What is the best way to share your passion for mountain sports? Buy an old city bus, restore it as a tiny mobile hotel and invite cool people to come and have fun with you! That’s exactly what the French Manu did! Here’s the story about the Chanchita bus.
What is the Chanchita project and where does the name come from ?
I saw the bus for sale in Bariloche during one of my ski trip in South America. I saw the license plate (SKI…) and started thinking it was a sign! As I couldn’t buy it just for myself, I came up with a plan to fulfill this dream. I talked with my sponsors, they were stoked about it! Then I bought it and started restoring it.
Where did you find the bus and what is the story around it?
I found the bus in Bariloche, Argentina where I’ve been skiing every year for the last ten years. It’s a Mercedes Benz from 1966, and it used to be a city bus in Buenos Aires in the 60’s! It was then turned into a truck and used in Patagonia for years before I bought it. I gave it a 3rd life as a motorhome!
How long did it take to build the bus ? Who made the plans and tell us about its features ?
It took me about a year and a half to build everything inside. Now we can sleep 5, there is a toilet, a shower, a fully equipped kitchen, a wood stove, a 500 liters water tank as well as a cinema set up for rainy days…
Do you live full time in the bus ?
I don’t live in the bus all year long. I use it only to bring people across South America for skiing, climbing, kayaking, trekking, biking and pretty much any outdoor activities…
It allows my guests to travel to places they would not be able to visit on their own.
What do your tours look like ? Can you give us a schedule idea ? How much do they cost?
There is no determined tour setup. People usually contact me and I help them to plan their trip. People can decide where they want to go and what they want to do day by day. This is how it works in South America! Cost depends on how many people want to be part of the trip and how far we go. Usually people tell me what they want to do and that will determine the price.
Can you share 3 epic memorable moments from the tours ?
The Lanin volcano in Argentina.
The 7 lakes route, Patagonia.
1 meter of snow in less then 48 hours, at El Bolson ski resort in Perito Moreno.