The return journey from Niagara was most eventful and probably an unforgettable event for all of us. We started from Buffello at arround 1:30 in the noon and after having lunch I was pretty lethargic. I didn’t know when I went to deep sleep, while I was just watching and admiring the beauty of the countryside arround. The sirens and somebody talking in loud voice interrupted my sleep. Right in front of our bus, there were few police cars and a fire brigade van flashing their red and blue lights. Our driver and the chinese tour operator were having some conversation with the sherif.
Eventually we came to know that, our driver was being interrogated by the police for not giving way to them. The police were trying to rush to an emergency accident site, where the car got fire and eventually got burnt. What we could see in front of us was the same burnt car. Thankfully all the passengers were safe.
Our driver was a Pourto Rico guy and seemed to be fond of talking a lot. He had a very high voice and gave everyone a impression of yelling all the time .Looks like this was just the begining of our adventure and we had deeper memories of the events that happened later rather than , the actual Niagara visit.
As we embarked again on our jouney back home, tired and wishing that we reach home on time, the driver kept on stopping the bus after every half an hour interval. Probably due to some technical problem, but then he continued and nobopdy actaully bothered about this as the bus kept moving. But at 8:45 pm the bus came to a sudden halt and we could smell of rubber burning somewhere. Everyone rushed out of the vehicle, just to make sure of own safetly.
The bus actually had lost lot of transmission fluid and wudn’t move unless its been fixed. A panic wave spread across everyone, everyone trying to convey his concern, pastering and converying their regret towards the kind of management we have got on the tour. The things got worse when the people tried to giving different suggestions , pulling the driver and the tour operator in different directions.
Lots of leaders emerged and subsided during that 4 hours of drama and I was probably taking first few lessons in handling the panic situation. Angel, the Pourto Rico driver got quite glittery when his dispatcher said that there isn’t any extra bus, to pick us up. We were still at 3-4 hours distance from New York and even the tour operator was quite helpless. Will (the chinese tour opeartor) was actaully a school going guy and the poor soul seemed to have got a real big burden on his shoulders, in that terrible panic situation.
One thought did stirred into my mind , that had it been India, at least few vehicles would have stopped by and gave us some help. Few buses on the way might have offered the families to be dropped in New York. But none of this happened in this, so called professional country. The system didn’t allow people to help somebody in need of help. What an irony !!!
It was actually getting cold outside and didn’t have any rest area nearby. Finally a mechanic van came down to our recue. he fixed the thing in arroud half an hour and we were again on our way. The idea was to keep going till some rest area comes by and then try for an alternate transport from there. Our stars were not so lucky and the bus came to a standstill after coming quite close to a rest area though.
Few people got down and walked to the rest area, while most of them with the kids, resorted top staying in the bus. The care taker at the rest area asked us not to venture into nearby jungle as it has lotsa snakes and bears. After listening to him, all of us actually decided to be the bus and wait silently for a bus to coem from New York.
At last finally we got our recue bus at arround 1 at night and we were again back on track. Everyone thanked God and all the emerged leaders, also cooled down as we headed towards edison. Certainly a great memory for all for us onboard and we do laugh about it when we sit back and think of the helplessness during those painful events.