Monday, July 02, 2007

I Learn Something New Every day, In Chacala

It’s funny, sort of . Every time I think I have some aspect of everyday life in Chacala down pat, it turns out there’s a whole other layer I haven’t noticed.In this case, it’s the set of buses that run around between P.V. and Tepic and San Blas and some other places too. I have noticed them here and there, but never really thought about them. Most of them are old and rickety looking . They are green and white, with "Compostella" on the side.

I thought I knew the cheapest and most efficient bus route from Chacala to P.V. But I didn't know about the "Compostella" Bus line. The 3rd class bus run by Pacifico Bus line.I think I wrote them off because of hearing many bad experiences from people trying to catch the 7:30am and 10:30am bus from Las Varas to San Blas. Visitors hoping to take the bus to the jungle/crocodile ride. No one had every seemed to actually catch the bus. Even though everyone knows exactly where the bus stop is.Anyway. I was heading back from P.V. towards home. Usually I take one of the PV city buses up to the bus terminal and take a Pacifico bus home. That generally costs 5p plus 76 pesos one-way. But today I noticed a nice looking green and white ”Compostella” bus with “Brucerias” on it. The helper guy said it was 10 pesos to Brucerias. I hopped on (arms full of groceries and books).The bus zipped right up to Brucerias. Actually it was a little too zippy. Our 18 year old driver took offense at how another “Compostella” driver blocked him in at a passenger stop. He gestured at him. And yelled, and started to get off the bus to go get him, I guess. But his helper stopped him. But at every intersection from the Corona factory to Brucerias he was screaming at the other driver, who just laughed at him. It was kind of creepy. But cheap. And nobody died.

Anyway, the “Compostella” bus makes some extra stops along the highway, and extra stops at the little towns north from the airport. But we didn’t lose any time. He drove very quickly, chasing the other bus.
Since I didn’t know where this bus was stopping in Brucerias (before heading on to Sayulita), I asked the driver if he would leave me at the Pacifico terminal. I really, really needed to make a bathroom stop.

When we arrived at the little tiny storefront terminal in Brucerias, my Pacifico bus (to L.V. and Tepic) was just pulling out. My driver signaled to the other driver to wait for me. When I got to the Pacifico bus the helper said there wasn’t a toilet on the bus, so I said never mind, I need to use the bano. And ran into the bathroom, cursing that I would have to wait 30 minutes for the next bus.But the bus waited for me. Very nice. I think there was an ulterior motive involved though, because the helper didn’t give me a ticket. And he undercharged me. 40 pesos (instead of 50 pesos. He winked at me when he took the 2-20 peso bills instead of the 50 peso bill. When they don't give you a ticket it usually means they are pocketing your fare. If an inspector steps on the bus driver quietly slips you your ticket. Worked for me.

There were no empty seats and the helper moved down to the fold-down seat over the steps into the bus so I could have his seat.. That was nice. We all made out okay on that deal.The Pacifico driver was another nutcase driver. Speeding, passing, and bouncing over the new topes at Lo de Marcos. One of the other passengers said the 10 new topes (speed bumps) were installed a couple of weeks ago after a child was run over when running across the highway from the school. Didn’t slow our driver down a bit.
Bounce. Bounce. Bounce.When we got to Las Varas, the combi-collectivo was just pulling in. The driver, Aurellius, was in a hurry to get back to pick up people who had spent the day at the beach in Chacala . So we drove out to Chacala with only two passengers, and the driver took me right to my house. Pretty nice. He reminded me that he brought me home from the La Penita vivero one time, when I had 8 sacks of dirt and a dozen big plants.

Anyway. The bus ride normally costs a total of 81 pesos from whatever PV supermarket I shop in to Las Varas. This version, with the Compostella busline,cost 50 pesos today (but should have cost 60 pesos). Pretty good. If I make that trip twice a month, 24 trips a year, that’s around 50o pesos. For my travel-around-Mexico fund.

Lots of wind and some rain last night. Much hotter, more humid, and rainier than my previous three summers here. I mostly like it. The wind and rain at night cool things off some.

I am posting this on Monday morning. It rained some last night, but it's clear, beauitful, hot and humid today. Really lovely. Especially in the shade with some prespiration to cool you off.

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