Along the Natchez Trace

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Wheels On the Bus Go Round and Round....

Do you remember that kid's song?  It has a ton of lyrics, and, if you and your kids were like us, you made up a few more as you went along...
Today Bill & I decided to take the bus to Liberia.  We didn't know what the schedule was, but walked into Coco. leaving our house shortly after 8am.  Got to the place we always see the buses parked, and was able to get enough information to know that the bus left every hour...  and left the Liberia bus station to return every hour.  It pulled up right at 9am.  There were already a bunch of folks getting on ahead of us...  Bill gave the driver 2,000 colons...  about $4.00...  and got 800 colons in change.  So it cost just over $1.00 American each for us to ride.  It was a bus like you'd see in the USA...  maximum seating 40 people.

We found a seat and settled in for the ride...
Even leaving Coco the bus was full....

The horn of the bus goes beep, beep, beep...
 No way in hell would I ride a bicycle along this road....
It is a two lane road...  the speed limit is reasonable....  but folks sometimes pass in illegal places.  Photographing these bicyclist was hard enough....  I didn't get a photo of the car coming straight at us... in our lane...  passing a truck...  he got over in his own lane in time, but I was still trying to get my jaw back in place and focusing a camera just wasn't possible.

Like when this horse and rider came off the shoulder on the right...  and crossed the road right in front of our big bus...  and the truck coming towards him.  

 In case you don't see what that is still on the right...
Yep!  That's his other horse, who naturally is going to go where his leader is.
And yes...  the brakes on the bus go screech screech, screech.

The signals on the bus go blink, blink, blink.....
Not that it's legal to pass in the area...  but...  what the heck?  There's no traffic up there...  why not?

We make it safely into Liberia...  check out the big shopping center there....  No, not an indoors mall...  not even much of a shopping center.  But I was wanting to buy a hummingbird feeder...  which I didn't find....  and while there we looked around the other stores.
This is about the biggest intersection I've EVER seen!  It's the Pan American Highway!  Yeah...  that road that goes from Texas, (well, Mexico) clear through Mexico, Central and a lot of South America.  Here in Liberia I bet its biggest draw is that there's a McDonald's on one of the corners.

We walked on to the the bus station and found our bus.  We bought our tickets and checked it out... ..  already full to capacity.  Choices here...  wait for the next bus or board, knowing we'd be standing, hanging onto a strap or rail for the better part of an hour.  We opted to board.

I can't think of a whole lot of good things about getting old...  but.... would you believe that a young lady got up and gave me her seat!
And not too long after that, a strapping young man gave Bill his seat.  As the bus headed out to of the bus station, the lady beside me made the sign of the cross...  hmmmm...  this does not bode well......

We figured that as the bus motored the 20 miles or so to Coco, folks would be getting off and there'd be more room

Dream On!
The people on the bus go up and down....  up and down...  up and down.  The people on the bus keep getting on...  all around the town!

This bus that "seats" 40 has every seat filled...  some with several to a seat...  and has at least 40 folks standing in the aisle.  

A few miles out of the city, the bus was pulled over by the police....
I didn't dare take a photo until the police had passed by...  Apparently we were all supposed to get out our passports or other ID and show it...  I never carry a purse...  Bill is in the seat behind me...  I'm about to panic...  Well, no big deal...  this guy barely gave folk's ID a glance...  in fact, I don't think he even looked at Bills.  I could just have easily shown my library card...  or even my Kroger Save-On card....  
We were detained about 10 minutes in all...  never did know why.

Here's my Sweetie...  in the seat behind me...  that red bag isn't his...  belongs to the person who practically was on his lap.  I was a bit luckier...  I had a big guy next to me (after the lady who said her prayers got off down the road) and he spent all his time on his cell phone.

We got back to Coco around noon and after a quick pop-in at a grocery headed home...  walking...  and got home by 1pm.

So we had a scenic trip to Liberia and back...  cost under $5.00 American....  saw some of the surrounding area....  and quite a few of the local people.  

Sharon on the bus goes...  Wow! Oh Wow! Wow, oh Wow!.....  All Around the Town!
See, I said I made up my own lyrics!

That's All For Today!


  1. Riding the local buses can sure be an interesting experience, we enjoyed that too in Mazatlan Mexico.

  2. Enjoyed the post and your lyrics to your song. I don't think I would have enjoyed that bus ride. Ain't the good old USA a wonderful place to live?

  3. Any chickens on the bus going cluck, cluck. cluck? :) Say, if you like, I'll send you a hummingbird feeder.

  4. That really is the best way to get up close and personal with the locals. Mercy. Driving in that traffic would take pretty steady nerves, good breaks, a working horn and great reflexes. I guess you just have to rely on trust in our driver and maybe a bit of crossing of yourselves also.
    Really interesting post.

  5. If our friend comes to Costa Rica this winter I will tell him to stick a hummingbird feeder in his luggage--if he is coming anywhere near you! :))

  6. Aaahhh, brought back memories of my time in Guatemala. Your bus is a Rolls Royce compared to the Chicken buses there. But, they're so much fun to ride: crowded sometimes beyond belief, lots of Maya traditionally dressed folks, lots of kids, a few chickens here and there, smiling, laughing, getting to know folks. As my Spanish got better, these sojourns were also very informative: history, culture, popular sites . . .

  7. Not sure I want to get that up close and personal with the locals. But I'm sure most of them were as nice as the young lady who gave up her seat. As soon as I saw the blog title I started singing that song. And it's been at least 22 years or so since I've sung it. Amazing.

  8. HAhaaaaa… oh, me?! the sign of the cross and she as a native? oh, barter… I rode a bus from Chihuahua, Mexico to El Paso ~ I had been there for about four months … decided to go to San Francisco .. .this was some where in the early to middle 60's … rode this 'chicken' bus! thought I was going to die … bus driver sped over curves and hills and I swear! only one side of the bus wheels were on the road … man oh man

    Your Kroger card.. and that would have caused me to have a panicky feeling too … drugs always come to mind and then a shoot out … that's right

    WHAT an adventure, Sharon for $5…. lemme add a oh WOW …

    Happy New Year to you and Bill ;) … as you well know… I love reading your your blog...

    1. I tell ya... auto correct drives me insane! ... and she IS a native and oh, baruther ...

  9. Wow - that was quite a ride you took! And all for only $5.00!!

  10. I hosted a young couple from Poland for about a year, and was introduced to the Stan Dombrowski school of driving. Go like hell until you catch up to the person ahead of you, pass him, go like hell...and so on.
    It's all insane.

  11. Hopefully you'll be enjoying the New Year better than you finished this one. Be Safe and enjoy!

    It's about time.

  12. For some real excitement take one of the local buses over a mountainous area and sit back and relax when your driver decides to pass a truck or bus going uphill on blind curves. We ran into that a lot during our time in Costa Rica and never got used to it. I've been run off the road onto a tiny shoulder by two buses racing down hill. No place to go. The hair on the back of my neck still stands up thinking about the time.

    Have fun.

  13. We usually take local transport when travelling, but this bus ride is. Ot something I would like to experience. Of course, some of the subways and other transit we've used have been just as confested. You cetainky had some great adventure and all for rhe search for a hummingbird feeder!