Why Long-Haul Buses Scare Me

At the time of trying to sort out how I would get myself to the only destination I had booked, I also gave myself the task of figuring out where I could possibly go next. I don’t want to book anything just yet but I do want to figure out what my options could be.

Since I am bound to take one at some point on my trip, I think it will be funny to write now reasons why I didn’t want to take the 24-hour ride from Santiago to San Pedro de Atacama. It will be interesting to write this now and look back later after I have done it.

Here goes:

1. It’s a long time to be on a bus.

Sure I could lose myself staring out of the windows what is out in that big expanse – I’d be heading to and through places I have never been so there would be plenty to stare at – in the daylight hours.
2. People who live in Chile told me that if I can afford to fly, fly.

Um, when in Rome, I guess.

3. I am a good sleeper.

Here, I should explain. I would conk out like a baby.  Except, traveling solo, I would feel like I could not sleep on that ride. In fact I would probably have to force myself to stay awake. So unless that bus makes zero stops en route or that my bag is actually tied to my body, I may just not arrive with my belongings considering that my eyes would be closed.

I know travelers take long buses all the time, but, not knowing if I felt like I could fall asleep on a long-haul bus ride sounds miserable to me. Well, maybe it wouldn’t be miserable if I were traveling with someone, a light sleeper perhaps, but if I am taking a bus ride along, there would be no sleep. Or the risk of not arriving with bags.

4. If I am going to do one long-haul bus ride, it can’t be followed four days later by another. Oh yes, you heard it here.

If I were to take a 24-hour bus ride, I cannot follow it four days later with a 20-hour ride. I know myself and two of those crazy long rides just four days apart is definitely not for me!

I am game to try a long-haul bus route on my adventure but I don’t think I am game to try it twice and certainly not days apart from one another. I say this now, let’s see what happens when I am down there with airplane tastes and a bus budget.


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