The Astounding Travel Adventures of a Miraculous Fellow

The Longest “Day” of My Life
July 28, 2008, 6:06 pm
Filed under: Venezuela
Cast of Characters:
Me, Pat, Willy, Niall and Jack the Insane Irishmen, Robin the Canadian.
Motorized Canoe, Tiny Airplane, Minivan, Buses, Buses, and more Buses.
 7:00 A.M.
I awake with a broken back from sleeping in a hammock in the middle of the jungle at the base of Angel Falls.
7:30 A.M.
Eat breakfast, climb into our small motorized canoe and head down river for two hours bumping through rapids while crammed next to Pat.
9:30 A.M.
The pain from my broken back at this point is rivalled by the numbness of my ass from sitting in this canoe for so long.  Luckily, the boat vibrates a lot which feels kinda nice.
10:00 A.M.
We exit the boat, and walk for 45 minutes.  This was done to avoid giant rapids that would have probably flipped our boats, then thrown us over the huge waterfalls.  I would rather have tested my odds with this one, as a broken back and numb buns making walking rather awkward — imagine a drunken camel.
10:45 A.M.
Get back into the boat for another hour of ass numbing pleasure.
12:00 P.M.
Arrive at camp, take a quick shower to wash 3 days of filth of our smelly bodies, pack up our gear, and head to the airport.
12:30 P.M.
Get into our tiny, five-man Cessna, say a quick prayer, fire up the engines, then for some reason, drive down the dirt road next to the paved runway to take off.  This was strange.  However, the flight was quick and painless with only a few vomit-inducing turbulence sessions.
1:30 P.M.
Land at the airport, back in Venezuelan civilization.  After meandering around town unsuccessfully trying to get money from twelve different ATMs, we finally throw our hands up in the air and scream “Whyyyy God, Whyyyyyyyy?!!”  This would be a common occurrence in the next few weeks.
6:00 P.M.
After attempting to earn money by whoring my body, unsuccessfully again, we borrowed money from the Irishmen to eat, and purchase rum to make the upcoming bus rides a little more tolerable. 
7:00 P.M.
Bus time.  12 hours of rum-soaked uncomfortablility.  This behemoth rumbled out of the station promptly half an hour late, then managed to stop 100 feet down the road for over an hour.  I think the driver had to finish his pack of smokes and four street hot dogs to get fired up for the trip. 
8:30 P.M.
We finally leave again, and the rum is quickly opened.  All of us engage the two bottles we have, but myself and Niall do the most damage, staying up well past 1 A.M., generally trying to decipher what in the hell that crazy Irish bastard is saying to me.
1 A.M.
After hearing the phrase “Eh were gonna get feckin langered, boy” at the very minimum, 47 times, I fall asleep.  We´re still far, far, far from getting to our destination of Mérida.
7:00 A.M.
We arrive in Valencia.  We were told by a lying Venezuelan that since the normal bus from Ciudad Bolivar to Mérida was sold out, that this route would be the same length, but just a different way around the country.  We were 24 hours deep at this point, and about halfway there.
7:01 A.M.
After mailing a package bomb to the person who told us that trip was the same length as the other one that was sold out, we sit in the station for awhile with frustration in our hearts, curses for Venezuela on our tongues, and hangovers in our bodies.
10:00 A.M.
The bus finally shows up, and we pile in and head out again.  What we don´t realize is that they decided to put us on the non-express bus, which stops at every town in Venezuela.  This will make things complicated very soon…
2:00 P.M.
The Irish have had it.  They finished off their morning rum, and are getting cranky.  The bus stops for 5 minutes, and they recruit me to take them on a rum mission in a random, tiny little bus stop town in the middle of nowhere.
2:15 P.M.
We come back with two bottles of rum, and two ecstatic Irishmen who just figured out with the assistence of the Canadian girl that the bus driver enjoys company in the cockpit of the bus, where, as along as the Canadian is flirtatious, you can drink and smoke all you want.
2:20 P.M.
Although the bus driver is cool with this, the Venezuelan military is not.  We get pulled over by a cavalcade of military on motorcycle.  Shit.  The locals panic, start hiding their shit on board, while telling one another that at least us gringos will be the ones that get kidnapped.  Shit.
2:25 P.M.
We normal gringos upstairs have no clue what is going on with the military police, and there´s no sign of the Irish, who we assumed have either drank themselves invisible, or were dragged outside and raped.  At this moment, two pro-Chavez lunatics on board decide this is their chance to fuck the gringos over, and run outside saying we were driving the bus drunk, which was not true…we were only buzzed when we drove.  Just kidding, we were actually not drinking at all.  The Irish were, but, come on, if they don´t drink I´m pretty sure they turn to stone.
2:45 P.M.
The military comes on board, sits Niall down in his seat, and leaves.  This is when a crazy Venezuelan Chavista jumps up and screams “We are Venezuelan!  We shouldn´t let gringos on our bus!”  At this point, we are shitting ourselves, preparing to be drawn and quartered.  But, a 20 year-old Venzuelan guy stands up and yells to this bitch “Shut up, you´re a racist!”  The rest of the bus agrees, and we are saved.  So, being highly emboldened, I stand up, walk over to her and say, “Please ma´am, let me explain our situation…HIIIYAAAH!!!”  I then roundhouse kick her in the chin, straight out of the bus window.  Actually, that didn´t happen, but I´ll regret that it didn´t until the day i die.
2:50 P.M.
We leave again.  Finally.  At this point, even the Irish have sobered up from the fear of kidnapping, murder, and eyeball extraction by the Venezuelan military.
1:30 A.M.
We finally…fucking…arrive.  11 hours post-military incursion.
Total transit time: 42 hours
Total time on bus: 29 hours
Total beds slept in: 0
Total times any of us were able to lay down flat in this time period: 0
Total times I uttered the word “Fuck” followed by the word “Venezuela”: 4,020,094
This, my friends, was the longest “day” of my life.

3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

jeff, when you say you said “fuck Venezuela” 4 million times I believe it. Just like you said, “This is God’s country” 2 million times in Sequoia.

Comment by Jenna

Just to add to the total and my reaction to this post… fuck

Comment by Dorty

But you must admit jeff the first half of the trip awas a good laugh !! It was only until they took our drink away that it sucked.\bur i will say this

Comment by crazy Irish no1

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