Out for a drive south of Chisinau, Moldova. Photo taken December 6, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Purcari Winery, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist! Arrive December 8th.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A 20 hour transportation marathon...part 2

This is the second post of today...if you missed the first one you can read it here...

http://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2015/12/a-20-hour-transportation-marathonpart-1.html

When we left off there, we had just got on the airplane and taken off from Medellin, Colombia. It was a four and three quarter hour flight that left at 1:00am in the morning. And then the first thing they do is serve you some food and put on a movie! Pretty sure that all everybody wanted to do was to sleep!

Ruth managed to get some sleep, but I have a hard time sleeping on airplanes. So I tossed and turned and even did some reading. Seemed like everyone on the plane was sleeping except me. Oh well.

We arrived on schedule at 4:45am. There was a one hour time change between Medellin and Mexico City. We are now on central time, one hour behind eastern.

As we exited the secure area and into the main part of the terminal, I saw that one of the currency exchange booths was open. There was no point in keeping the 69,000 Colombian pesos ($30 CAD)  I had in my pocket so I went to the counter and changed them for Mexican pesos. The guy said that I would get 210 Mexican pesos which is an absolute rip off exchange rate. But, I figured that was as good as it gets with those places. I know that airport exchange places are a terrible way to get local cash.

Anyhow, I did the deal and walked away.

From the Mexico City airport terminal 2, we knew that we had to walk about 1 km (.62 miles) to the Pantitlan metro (subway, underground) station. It's a bit of a sketchy area so we wanted to wait until it was light out. So we wandered around the terminal, and went and had some breakfast. First thing I noticed was the number of currency exchange places on the upper floor...and most were open. By this point, it was about 6:00am, and Mexico City airport was starting to get busy.

I saw one currency exchange place that was advertising a much better exchange rate than the one I accepted. Oh well...proof that you need to shop around. But I had no idea that there would be that many of them, nor that many open at 6:00am in the morning!

Around 6:45am we went outside and walked to the subway. Yeah, it's not the nicest area, but there were lots of people out and about so it was no problem.

Paid our 5 pesos (40 cents CAD) each and got into the subway station. Over 4 million people per day use the Mexico City  underground. A busy place, even at 7:00am! We went and waited for the train at the platform. Pantitlan station is the end of line 1 so when the train arrived, everyone got off. So when the doors opened on our side, there was a mad rush to get a seat.

Literally, within three seconds of the doors opening, every seat was taken! I've never seen anything like it. The doors opened right in front of where we were standing, and the people pushing and shoving was unbelieveable. Every man for himself! What a circus. I had managed to grab a seat and saved one for Ruth when a young guy sat down. I tapped him on the shoulder and said "es para mi esposa" (it's for my wife) and he got up right away and apologized.

We rode the entire line to Observatorio station. This is where the bus terminal is located. There are actually four long distance bus terminals in Mexico City. This one supplies most of the western routes.

We knew the drill to get from this station to Valle de Bravo, and paid our 148 pesos ($12.25 CAD) each for the bus ride to Colorines. This is actually a town on the other side of Valle de Bravo, but the bus to Colorines drives right by the place where Sherman is parked.


Not sure how, but we manage to be pretty good at securing the front seat of some of our bus rides.

Yesterday we had a maniac of a taxi driver, and this time we had a maniac of a bus driver! I honestly can't believe he didn't hit anything getting out of the city! Yikes. 

Traffic was really bad and it took an hour just to get to the outskirts of Mexico City. Then, there's a fairly short but busy stretch of highway between Mexico City and Toluca and we went into Toluca to the terminal there. 

We had got on the bus at 8:30am and it was almost 10:30am when we arrived at Toluca terminal.

Traffic turning into Toluca terminal. Crazy.

From Toluca, it was another 95 kms (59 miles) to Valle de Bravo. We arrived at Embarcadero Chago at about 12:30pm. Can't believe that it took four hours, but it did. And the bus didn't have a bathroom. Good thing we didn't have a hot drink with our breakfast!

Sherman was right where we left him, waiting for our return.

Where Sherman has been parked the last six weeks.

Today, we moved Sherman to a nicer spot, overlooking the lake. You'll see what our new site is like in tomorrow's blog post!

Not the prettiest sunset, but nice clear skies.

First dinner back in the motorhome. Chili con carne and tortillas and salad, and a glass of red wine. Nice!

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10 comments:

  1. Egads after that fiasco y'all need to just sit back, put your feet up, pour yourself a beer and enjoy the sunset.

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    1. There was lots of sitting and waiting and then more sitting as we were moving but everything went the way it was suppose to, it just took a little longer that we thought. Yes, we are happy to just relax in on spot now for a little while. You can bet that we had a beer and rum punch after all that! :-)

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  2. Hogar, dulce hogar! Good to be back home and have a great meal.

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    1. It is so nice to be home again! We love traveling but we sure do miss the RVing life. It was so nice to have a home cooked meal once again.

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  3. I imagine you're feeling some relief to have made it home. Take some time to rest my friends.

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    1. Yes after having that one taxi driver and the other bus driver we weren't sure if we would make it home in one piece or not! ;-)

      Looking forward to just taking things easy for the next month, although we still have some hikes planned and more exploring in and around the area but it will at a more leisurely pace.

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  4. You must have been able to hit a store - fresh veggies! One of my most favorite things besides the people that I love about Mexico is the food - and variety that you can get. Welcome back home!

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    1. Yes, there are some stores about 1 1/2 km down the road, we walked over there and picked up some salad makings to go with our dinner. It is so nice to be abe to make our own meals again.

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  5. Welcome home! And thanks for a wonderful six week adventure!

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    1. Thank you Peter, we really enjoyed bringing you our adventures in Colombia.

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