I walked twenty minutes from the Greyhound station to a hotel in the historic downtown of Los Angeles. I was stuck there for a night. Continue reading Los Angeles to Chicago to New York
The bus the Chihuahua was an hour late. There are no departure boards at Mexican bus stations, you just stand on the platform and wait for a bus with your destination on the front to show up. Bus after bus pulled up at the Zacatecas station, and none of them were for Ciudad Juarez, which was the bus I would take to Chihuahua, where I would change for the train to Creel. Continue reading El Chepe
I woke late on Tuesday morning, knowing the ferry from Topolobampo to La Paz, on the Baja Peninsula, didn’t leave until midnight. I didn’t need to check out of my hotel until noon, and I needed to figure out what to do with those twelve hours hours in between. Travel should have taught me by now that there is no such thing as in-between time, that life is just always happening. It’s hard to retrain a mind.
The bus to Mexico City was a quick six hours. Arid mountain scrubland passed outside the window. I dozed on and off.I was 80 days into my trip, and the constant travel and planning had caught up with me long before. Travel isn’t as much a vacation as it is a job you take on, for which you are not paid. There was only one way to get back, and that was to keep going. This isn’t a complaint. But when people think about leaving their jobs and running away, I’m not sure they realize how much drudgery is involved, and boredom.
The rain followed me to San Cristobal. I thought, on the twisting road through the Chiapas highlands, that I’d outrun it on the six hour bus ride,
It was raining our final morning in Caye Caulker, downpouring. The power went out at 4am, before a generator kicked on. I woke up with a start and looked at my phone to make sure we hadn’t overslept. At that point, we were both awake. I went outside to take down the clothes we had left out on the porch to dry. Lucky for us, the rain was blowing sideways from the other direction, so our clothes hadn’t gotten any wetter. We sat on the porch, drank coffee, and talked, the rain indecisive, slowing to a drizzle and then ramping back up to a sideways blowing fury.
It was strange to be saying goodbye again after only a week, we had fallen back into normalcy quickly, and this felt just like a vacation.
The bus ride to Belize City was uneventful. The bus never got overcrowded, and it was hot but not unbearable. It wasn’t raining, so the windows could be kept open allowing for a breeze, and since it was direct, there wasn’t much stopping and starting along the way.
We walked the ten minutes to the water taxi terminal, bought our tickets, and waiting the hour till the taxi left.
I could’ve taken a taxi to the airport to meet S, but that would’ve been expensive, $25. Instead, I walked to the bus station, allowing plenty of time for error. A man, seeing me looking at the bus schedule, asked me where I was going, and when I told him Ladyville, said that the buses for Ladyville left from down the street, led me outside and pointed the way. A bus was leaving as I walked up, so I boarded and asked the driver to let me know when we reached the airport turn-off. Twenty-five minutes later, he dropped me, directing me to a taxi that could take me the rest of the way, and for $6, I was at the airport, waiting.
I rose early in the morning, catching the 6:20am collectivo van to the Honduras/Guatemala border at El Florido. It was a twenty minute ride, and I passed out of Honduras and into Guatemala without any trouble. I wasn’t even asked to pay the 10 Quetzal ($1.25) bribe that I thought was standard when entering Guatemala. I got a bad exchange on my dollars and remaining lempiras for Guatemalan Quetzales, but there was no ATM anywhere, so I took what I got.
The four hour trip to Copan Ruinas started auspiciously when I showed up at the bus station and a man told me the 9:45am bus had broken down and the next bus wasn’t leaving until 11am. I sat down on a rock to wait.