I've found the clerks at the central terminals to be constantly alert and helpful. This clerk
took thoughtfulness one-step further, “Leave later, and arrive earlier,” sounded good to
It also proved that travelers should always bring an entertaining thick book for the trip.
I had purchased Charles C. Mann's best selling 1491, A History of the Americas Before
Columbus . The two hours were well spent reading and relaxing in the comfortable lobby.
The ADO bus pulled out just before noon. After a few miles we left the city and entered
the dual, four-lane, center-divided toll road. The road was a black ribbon that cut across
an endless green semitropical landscape. The driver held a steady 55 mph as we passed
coconut-oil palm trees, seas of sugar cane, citrus orchards and green fields, with white
My front passenger window gave me both the highway and the window view. My seatmate
introduced himself, then promptly adjusted the seat to recline, closed his eyes and dozed
In the distance, I could see there was a population center. The town itself was invisible.
Rich, thick green woods, tall brush and vegetation obscured details of the town, but like
an atoll in this green sea, a church tower and dome stood out.
The bus bobbed and weaved on the highway. The windshield ploughed the humid air and
accumulated a speckled abundance of dead insects.
When we left Córdoba the sky glowed grey, but as the bus traveled south, the glow
darkened and then disappeared. Black rain began, first falling lightly and then pelting us
with huge drops.
My seatmate woke up. I asked why he was traveling and what his profession was.
His name was Guillermo Contreras and he manufactured perfume. "How do you make
perfume?" I asked.
"Water, alcohol, and concentrated aroma," Guillermo said. “There are about 100 different
fragrances." He bought aroma in concentrate, used eight distributors and counted on 500