March 29 - Flagstaff to El Paso

Trip Start Mar 14, 2000
1
9
24
Trip End Apr 30, 2000


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Flag of United States  , Texas
Wednesday, March 29, 2000

WEDNESDAY 29 MARCH - FLAGSTAFF-EL PASO. DAY 9

The joys of travelling alone. I woke up and got to the bus station still not having decided where to go today. I decided to take the overnighter to El Paso (14 hours). Today is the one-year anniversary of me leaving New Zealand, although one could argue it was yesterday, New Zealand time.

The celebrations were somewhat muted by the fact that my wallet was stolen at the Greyhound station. I had left it unattended for a nano-second or less and some nearby kids had whisked it away before I noticed a thing. Unlike in Napoli, the last time my wallet was stolen, I was relatively calm. I cursed a little bit, then rang the Visa people and cancelled my old card and arranged for a new one. Unluckily I had just made a trip to the ATM, so instead of getting $6, the little buggers made off with about $106.

A kindly couple had overheard me on the telephone and consoled me (not that I was all that distraught) and told me to come and stay with them in London, Ontario. Another woman couldn't believe that people actually travelled around with backpacks on and she had never heard of a Youth Hostel. Another chap I was talking to asked me if we had beer in New Zealand. It is interesting how Americans just start talking to strangers as if it were the most natural thing.

So, down $106, without a Visa and surrounded by stupid Americans, I got on the bus to El Paso, a 14-hour trip stopping for three hours in Phoenix. I had all my traveller's cheques (US$300) and about $41 in cash but I had to wait in El Paso until they sent my replacement card (about 4-6 working days). Fortunately I was a little ahead of schedule because I only spent one day in Las Vegas.

The three-hour bus trip to Phoenix was fairly eventful with some noisy kids, a character of a bus driver and some jokers at the back. I had a yak to a bloke called Daniel, a bit of a motor-head from a little town called Gallup in New Mexico. Phoenix is a really spread out city with a huge airport. That's about all I know about it because we went straight to the bus station and it was night time. It is surprising how Hispanic everywhere that I have been is. There are probably more Hispanics than 'whites' in this part of the country and signs everywhere are all in both languages.
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