During the holidays between 2010 and 2011 Dirk and I travelled in South America for 26 days. We started in Argentina, travelled to Chile and then Peru and again ended our trip in Argentina. We met a lot of interesting people during our trip: A large blonde professor from the USA and his girlfriend, a French girl who threw up on the bus on the way to the El Tatio geysers in the desert, a group of travelling Australians, to name a few. The most interesting person we met, and also the one we probably remember the best, is Bill, the Canadian guy that we met on the bus to Mendoza. Both of us immediately liked Bill. He had an easy going nature and was the type of guy you could spend a few days in a foreign country with. Bill had clear blue eyes and looked a bit like the actor who plays Ed in the sitcom ‘Ed’. We started chatting on the station in Buenos Aires, because it wasn’t clear where the bus to Mendoza was. Dirk didn’t understand why a guy with the name William, was called Bill and not Will. I guess Americans (and Canadians) are strange that way. I forgot if it was by chance, or if we decided to stay at the same hostel, but the three of us ended up sharing a dorm room with many other people in a charming hostel in Mendoza, the Stellenbosch of Argentina. On our last evening in Mendoza, we went out dancing with a few people from the hostel. We had fun. To our delight, they played ‘Give me hope Johanna’ and we danced till late. It was clear from the start that all the guys in our group (expect Dirk, of course) were hoping to hook up with a pretty Spanish girl with very short shorts who was also part of our group. There was an obstacle however – the pretty girl had a male friend (named Nacho; I tend to recall strange details like weird names) who was clearly not a love interest, but he was by her side all the time and prevented anybody from getting close. Dirk, Bill and I were catching a bus early the next morning to Santiago, so Dirk and I eventually decided that it was a good hour to catch a few winks before our bus trip. Bill, very intoxicated by that time, made the decision to stay at the bar and dance some more. We saw that he and another girl from our dorm (the pretty girl proving to be too much effort for a drunken Bill) were dancing and having a good time together, so we left, believing that we Bill and the girl will return to our dorm at a later time.
When we woke up the next morning with just enough time to grab breakfast and meet the taxi to take us to the airport…Bill was nowhere to be found. When we tried to wake him in his bed, it was empty. When we tried to wake him from the girl’s bed, her bed was also empty. We even went to the bedroom of the pretty Spanish girl and Nacho, but Bill wasn’t there either. Dirk and I were distressed – Bill was going to miss the bus to Santiago! The guy at the front desk phoned other hostels in the area to find out if a drunken guy named Bill was anywhere. No luck.
Just as the taxi arrived and we were heading out to the taxi, Bill appeared as if out of thin air, with the girl he danced with at the bar, following behind him. I followed him up to the room, to help him pack (in 10 seconds flat) and he got into the tax with us and made the bus to Santiago! So, a still drunk Bill told us that he and the girl did hook up the night before at a motel. I don’t know if I was more disgusted with Bill or more relived that they didn’t spend the night with us in the dorm room. On the bus with us to Santiago were a bunch of girls from the USA. Bill (still drunk) commented that the short one with the curly hair seemed so cute, he could really see himself marrying her and being happy for the rest of his life with her.
We left Bill behind at the La Chimba Hostel in Santiago. I have always wondered if he did end up buying a motorcycle and riding the death road in Bolivia.