53 hours on a bus

I have a pile of stories to share from my 53 hours on buses this last week.

It took 27 hours to go from Mérida, Yucatán to Tampico, Tamaulipas, México. The return trip was just 26 hours. I won’t bore you with all the details in one post, but will try to pick some of the highlights to share over a little bit of time.

I was going up to Tampico for a church’s 8th anniversary. We also did quite a few things in the packed weekend. We held an ordination counsel for the new pastor and a special service. I have been through all of that as the one being ordained (yes, I am Rev. dpeach). But this was the first time I have gotten to sit on a counsel and fire off the questions. We also did some final work on the building hooking up the water and installing some bathroom fixtures. There was quite a bit of final plastering work and painting that went on during the week as well. I managed to be involved in more administrative tasks this week and skipped out on the painting. A good thing since I did not take painting clothes with me.

The trip up was to be a straight trip on one bus. The first bus had a leak in the roof’s emergency exit and had to be traded out when the rain started. I never knew what the problem with the second bus was, but we eventually moved to a third bus. They were all very nice buses and therefore I did not mind the move.

We stopped 11 times on each trip, up and back. These were mostly short stops of 30 minutes or less. That is pretty good compared to my time on Greyhound buses that stop at every dinky town.

The trip home was not as enjoyable as far as the bus equipment was concerned. To start with, the bathroom door, though it would latch, it would not lock. There had been a repair done to the door jamb that necessitated the disabling of the lock system.

After trying to use the bathroom and hold the door closed (in case someone tried to barge in), I tried to wash my hands. A push of the water spout resulted in one drop of water falling out of the faucet. There were no paper towels and the toilet paper supply was pitifully low.

At my seat, the dome lights did not work. One of my goals on this trip was to catch up on a good bit of reading. I ended up spending a few hours reading with a flashlight. I was thankful that I thought to bring one.

The air conditioning on all the buses was too cold. So cold, in fact, that I wore a thick T-shirt, a long sleeved dress shirt and a sweatshirt. I still froze. I had planned to bring an extra pair of socks to wear on my hands as mittens for the trip back home, but forgot to grab them out of my suitcase. I moved around to 3 different seats that were available at any given leg of the trip and all of them had broken vent cut-offs. It was miserably cold.

Did we get to change buses on the trip down? No. Not even after someone bathed the bathroom in puke. They simply cleaned it up at one of our stops and we kept going.

Even though the trip was one hour shorter on the way home, it seemed much longer.

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