- Tiffany Coates
- The Journeys
- Rogues Gallery
- Contact & Events
- Guest Book
From Bike to Bus
Submitted by Tiffany on 1 November, 2010 - 23:20
A belated blog. I left Cocorit in Mexico by bus as I was leaving Thelma there for a while. She looked fine parked up in the sitting room and I took a final picture, before lugging my bag outside and flagging down the bus to Ciudad Obregon. It was a rust bucket with hard seats but an interesting array of fellow passengers, particularly after we stopped outside the local prison and a couple of women dressed up to the nines and smelling strongly of perfume climbed on having just visited their men in jail.
At the central bus station I was assisted by Lucia a local tourism student who had adopted me from the bus having noticed my confusion at which way to head for the ticket office. I purchased a ticket for Tijuana and having already developed bruises on my back (who said I was rufty tufty?) from the plastic seats on the rust bucket I asked for a first class seat, wincing somewhat at the 15 hours estimated journey time. I climbed on to find that I had Jorge sat next to me - all 20 stone (280lbs) of him. He fell asleep quite quickly and I seized the opportunity to pull into place the armrest between us. In common with other Latin American bus journeys I've been on there was a fuzzy video screen showing an action movie at full volume dubbed into Spanish, one of those films where you don't need to understand what is being said to understand the plot. I expanded my knowledge of Spanish vocabulary.
The journey somehow stretched to almost 19 hours with several security stops and checks in the middle of the night when we had to get off and stand in the freezing desert night while soldiers searched the bus for illicit drugs and guns. Having packed my warm jumper, bike jacket and woolly hat in anticipation of the icy blasts from the air-conditioning on the bus I appeared to be the only one not suffering with the cold as we stood around waiting. We finally pulled into Tijuana and I joined the extremely long queue of pedestrians heading into the Promised Land. The Mexicans around me were somewhat surprised when I (as one of the few gringos lined up with them) got pulled aside for an interview, something I have got accustomed to in my travels across the US border. There appear to be a couple of dodgy Tiffany Coates's already on the US Immigration computer system, I always get questioned until I can convince them I am neither of the women on their list. The fact that I am at least 20 years younger than one of them and a different race from the other does seem to help.
Which is how I found myself back in America, loaded down with bike gear and no bike to ride. A brief stay in San Diego to stay with Bertie/Birdie and Tom Z, grabbing a quick swim in the Pacific- definitely warmer than the sea at home, before a final couple of days in Los Angeles.