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Published: October 1st 2018
Today is a move on day. I sleep late after a disturbed night. I can only put this down to it being a Saturday night in the city! There seemed to be revellers driving past with blaring music and, what sounded like, wild dogs barking ferociously all night...and we are at the back of the building! I don’t think I fell asleep until around 3am! Anyway, there is no rush as breakfast is served later on Sundays and our bus does not leave until noon.
We have a leisurely breakfast, make a couple of phone calls back home and buy a couple of bits for lunch as we will be travelling for six hours today and we are not sure what (if anything) will be provided by the bus company!
We order our Uber, standing at the bottom of our street to avoid the problem of the one way system. Uber’s are not as plentiful here but we still favour it over the local taxis - haggling when you don’t know the language is not easy! Note to selves...must take some Spanish lessons sometime soon.
Our Uber arrives and our plan is foiled, it looks like we still
have to go through the one way system. This takes us via the subterranean route under the town using its many tunnels and lower level roads. It’s quite a way to the bus station - all the long distance buses are located on the outskirts, which means a trip of around 5km on a road which cuts through the mountains. Duly we are deposited at the station in plenty of time for our bus.
Today we are using a different bus company (ETN) but the drill is the same. We have a nice executive seating area away from the bustle where we can wait. It looks like we might be on a double decker for our first trip today. We can see a stand set up with bags of munchies and bottled drinks ready to be dished out. Our first bus is scheduled to take an hour...destination Leon - a town of little interest according to the guide book, but a central hub for catching our onward bus to Zacatecas.
Boarding has begun. We are handed a drink and a ham and cheese sandwich and then we stow our luggage underneath. Onboard we find that our seats are
at the front of the top deck - always my favoured seats as a child and the situation hasn’t changed! We settle ourselves into the luxury seats, put our feet up and enjoy the scenery from our prime position.
The bus whizzes along the motorway and we arrive in Leon at 1230. It then takes another 20 minutes to negotiate the streets in town to be dropped off at the bus station. Our bus is going on to Guadalajara and the luggage guy seems none too keen to unload our heavy bags so we help ourselves. Interestingly, the wheel on Ian’s bag is broken...hmmm I wonder if that’s why the luggage guy didn’t put in an appearance? To be honest we’ve had the luggage a number of years now and it has been patched a few times by my father, so it owes us nothing. Just a pity it didn’t give up the ghost on our way back to Birmingham!
Our next bus is at 1400 so only an hour or so to wait. We settle ourselves into the first class lounge which is blaring Mexican TV but has more comfy seats than the economy waiting area!
It’s 1345 and another posh double decker has turned up. We join the queue to board it, but it turns out this one isn’t ours - good job we didn’t load the heavy luggage! We are slightly concerned as both the ETN bays have buses in them, neither of which is ours. We do hope we are actually in the Leon bus station!
Five more minutes have passed and another young lady in high heels has turned up to start dishing out lunches. It would appear we are now in the correct place. It’s slightly disappointing that we have one of the older single deckers but the seats are still comfy all the same. We settle down in our seats which seem to be on permanent recline - but looking round, so are everyone else’s - so we put the leg rests up and lay back.
We set off, 20 minutes behind schedule, crawling through town, then thundering down the motorway...passing fields growing tall with corn on the cob and neatly laid out rows of cacti, all against a mountainous backdrop. Disturbingly, the bus pulls up at the roadside and our driver gets off the bus and runs
off down the road leaving the engine running and the bus door wide open. Oh it’s OK, he has just gone to buy himself a cup of coffee from an Oxxo! It doesn’t say much for the coffee that is available free on tap on the bus...and hey don’t mind us with all those stories of bus hijacking - maybe he thinks they won’t get very far without the driver and if we all get robbed that’s not his problem! Anyway, we are back on the road again so no harm done. I while away the hours listening to Don Maclean.
Two hours later, we have arrived in Aguascalientes where the coach makes a brief stop - passengers disembark whilst we wait for a fresh lot join us. It’s the half way point of this journey. The coach is now pretty empty. We can only conclude that Zacatecas, where we are heading, is obviously not a popular place...no one new joins the bus! Ah well, half way there now, time to select some new music from my iPad...Mike Batt I think!
It’s just gone six and we have arrived in Zacatecas. We order our Uber and arrive at
our hotel which is right in the centre of the town. Our room is another one of those that opens up into an inner courtyard but we decide not to ask for one at the front as we are only a stones throw from the Cathedral which clangs it’s bells on the quarter hour, every quarter hour. It’s loud enough from our room at the back of the hotel.
We drop our bags and nip out for a quick snack. our stroll takes us up to the cathedral - it’s beautifully carved facade looks splendid in the late afternoon sun. There are lots of people dressed in costume wandering the streets. It’s unclear if they are part of some advertising scheme or whether they have just dressed up for fun. It looks like a nice place whatever. We only want a snack this evening as we have had been over- snacking today. We find a small cafe which appears popular with the locals so decide to give it a try. We have no idea what we are ordering - tacos of some kind. We point out two different fillings and sit down to wait whilst the tacos are cooked
on a griddle. It seems like I have drawn the short straw...some kind of meat and potato with something very fiery. Ian says his is ok...mincemeat, peas and potatoes...shepherds pie in a taco then?
Now it’s back for a shower, unpack and organise ourselves for tomorrow.
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