Norte bus. Because we were traveling full cama.
We boarded our bus at 7:30 pm at Retiro station and were due to arrive in Puerto Iguazu at 12:30 pm the next afternoon. Our seats resembled overstuffed recliners and were ingeniously designed to fold out into comfortable beds.
Each “cama suite” had its own flat screen TV, and they didn’t play the overheated action films so prevalent on long-distance buses. We got a Meg Ryan movie first followed by the always excellent Tommy Lee Jones in In the Valley of Elah.
From the moment we boarded the “service” began. Within the space of ninety minutes we were offered complimentary whiskey, wine and champagne – all this before dinner.
Around 11 pm they dimmed the bus’s interior lights and, almost in unison, our 24 fellow passengers converted their seats into beds. Dani, the kids and I slept pretty soundly until breakfast was served the next morning at 6:30 am.
When pulled into the Omnibus Terminal right on schedule, Caroline and Conor were actually disappointed to leave the bus.
So I shared with them this good news: We have at least two more long-distance bus rides in our near future.
But here’s the bad news: The only service available on our 23-hour trip from Iguazu to Salta is semi-cama.
Something tells me that after you’ve traveled full cama, semi-cama ain’t gonna cut it.