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Finding and Riding Local Buses
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A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!


Visit Expedia…

Expedia is my favorite place to book airfare, and they handle hotels, car rentals, cruises, etc. I like the organization of the site for figuring out what flights I want. Click on the suitcase to take a look.

I was very pleased to win an award for this blog! Even better for you: click through for lists of all sorts of award-winning travel blogs.

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

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Jan 2, 2006 — It’s great that you can go anywhere in Mexico by bus, but it’s also a mixed bag. Here’s the saga of my day today:

I decided to go to the nearby small city of Chapala, as today was the weekly tianguis or outdoor market. Kelly was off hiking with a friend, so I would be on my own. I asked the advice of the old lady who lives across the street from where we are staying in San Antonio Tlayacapan, and she told me where the local bus stops. Once there, luckily there was another woman already waiting or I might not have been sure I was in the right place. Some 15 minutes later, the bus arrived and it was totally full, mostly with women and small children. I braced myself for the stops and starts, and it wasn’t bad. The trip took less than 10 minutes.

A local guidebook in English said where you could catch the bus back, so I figured I had that covered and I set out to explore the downtown and the tianguis. It was fun, though only the pier out to Lake Chapala was unusual for a Mexican town. Eventually, done with things, I left the market area and headed for the street the bus goes on. I noticed I was right near the large supermarket Soriana, so I crossed the busy highway to go into it for a few things.

Just as I did, a bus came up. Well, I didn’t need those things badly enough to pass up a bus, but this one wasn’t going to San Antonio Tlayacapan. However, the driver told me the bus I needed stopped directly across the highway at 25 after the hour. It was 10 after now, so I dashed in and got my things. I was at the correct bus stop at 25 after.

Nobody else was there. Bad sign. I thought of going back to Soriana and taking the taxi which would cost about 40 pesos compared to 5 for the bus. That’s roughly $4 US versus 50 cents. I decided to wait for the bus.

So I waited. And waited. And waited. A bus that said Chapala-Ajijic went by on the little side road. I waved at it, but it didn’t stop.

After about 20 minutes, I decided to walk towards the center of town, where the guidebook said I would catch the bus. As I did that, I began to think it would be nice to find a bathroom. But I didn’t need one badly enough to try the only one I saw, quite funky looking.

By now, I decided I would take a taxi or a bus, whatever came first. A taxi came but it was past me so fast I didn’t even get my arm in the air. Oh well, I wouldn’t likely have cared for the driver’s style. Then I missed another one.

Then a bus passed me. By now I was walking into the center of town. The bus was stopped just ahead of me, so I ran and got in the line of people. But it wasn’t going to San Antonio.

I noticed a foreign man of roughly my age was also turned away from the bus, so when he and I were both walking down the street a little further on, I asked him about the bus situation. He didn’t live in the Lake Chapala area but often stays in Ajijic, and we continued walking together down the street, to his favorite bus stop. Two buses came up, and one long-distance style bus had a lot of places hand-written on it. I didn’t recognize any of them. The man noticed that the bus said JOCOTEPEC over the windshield. That was further than where we were going, and in the right direction. We got on, and there were just a few seats. I sat next to a young Mexican woman who dozed off.

After a while, drunken singing came from the back of the bus. The guy wasn’t bad.

Once in San Antonio, I got off on the highway and walked the few short blocks home.

The bus rides were the easy part… finding the buses was the challenge!

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