Wednesday, August 03, 2005
The Bus Ride from Hell !!!
The great bus adventure was truly an adventure. I called for a cab from the apartment using by broken Spanish skills and it actually arrived and did not cost me too much ($10 US). I arrived at the bus station and checked my bag. I had about an hour to kill so I got a snack and read my book for a while. When I went through the gate a saw my bus I knew that I was in for a long trip. There were all these nice new shiny deluxe busses parked at the station and then there was my bus. It was smaller, older, and dirtier than all the others. It was like the ugly duckling, but there would be no happy ending here. Well I took a deep breath and boarded my home for the next day and I was greeted with a rather pungent aroma. This was the freshly cleaned bus. Oh Crap, what have I got myself into. Well we left on time and that was the last time we would be on schedule the rest of the trip. We fought the traffic out of the city and headed north. About two hours into the trip we ran into our first bit of trouble. The bus was having a hard time climbing up the hills. So we stopped and the two bus drivers got out and banged around for about 20 min with no luck. We proceeded to advance very slowly for the next two hours. We finally arrived at our first stop and the driver said we had a 20 min. Break. Well about one hour later I saw about 10 guys standing around the back of the bus trying to figure out what was wrong. They sent for a new part and put it in and we were off again about 2 1/2 hours later. With all that work the bus was still not woking properly. Luckily the roads were rather flat and we made some good time. That is until we turned onto this two lane road to head to this small town. Since we were already about 4 hours behind schedule we ran into major traffic on this two lane road because of a local fiesta that took up one lane of the road. It took us about 2 hours to go about 5 miles. Finally we arrived at the station and once again the bus driver said 20 min. Well about 45 min later we hear that they are bringing us a new bus. An hour later (mind you it is now about 1 in the morning) the new bus arrived.
This bus was bigger and nicer and didn't smell as bad so that was a positive. We finally get on the road and we traveled for about 10 min and the bus stopped at a taco stand where the driver and a few people got out and ate. This was after we had been at the station which had its own taco stand for about two hours!!!! I was pissed!! We finally got going and I tried to get some sleep. I would sleep for about 15 min. at a time and then I would wake up with some pain in my leg or my back or my backside. I dozed until about 6 AM when we got stopped for a state inspection. We got going again and about 10 min later had to stop for a federal inspection (this turned out to be a pattern as we were inspected about six times). Each time took about 20 min. We finally get to Mazatlan at noon. The driver said 20 min, and 50 min later we finally left. I was supposed to be in Guaymas by about 2:30 local time and it was already almost 1:00. I checked my map and figured out we had almost 11 hours left to go!!! The rest of the day was a series of inspections, 20 min breaks that lasted 45 min, and very bad B movies being blasted on the TV. I think there was a Steven Segal movie, a Jet Li movie, a Jean Claude VanDamme movie and many others. Some were in English and some were dubbed into Spanish. They were all terrible!! I brought enough food along for four meals and I was going to need more than that so I bought some tacos from one of the many vendors who came on board during each stop. There were selling all kinds of stuff including food and drinks and all sorts of knick-knack crap. My tacos were pretty good and only cost $10 pesos ($1 US). I bought a phone card at one of the stops and made a call to the house in San Carlos to tell them that I would be late. I finally arrived in Guaymas during a heavy downpour with some wicked thunder and lightning 36 hours after I left Mexico City. A fitting end to a hellish experience! There was a lot more that went on during this trip including the Mexican immigration officers coming on board and the three hours that 10 people did not have seats and had to stand (there were no chickens or livestock aboard that I could see). Needless to say, I sucked it up and Jeff and I flew back to Mexico City. That was much better. A two hour trip and they even fed us some breakfast. What a trip. The diving in San Carlos was great! We had some great weather most of the week. I will post more about diving later. See ya soon.
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