My Wife and My Bus are Floating Away!

It was just another routine rest stop on a Bolivian bus ride.

My wife stayed on board while I went to find a toilet.

But, upon my return, I was horrified to find an empty curb where our bus had just been parked…

 

The inside of my local Bolivian bus: minutes before this story took place.
The inside of my local Bolivian bus: minutes before this story took place.

Um… what do I do now?!

As my panic began to grow, I spun around looking for any sign of our four-wheeled transport.

That’s when I heard a familiar voice calling my name from afar.

“Greg… Greg… Over here!”

Moments later, I located Carrie sitting on the edge of a shoddy wooden barge a few dozen feet from shore.

Next to her was our bus.

. . .

This video is of my reaction as soon as I realized what was going on!

 


My mind quickly raced through my options

A running jump across 10 feet of water could reunite us…
…but I left my Superman cape at home.

 

Or, I could run through the water to reach the barge…
…it didn’t appear to be more than waist-deep.

 

Fortunately, from across the water, I heard my dear wife’s calming voice say,

“Don’t worry; no one else from the bus is here either.”

 

You can see Carrie sitting on the far right side of the boat, enjoying a snack.
You can see Carrie sitting on the far right side of the boat, enjoying a snack.

At this point I had a choice…

  1. Submit to my feelings of complete terror and helplessness; or,
  2. Accept the situation and know that it will eventually make one helluva story.

. . .

Fortunately, that line of thinking calmed me down and I chose option #2.

But now, I was left with the mystery of how to reunite myself with my bus and my wife…

 

By this point, Carrie was well on her way to the other side of Lake Titicaca.
By this point, Carrie was well on her way to the other side of Lake Titicaca.

 

The shores of Tiquina, Bolivia, are lined with boats of all shapes, sizes and colors.
Luckily, the shores of Tiquina, Bolivia, are lined with boats of all shapes, sizes and colors.

When all else fails, ask the locals

I knew there had to be another way across Lake Titicaca; so, I found a few locals and asked,

“Excuse me. My wife and my bus are floating away on that boat.

What do I do?”

 

A few non-committal shoulder shrugs later, a friendly woman pointed me towards a small motorboat that was quickly filling up with passengers.

The captain told me to give him two Bolvianos (about 28 cents) and have a seat.

 

Empty when I first boarded, this boat soon filled up with all the other passengers on my bus.
Empty when I first boarded, this boat soon filled up with all the other passengers on my bus.

 

For 2 Bolivianos, the San Miguel ferried us across Lake Titicaca.
For 2 Bolivianos, the San Miguel ferried us across Lake Titicaca.

A boatload of nervous passengers

At this point, several of my fellow bus riders were on board and acting far more nervous than I.

“Hurry up; let’s go! The bus is going to leave,” they shouted at the captain.

Tranquilo, tranquilo,” he replied.

 

Finally, with the motorboat full of passengers from our bus, we set off on a three-minute ride across Lake Titicaca.

The trip was so fast that we landed on the other side before the bus.

 

The view of Tiquina and Lake Titicaca from the back of the San Miguel.
The view of Tiquina and Lake Titicaca from the back of the San Miguel.

 

Our green bus driving down the street was a site for sore eyes!
Our green bus driving down the street was a site for sore eyes!

A happy ending

Another few minutes would pass before I saw Carrie walking down the street.

Our bus was not far behind; although, we had a few more minutes before it finally left.

 

Epilogue

A few days later, we learned my separate motorboat voyage was, indeed, a normal part of the bus ride between Copcacbana and La Paz.

 

However, the driver usually tells the passengers what’s about to happen.

 

Doing it any other way leads to lots of frightened locals…
…and one American watching his wife float away.