securedownload-1I have been on a quest to travel the length of North and South America by land. I just returned from my fifth trip– a bus ride from Guatemala City to Panama’s Darien Gap. For those of you counting at home, I am 88% done with my goal. Here are some highlights to give you a flavor of my experiences. I will be writing more posts on Crasstalk about my recent Central America trip.

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  • Vehicles used: 20 buses, 6 vans, 2 taxis, 2 passenger cars, 1 trolley.
  • Longest non-stop bus ride: Osorno, Chile, to Punta Arenas, Chile (28 hours, 15 minutes).
  • Longest wait on a bus: 8 hours 37 minutes at ferry landing to cross Strait of Magellan due to wind. Had to return the next day for the crossing.
  • Nicest bus: Double decker in Peru. Choice of beef, chicken, or vegetarian meal. Seats that reclined 160 degrees. Business center onboard with computer and printer.
  • Coolest bus: Kia bus in Panama. Was a used tour bus from South Korea, festooned with Korean stickers everywhere. Curtains out of Maharaja’s sitting room. 42″ TV with amps and tons of speakers.
  • Most professional bus driver: Greyhound driver in Oregon. He had a black briefcase like an airline pilot would have. Inside, he had an apple and a can of grape soda.
  • Multi-tasking bus driver: Dude in Tierra del Fuego. He was driving, smoking Marlboro Reds, talking on his cell, talking on his CB, and unscrewing cap of his Coke all at the same time.
  • Sketchiest border crossing (Day): Mexico-Guatemala.
  • Sketchiest border crossing (Night): Guatemala-El Salvador.
  • Number of border crossings: 13.

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  • Smelliest bus station restroom: Greyhound Seattle.
  • Worst onboard movie: Fireproof by Kirk Cameron.
  • Chinese restaurants visited: 6 (Whitehorse, Yukon; Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico; Antigua, Guatemala; Panama City; Lima, Peru; Santiago, Chile.
  • Overturned vehicles spotted on side of road: 3 (2 tractor trailers in Mexico and a chicken bus in Guatemala).
  • Weirdest passenger: Greyhound in the Yukon. At night, a man sitting across the aisle from me sat upside down. His feet were dangling over the headrest and his head was on the floor. He proceeded to fart.
  • Number of evangelicals who tried to convert me: 3 (2 in Guatemala, 1 in Alaska).
  • Best meal: Seafood stew in Iquique, Chile.
  • Best drink (Cocktail): Fanschop in Chile (half orange Fanta, half lager).
  • Best drink (Beer): Cerveza Austral’s El Calafate Ale.

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Images source: Maxichamp