On for tequila and tacos . . .

6 Sep

And so on to the next step on my trip…. Although I caught the bus into town, it was still a tough walk fully laden with backpack and supplies for the trip.  And back onto good old Greyhound.  First stop was the charming bus stop in Barstow, made up of gaily decorated boxcars and carriages….but, sadly, that would be the last charming bus stop I encountered.  The Greyhound drivers can be quite amusing from time to time though.

And so into Phoenix… a moment when I thought they’d lost my bag, despite the fact that I watched them put it on the bus.  Yet another Greyhound bus terminal, differentiated only by the fact that the food was getting cheaper and the signs were increasingly in Spanish.  Perhaps things look different in the day, but at 2am, everything seems grim.

So, perhaps it was the lateness of the hour, or perhaps the fact that Phoenix had the standard PA system installed, the one that distorts the sound so you can’t actually understand a word the announcer was saying.  Maybe they design them that way.

A brief stop next for a pickup – not even time to grab coffee, and on into Texas.  Time whirls by in a blur of sleeping and waking, listening to music and feeling the effect of not bringing a travel pillow.  The landscape rolls by, a mixture of starlingly beautiful mountains and depressing car dealerships and strip malls.

El Paso.  Last stop in the USA.  Same terminal, same announcement system.  Different town.  Another missed bus… but this time, it’s a Mexican bus.  Leg room.  Comfy seats.  Movies.  Cupholders (ok, cupholders aren’t that great but after 24 hours on a bus, EVERYTHING is great)

The bus pulls in at the border… a tidy hall, a queue of one (me) but in my just roused state it takes a couple of attempts to get it right.  And on into Mexico.

Within a few miles, the poverty becomes more apparent.  And the landscape seems softer, somehow.. It may be the rain falling gently, or the clouds that hug the hills and mountains.  Maybe life has become more personal, simpler – villages of identical design, tiny houses fiercely individual in their decoration.  An open wagon goes past filled with butcher’s scraps.  Life seems closer to reality, somehow.

Through Chihuahua and on into the night again – the clouds giving the mountain a strage ethereal beauty.  And the joy of sleeping on reclining seats!  Mexican buses are a legend in the US – although Greyhound are getting there, they are not getting there fast enough!

Past San Diego, and into the hills, the grass becoming greener – if you close your eyes and squint it could almost be England.  Until the trees resolve into palm trees, and the occasional cactus becomes apparent.

And finally (finally) after two days the bus rolls into Mexico City.  My diet of pizza and breakfast bars is nearly over.  The city is crazy – huge, busy, and yet everyone seems happy, at peace.  Maybe it’s just an impression, but life feels good here….

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One Response to “On for tequila and tacos . . .”

  1. Nikki Rose September 7, 2010 at 1:33 pm #

    I loved Mexico, Tim – even though we were in a heavily touristy-orientated area – the locals that we met were really lovely. Helpful, friendly, smiley and very chilled. Enjoy the tequila and tacos … and the empanadas and burritos and… oh yum! Mouth watering just thinking about the food and drinks we sampled out there. Wonderful!! Enjoy!

    Take care,
    Nikki xx

    Ps I could have lent you my inflatable neck support/pillow! Great bit of kit!!

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