Looks a lot like adventure.

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Chicken Bus

Originally uploaded by trackbrad.
(Spanish has very few contractions, so please forgive the absence of apostrophes, as these keyboards do not have an apostrophe key.)

I know that some of you did not want us to ride the 2nd Class buses (Mom) -- but not doing so would be like going to DisneyLand and not riding Space Mountain. Plus, there are some routes in which they are simply unavoidable.

From Antigua, we were trying to get to Lago de Atitlan, an out of the way lake which has not yet been overrun by tourists. We asked the local information office for the best way to get there, as our guidebook was lacking, and he drew us out a route from the local bus station. We show up to see only multi-colored buses and a few Guat men yelling for the first stop on our three bus route. We got on. The first leg was no big deal, about forty-five minutes on a 1950s bluebird schoolbus.

We then met up with some hippie Brits who were headed to San Pedro de Laguna, one of which knew the 2nd class bus system, so we followed them. We got on our second bus and... well, imagine paying money to ride a 60-year-old rusted rollercoaster at twice its operating velocity. Now put five cars on a track meant for one. And then push it up to the edge of a cliff and try to pass the cars in front of you. To top it off, no one is screaming.

After about the fifteenth time our driver tried to pass eight other cars at twice the speed limit around a blind corner of a two-lane mountainous road, I turned to Hobo and whispered, "Yea, this is the most dangerous thing I have ever done." We both laughed nervously and held on tight as we thought about that statement in context of all the other stupid-crazy things we have both done. I spent the rest of the trip praying, "God, if you want to take me today, Im ready... but dont take Michael, it would kill mom."

The portly bus manager suddenly started screaming for us to get ready to get off, so we shuffled forward through the crowd, only to look back and see the manager STEPPING OUT THE BACK OF THE BUS AT FULL SPEED AND CLIMBING ON THE ROOF! At this point, we are still going around hairpin turns at breakneck speed. The next 30 seconds are more or less a blur.. and Im not even sure the bus ever came to a complete stop. All I remember is catching backpacks as the manager carelessly threw them from the roof... the last one hitting the ground as the bus sped off.

We all kinda looked at each other for a second and wondered, "did that just happen?"

As our Brit friends put it, "Ive rode a lot of Chicken buses in my life, but that one was a bit dodgy." I recommend everyone try a Chicken bus while youre here, if you have a strong stomach and have made peace with God. But I think weve had our fill... You can join us for a few seconds on the bus, but know that the clip does not do this experience justice.

Great pictures. You will always remember this adventure. Thanks for keeping us posted. BEE careful!

Remenber all the concerns your mother expressed about the chicken buses. Sounds like she may have been right. Be safe guys!

hey fellas- looking like you are having a great time - and glad you tried the chicken bus even if was just that once. safe travels wherever they take you. and the beard contest is pretty funny!
-bartender from monoloco, antigua

I'm not going to say it. No, I am not going to say it. As hard as it is... I am not going to say it.

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