So you know how the law of logic say you can have something fast and cheap while sacrificing quality, or amazing quality and great speed, but you're going to have to pay big bucks, or high quality, at a great price, but it will take an eternity. Well that may be sound logic everywhere else in the world, but it doesn't apply to buses in Latin America, anyone who has been bounced around on a bumpy road on a hot stinking bus with a rooster in their lap can attest to the fact that you get CHEAP and nothing else.
My last adventure on a Latin American bus was my trip from Quito to Otavalo. I was on a mission to bring back some beautiful hand crafted artisanal goods. I opted to take the bus because a taxi would have cut deeply into my profit margins. One of the scenes that was most memorable was when police boarded the bus. Dressed in costumes and holding a ventriloquist dummy, what amazed me most was how polite and friendly they were. Check out the video below, and notice the rooster that crows at the 10 second mark.
When I finally arrived in Otavalo it was everything my little heart had hoped it would be. There was row after row of stalls overflowing with alpaca scarfs, beautiful handwoven alpaca blankets, hand crafted dream catchers, purses wallets, you name it. Basically a shop owners dream come true. I walked around taking it all in, making mental notes, asking questions and talking with the artisans. Before getting down to the negotiations I made sure to sit down to lunch and reflect on the items that I wanted to take home. Sadly I was limited by what I could physically carry back on the bus.