Long 14-hour bus journeys can be a pain in the ass. Bumpy roads, uncomfortable seats, rude drivers and dangerous driving are just some of the elements of a nightmare journey.
We are quite accustomed to travelling at this stage, whether it is by bus, train, plane or boat. As South America’s landscape is so vast, people (including us) think nothing of hopping on a bus and heading off for a ten, twelve, even twenty-two hours journey across the wide-open spaces of this beautiful part of the world.
It’s amazing because back in Ireland, we never got the bus to Dublin as we thought it was too long a time to be sitting on a bus – and it only takes two and a half hours from departure to arrival!
We recently spent some time in Argentina and took the bus from Buenos Aires to Mendoza, which was a 13-hour ride away.
Andesmar was our preferred bus company as we had heard great things about them in terms of their comfortable buses and level of luxury that they provide.
And, who doesn’t want a bit of luxury on a 13-hour bus ride?!
Surprisingly, there were in fact few specific details to be found online so we were unsure as to what the bus journey would entail and what this ‘high level of luxury’ actually meant.
Upon booking our ticket at the Andesmar ticket office in the main bus station in Buenos Aires, Terminal de Omnibuses, we actually began to get excited about having to spend 13 hours on a bus!
Based on what the Andesmar employee told us, our bus journey would consist of relaxing in a “cama suite” which featured a leather chair that fully reclined at an angle of 180 degrees.
As well as being able to lie out and stretch our legs, we would also be treated to a three course meal, a comfy pillow and warm blanket, a game of bingo where the winner receives a bottle of wine, breakfast in the morning and to top it all off, we would be given FREE wine and champagne to compliment our dinner.
Sounds amazing, right?
What’s more amazing was the price of the ticket, which came in at a very reasonable $70 (with the Blue Rate) and was nothing considering the length of the journey and the level of comfort and luxury that is provided.
We are big fans of overnight travel as it saves on accommodation costs while also keeping the day time free to do more exciting activities so the fact that this was an overnight bus suited us even better.
The bus departed at approximately 7 pm from Terminal de Omnibuses and arrived into Mendoza at 8 am the next morning. As with most bus companies in South America, the bus ran on schedule – it left on time and arrived at the exact time they said it would.
Our bus was a giant double-decker that was spotlessly clean and super comfortable. Each passenger had their own compartment that consisted of a reclining leather seat, cup holder, private T.V. screen with headphones and a package that contained the comfy blanket and pillow we were promised.
Dinner was served around 10 pm and it was delicious. We both enjoyed our starter of assorted cold foods followed by a main of scrumptious Cottage Pie that was washed down with a few glasses of red wine.
And if that wasn’t enough, we were then given some yummy cake and a glass of the finest champagne.
There is a stewardess on board to look after the passengers and ours did a great job of doing just that. Soon after she had cleared away the dinner trays, she then started up a game of Bingo where the lucky winner was presented with a bottle of red wine.
As midnight approached, the curtains were drawn shielding us from the lights of the street lamps outside and all of the lights in the bus were knocked off.
It was easy to get to sleep considering the road was so smooth and the seats were so comfortable. We both had a full 7 hours sleep – heck, we slept better on that bus than we did in many hostels and hotels in the past!
The stewardess woke us up at 7 am for a wholesome breakfast of tea/coffee, warm pancakes with ham and cheese and some traditional Argentinian desserts.
After a 13 hour journey, 7 hours sleep, a 3 course-meal, a game of Bingo, a few glasses of wine and champagne and a delicious breakfast, we arrived in Mendoza feeling full, refreshed, and wishing that all bus journeys could be like the one we’d just been on!
As far so good bus companies go, Andesmar is definitely up there.
Have you ever travelled with this bus company or been on what you considered a luxurious bus journey? What was your experience like? We’d love to hear from you!