Another Bus Trip

22nd Sept. 2016

 

Guess where?Another day and another bus trip but that is not until this afternoon. First we have time to explore more of Puebla so we head to the Zocalo and the cathedral. The inside of the cathedral is absolutely stunning but sadly I cannot show you any pictures taken by us as these were strictly banned with signs everywhere saying no photos. The cathedral towers are 69m high, Mexico’s tallest but we still struggle to get a decent photo, nearby Iglesia de la Compania is far more photogenic.

 

Puebla CathedralHaving caught a taxi to the hotel two days ago, we investigated a (local) bus for the return to the bus station and found the bus stop back to the station was only a two minute walk so opted for that. After a false start trying to go the wrong direction, we were directed across the road and a bus was waiting there. Straight up the dual carriage way and we should be there but the bus carried on past the CAPU (main) bus station. luckily Dave was keeping an eye on the map on his phone. When we worked out it was not going to go round the block we jumped off and found ourselves in the middle of an enormous market. More phone mapping and we found the entrance we wanted. Iglesia de la Compania

 

Our not quite so comfy busThe bus station is on two levels and quite confusing but we found the correct lounge with fifteen minutes to spare. No bus appeared for another ten minutes but then everything sprang into action. Our usual routine is for Dave get the backpacks in the hold and I get the goody bags. Disaster – they don’t do goody bags on this service! It was one o’clock and no bags of food appeared. We were on a much less plush bus and so survived on a packed of crisps and the remains of my frutas cubiertas for lunch as there was no time to run to the shop.

 

Amazing sceneryThe other downside of this bus was no headphones, so the films blared out for the whole five hour journey in loud Spanish. The voice for Benjy in Mission Impossible was just wrong. The scenery en route was stunning mountainous terrain covered in forests. It was all on the side of the bus where Dave was sitting quite oblivious, tapping busily on his laptop, so a quick prod into action and he took some photos for me.

 

More amazing sceneryThere were two stops for the driver to clock in and changeover. The first was a service station, I don’t know where and the second was a town called Asuncion Nochixtlan. As we left the town I saw chalk drawings of people on the road which looked like street art, then I saw a burned out coach and car. We then slowed to go through a makeshift road block and saw lorries queuing patiently in the other direction, the drivers either chatting or texting on their phones. There were people milling around but all very relaxed. That evening doing research I found an article from the Los Angeles Times of 6th August 2016 detailing unrest at a teachers protest in June. It appears to be a one off incident but a reminder to keep vigilant and follow the FCO advice. We have felt quite safe everywhere in Mexico and never felt in danger.

 

It's raining hardThen the rain set in again and waters flooded along the road, luckily we were almost in town but it was legs firmly crossed and hope the bus would soon arrive (The facilities on the bus after a five hour trip were not an option according to Dave! Enough information). It was almost 6pm when we arrived at the bus station and after necessities and purchasing our bus tickets for Saturday night to San Cristobel des Casas it was straight to the taxi rank. I had selected a hotel in Oaxaca which was on the local bus route into town but for this journey we just wanted a shower and food so a taxi won.

 

Random statue in the rainThe rain had stopped so we walked to the zocalo and heard loud bangs like fireworks or something, but it turned out to be workmen dropping rubble from the Cathedral roof into a long shute!  We soon stopped at a pavement café for a beer and food and had a pleasant conversation with an Australian couple on the next table. It is good to talk in English after all the Spanish around us. The food was nothing special and the street sellers coming up to our table were abundant, the out of tune trumpet player trying to serenade the next table was just too much and so we quickly move on. We found a great little cocktail bar with a musician who could sing and play the guitar, much better and a good nightcap before turning in.

 

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