Stranded in the Desert WITHOUT Jesus




A foreign sound emanating from underneath our bus interrupts the Crash Karma playing on my iPod.

“What was that?” asks Marina as our bus comes to a rolling stop on the side of the road somewhere between Uyuni and Potosi.

We are once again surrounded by sand and mountains, and once again mocked by the burning sun while our South American transportation has failed.

“I hope it’s just a tire,” I joke.

After three days and three flat tires on the Bolivian salt flats excursion, we’ve become quite accustomed to waiting on the side of the road while wheels are replaced by their spares (when available).

Unfortunately, this particular time, the problem is more complicated.

Our bus is completely void of battery power.


“See you later, suckers!” yells an abdominally obese, and morbidly obnoxious Santa Claus look-alike from the US.

He and the equally annoying Mrs. Claus are standing in the back of a dump truck, along with a dozen others.

They’ve just “hitched” a ride to Potosi.

“See you later, idiots!” I reply with a smile.

We stand by our defunct bus, waving at the group of dolts who were originally on said vehicle.

We are all thankful the obnoxious American elderly couple, in a state of sheer, albeit completely unnecessary panic, have decided to hitch a ride.

The daft, tattoo-covered German, who minutes earlier almost single-handedly destroyed the bus’ console in an effort to open the underlying luggage compartment, joins Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

Some folks do not deal well with “emergency” situations.


A Bolivian child screeches as our barely-functioning, replacement bus makes a bumpy pass over some railway tracks.

A sketchy looking puppy just pissed a few inches from my feet. The stream of urine came even closer to Killian’s daypack.


Note the puddle of fresh urine.

Every time I look over the edge of the road and see sheer cliff for hundreds of meters below I get a bit lightheaded.

Alas, the stench of fresh urine wakes me back up promptly.

We are approximately 1 hrs outside of Potosi, the highest city in the world.

This is the 8th hour of our six hour journey from Uyuni to Potosi.

Tomorrow we are planning on visiting the famous, and horrendous Potosi mines. There’s rumours circulating we’ll be purchasing TNT and blowing things up in and outside of the mines.

I’d rather not miss that.


A little boy starts clapping in joy as the view of city lights in the distance appears through the bus window to the right of the road.

We all join in.

Tourists and locals alike, and likely that damned puppy, are all relieved to see an end to this trip.

It appears we are actually going to make it to Potosi tonight.

No need to resort to cannibalism after all.

Sorry to disappoint you, Mr. and Mrs. Claus.


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