Senior Nomad Budget Travel

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Colombian Chicken Bus Modern Style


I’m sure the words “chicken bus” conjure up stereotypical images of dirty rattle-trap uncomfortable buses filled to bursting with people and animals, lurching down some hot dusty road in the middle of nowhere. Well, I’m happy to report that it ain’t necessarily so.

I recently took a local mini-bus from Popayán to Pasto, Colombia — about a 6 hour ride. The bus was super modern, clean and very comfortable. It had large well-upholstered reclining seats, lots of leg room, a movie screen for passengers, and even free wi-fi. To tell you the truth, given a choice between flying coach class and taking one of these little Colombian mini-buses, I’d take the mini-bus for sheer comfort any time!


I noticed that the local Colombian passenger across the aisle had a large white tyvek bag at his feet. I really didn’t find that unusual or pay much attention until I watched him put the bag on his lap and widen a hole near the bottom of the bag. Then all of a sudden, a chicken popped his head out through the hole in the bag! Wow! I hadn’t expected that!

The passenger then just reached in and took the chicken out and held him in his hand. I thought the chicken was quite well behaved, but then again I haven’t been around too many chickens, especially those that ride the bus.  The chicken just sat there, not making any noise, and seemed to simply be enjoying being out of the bag.

Then the man let the chicken walk around where it wanted, on his lap, on the seat next to him, and even in the aisle (see main post photo at top). It was then I realized the chicken was on a leash of sorts — a light twine tied to one of his feet. Good idea. It certainly wouldn’t be good to have him flying about.

We came to a restaurant stop where everyone piled out of the bus to have a nice breakfast and use the toilets. If you were traveling with your favorite chicken, you certainly wouldn’t leave him behind by himself on the bus, would you? Certainly not! You’d take your feathered friend with you to the restaurant, tie him up near by and give him his own breakfast that you thoughtfully brought along especially for him.

The chicken seemed to appreciate the fresh air and refreshments, so he entertained us with a few happy cock-a-doodle-do’s.  Then, back on the chicken bus.

Of course all that excitement would certainly make any chicken tired. So his calm and expert owner quickly flipped the chicken over and laid him out on his lap. Then quite soon… after some soft words, gentle tummy petting, feather stroking, plus the hum of the bus in the background — the chicken went totally limp and fell fast asleep! He seemed more like a little puppy than a chicken!

I was so thoroughly entertained by this spectacle, and quite pleased as well. I finally have my own original Colombian chicken bus story that I can tell. And my version was fun and comfortable, much better than the stereotype!


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