Family Time

February 14th, 2016

For Valentines Day we hopped on an overnight bus to Mazatlan to see Andrew’s Mom.

What happened…

Amanda writes: Andrew’s Mom flew into Mazatlan on the 12th and we wanted to get as much time with her as possible. It would take us about two weeks normally to cycle to Mazatlan so we decided to take a bus. We couldn’t leave any earlier because we made our commitment to house sit until the 14th. Clearly I am well over not cycling the entire way because I was fine with the plan. Perhaps it is some of the reading I’ve recently completed but I just figured we weren’t meant to ride this section; add to the equation that recently there have been some unpleasant events in the area that we would have been riding. Just in the last couple of months two Australian travellers were killed while being robbed in this stretch and more recently the famous drug lord El Chapo was captured in this region. It is a known drug alley so while it was a flat section of road, I’m not that torn up about missing it … everything happens for a reason.

We got a lift from our friend Shirley to the bus station in Guaymas and were on our way. We had the option of TAP or Tufesa as a bus company. We did our research beforehand and both seemed similar. Tufesa had more options in terms of departure times and we opted to go with them even if they were a bit more expensive than TAP. The purchase of tickets on line was smooth, as was the check-in process and the loading of our bikes onto the bus. Our first experience with buses in Mexico was a good one and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. We noticed just before boarding that our seats weren’t together and while that’s not normally a big deal for us because we spend so much time together, it is nice when you want to sleep and you can lean on each other. We started out in the same seats but were quickly asked to relocate as the bus filled. This wasn’t a horrible thing because I was feeling a bit car-sick anyway and had to take a Gravol pill; the bus drivers was hauling ass!

We arrived in Mazatlan a little after 4:00 a.m. the next day and while I didn’t want to ride in the dark, Andrew was keen on beating traffic on the roads before everyone woke up. We were clearly in the City and it was well lit so we gave it a try and were quite successful. It’s tough to say what the first impression is of Mazatlan because we arrived in the dark and it’s foggy and we can’t really see anything. In any event the trip was good and we’re excited to see his Mom.

Andrew writes: I was thinking about the differences between air travel and bus travel, and I’m starting to think that buses work better for me. First off, you show up, show your ticket, and leave. There are no hassles getting patted down, and scanned, and standing in line everywhere before you even get to where you wait for a plane. No one at the bus station ever hassles us about our stuff being too big too fit, or that we have to pay extra (although one time, we couldn’t take the bus because they already had too much luggage). Then, once you are on the bus, it’s not as loud as an aeroplane; you can talk, you can listen to music, you can sleep. Meanwhile, every few hours the bus stops, in a new town and you can get out and walk around for a few minutes. You don’t need to navigate a narrow aisle with attendants, or other passengers. Heck, you can even smoke’em if you got’em! Oh, and it’s cheaper too.

I managed to sleep for a few hours on the bus, but it was hard. There was noise from passengers getting on and off the bus in various towns, and the bus driver had Mexican polka music blaring from the speaker just in front of us. I did get to watch a few movies in Spanish, and even understood what was happening in a them, so that was a bonus. Entering the city, there was fog blanketing everything.

We got off the bus and put our bikes back together and I managed to convince Amanda that despite being told “never ride your bikes at night in Mexico”, that it was technically morning, so we would be safe. We left the bus station at about 0430hrs, and found a 24hr Burger King where we had some breakfast. By the time we got to my Mom’s hotel and got our luggage sorted out and stored in the luggage room it was 0630hrs and I didn’t feel too badly about waking my Mom up and giving her a huge hug.

So now we’re here in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, basically a huge tourist town with Canadians and Americans visiting in the “Golden Zone”, where we are, and Mexicans who have driven down from Durango or Guadalajara and they stay in “El Centro”. There is a 22km long beach, and we have heard about opportunities to surf, so it’s good that we brought a boogie board we found for 30 pesos back in San Carlos. I’m a bit worried about whether or not I’ll have a good time in this place that is really geared towards tourists, ie. gringos. I anticipate that there’ll be crowds, and everything will be expensive. Plus, two weeks with my Mom, while great, is still two weeks with my Mom….and her daughter-in-law! I’m soo tired! I just want to sleep. Wish me luck…Has anyone seen the tequila?

Today’s Photographs

Family Time