Travel Update # 1 (1:30 AM, August 1, 2008)
Well everyone .... things don’t always go as planned.
My bus to Montreal (and then to Ottawa) was supposed to leave Freddy Beach at 7:45 pm. The bus to Montreal did arrive at 7:45PM, but, it was already filled to capacity + before it even arrived in Fredericton, leaving all of us waiting for the 7:45 bus (whom all had tickets might I add) standing in the rain quite t’ed off. I was exceptionally annoyed, especially considering that I had purchased my bus ticket 8 weeks ago to be departing Freddy Beach on Aug 1.
Well... after 50 of us going back and forth to the desk at the bus terminal complaining quite vocally, another bus was sent to pick is up. Well, but the time it got to us (8:30), 20 more people had arrived. And of corse, chaos ensued. There was pushing and bickering, and people just running onto the bus, nabbing seats and then going out and pushing through everyone to get thier luggage on the bus going “I already have a seat on the bus - my luggage must go on”. Uh, excuse me?? You just bought your ticket like 20 minutes ago. Back off.
Fortunately we all did make it onto the bus .... more or less. Anyone who had kids had to plop them on their laps (if they could), and several passengers were told another bus was coming to pick them up as they were just a “local” (within NB) drop off.
Finally, at 9:00pm we left the Fredericton bus station ..... only to have more fun!!!
Along the way we got to see several RCMP officers pulling a variety of vehicles over, passed several transports that I swear were trying to race us), and of course we got to experience a little bit of hail. Yes, hail. Wonderful driving conditions eh? Oh, and do I have to mention the two older guys who you could smell the fermented barley and hops off of?
At 10:40pm we made it to Perth Andover where we were supposed to have only a 20 minute layover while we waited for another bus to drop off two passengers that got sent over tot he wrong bus (as they were heading to Edmonston). Well... 20 minutes turned into 30, turned into 40 .... turned into a lot of people getting more cranky. I ran over tot he Ultramar to get some coffee so I was mellow yellow :-).
Finally, at 11:30 we took back off heading towards Edmonston. We made it there, round 12:30 (give or take....) and then we were all headed off to Riviere-du-Loup .... only to find out that once we made it there, we would be transfering buses (which we normally do not do, and I was told would not happen) to continue the journey to Montreal. Well, digging your luggage out at 1:00am (2:00am for those of us in the Maritimes) in the rain is not exactly an ...well... enjoyable thing to do. But, I managed. And actually surprised myself at how easy it actually went .... especially considering the bags that I have with me.
So, now it is 1:50 AM (EST) as I type this .... with any luck we will be making it to Montreal to catch the 7:00AM bus (unlikely), so I have a feeling it will be the 8:00AM I will be nabbing ...... oh the joys of travelling by buses eh?
Travel Update #2 (after the fact as my battery died en-route)
Well, we made it to Riviere-du-Loup at 2:30 AM .... and the Montreal bus was there waiting for us. And did we all every haul ass to get our luggage moved over to the bus so we could get back on the road ASAP. By 2:45 AM we were on the road heading towards Normandin..... and then we were there for almost an hour for a driver break. Wasn’t too bad. Gave us all a good stretch and also the opportunity to get some grub (or coffee).
The rest of the drive to Montreal was pretty uneventful - i think I even might have gotten a little bit of sleep! I think .... And by some freaking stroke of luck (or just because our bus driver really hauled ass along the highway) we all made it (barely - we had a 10 minute turn around) to the Montreal bus station to actually make the 7:00 AM bus. YEAH! At this point, I”m not back on my phone (yeah for long-distance plans) getting back ahold of relatives to let them know that I was now arriving ontime as planned at the Ottawa bus station.
The bus we wound up taking for our 2.5 hour trip, I swear was one of the oldest buses on the greyhound line. It was right from the early 80’s. Bright blue polyester covers on the seats and NO leg room or person room (compared to the luxurious leather clad - leg room - power outlet bus we took to Montreal). But, it was only for 2.5 hours, and I did get some more sleep during that time again.
All went well for the rest of the trip, made it to Ottawa at 9:15 AM (a little early even!).