It's rough out there
February, 11, 2006
This is my first Olympics, but I have heard all the horror stories about bus trips during prior Games from other journalists. Now, I get it. My humble lodging in Sauze d'Oulx is a scant 16 kilometers, roughly 10 miles, from the biathlon venue at Cesana San Sicario. This morning, it took 1 hour and 37 minutes and two buses to get here. That's a 10-minute mile, folks. And when we got "here," the bus-load of reporters found out that our bus driver, apparently not so well-acquainted with his route, dropped us off about two kilometers down the road from the actual stop, sending all of us on a steep hike to the venue, where we met the wrath of the "Carabinieri" for attempting to enter through the wrong gate (the metal detector was "caput" and all of our stuff had to be searched by hand). On Friday, our driver from Sauze d'Oulx pulled over to have a 12-minute conversation with his friend on the side of the road. He even took the time to bum a cigarette. We all missed our connecting buses by about five minutes and had to wait a half hour for the next go-round, but hey, our driver doesn't have the shakes. Once we get comfortable with a few facts -- that the drivers aren't familiar with the schedules or stops and they don't really care whether anyone else makes a connection -- things will be smoother out here.