Day 66: The Bible Belt

07.03.09:

USA! USA! Not far to go now. I’ve got to say, the Greyhound buses ARE THE WORST FORM OF TRANSPORT IN THE WORLD – grotty, no films, no snacks, grumpy-as-hell drivers…

My first driver actually got pulled by the police for speeding!

My second driver told me off for filming out of the window. Seriously.

Seriously.

Had I not just come from the CHEAPER air-conned, hosted, free snack giving, European arthouse-film screening Latin American buses, I might consider this behaviour a little odd. As it is, it disgusts me. America deserves better.

I’d love to regale you with stories from the road a-la Dean Moriarty, but seriously – the big American concrete freeways are about as appealing as an afternoon in a wet plastic bag. There’s not much to see. If you ever drive America, keep to the old roads! From the border to Houston, I got chatting with a lovely girl from Nicaragua called Jackie – but from Houston to Baton Rouge in Louisiana, I had nobody who wanted to chat with me. Although my heart goes out to the poor kid in the seat in front of me – the guy sitting next to him was one of those headcases who says things like “I’ve done every drug in the world, but now I’ve found Jesus and I’ve cleaned myself up.”

That’s nice. Very happy for you mate. “Now promise me you’ll never do drugs – you don’t need them – you just need Jesus in your heart”. He made the kid shake on it. If my eyes could have rolled any further in my head, they would have severed my optic nerve!

We rolled through the great big State of Texas and into Louisiana. A traffic jam doomed us to getting into Baton Rouge two hours late. We had missed the connecting bus, but the driver told us ‘Florida-goers’ to stay on the bus – they’ll catch up. So we went on via New Orleans (didn’t see the old town, only the nasty concrete mess around the bus station) and caught up with my connection in Alabama.

Shattered tired by now, I got on my fourteenth long-distance bus of the last nine days.

Graham Hughes

Graham Hughes is a British adventurer, presenter, filmmaker and author. He is the only person to have travelled to every country in the world without flying. From 2014 to 2017 he lived off-grid on a private island that he won in a game show, before returning to the UK to campaign for a better future for the generations to come.

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