Being adventurous types, we decided to test the Mexican bus system by using it to visit our friends in San Carlos, Mexico, departing from Phoenix, Arizona.
What we expected:
A rusty old clunker that used to be a hearse snatched from the grave moments before being consumed by a junkyard car crusher, smoking like it’s primary fuel source is recycled 30 weight motor oil, and smelling like they forgot to remove it’s final passenger. A 450 pound driver, wearing a sombrero that barely fits through the door, with a mouth with at least one gold and one missing tooth, a five o’clock shadow that passed five o’clock about ten days ago, a total English vocabulary consisting of “Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges!”, and a cargo consisting of “locals” of various ages and walks of life bearing live chickens, baskets of mystery meat and questionable produce.
What we found:
State of the art climate controlled modern 40 passenger bus built by Volvo, built-in entertainment screens in each fully reclinable and comfortable seat, a clean courteous, bilingual driver, dual his/hers restrooms, and a free lunch for the road. The trip was very pleasant and smooth, and since we departed around 11:20 pm, we slept through most of the nine hour trip.
We stopped at the border in Nogales, AZ to go through customs, which consisted of departing the bus, placing luggage on an x-ray machine, then getting back on the bus. It took about ten minutes which was kind of let down since I was looking forward to a border patrol body cavity search (BPBCS). We made one more stop just prior to entering Hermosillo, Mexico for a “spot check” for whatever illegal stuff might be on the bus. The road is under construction, so there is a lot of lane changing through various work zones, and I chose one of those lane changes to try out the restroom. Because of the vehicle movement, it is recommended that all passengers, men and women alike, be seated to “take care of business.” Just as I was in the middle of dropping my pants prior to making the moon landing, the bus began a series of radical lane changes. My head slammed into the door, causing it to pop open, revealing me standing there with my pants half way down. Fortunately there were only nine passengers on the bus and no one was looking my way. At no time were we ever asked to show our passports or fill out any paperwork during the trip.
All in all the, trip down was quite pleasant and very cost effective. U.S. seniors get a discount fare of $45 one-way, with regular folks paying $80 one-way. I say U.S. seniors because on the U.S. side you need to be 62 years old, but in Mexico you are a senior at 60, so if you are between 60 and 65, your return trip would be cheaper than the trip down.