Friday, March 16, 2012

Understanding the Paraje-Fatima bus

The Paraje-Fatima bus is the only one that comes down the road toward the panga docks. There are few designated stops, you wave as the bus approaches and it stops. It’s the same way to get off. You call out “Bajo” (down) anywhere along the route and the bus will stop to let you off. The route goes from Fatima on the south side of Guaymas, through downtown, and along the bay. The last big neighborhood on the route is Mirador on the other side of the bay, then it turns right and goes over the hill, past the entrance to the panga docks, to the fish processing plant, and finally to the small community of Paraje. At least that’s what I thought it did.

6 Mar: Greg, Janis, Dick and I went to dinner, we left at 5 pm and chose a restaurant along the bus route to make our return easier. Around 7:30 pm we went to the opposite side of the street to wait for the next bus. Many buses came by, not the right ones so we waved them off. It took about a half hour for Paraje-Fatima to come by, the bus driver looked like he was about 12 years old. There were quite a few people on the bus, including a young couple sitting behind the driver making out and a young man sitting across from them. As we drove through the Mirador neighborhood, including one section of bumpy dirt road, all of the passengers except for us got off at various stops. At the last intersection, the young man asked us where we were going and we told him the docks at El Mero over the hill. The 12-year-old driver and the man making out with his girlfriend quickly exchanged places, the bus turned right and roared over the hill. We were thrilled when the bus went down the road right to the guard shack at the docks. What service! We found out later the last Paraje-Fatima bus is at 8 pm. What good luck!

12 Mar: I got a ride into town with Rick and Darcy and told them I’d ride the bus back to the docks later in the day. I left the marina’s computer room around 5:30 and walked a few blocks to catch the Paraje-Fatima bus. At the same intersection leaving Mirador, the bus driver told me I should get off because the bus doesn’t go over the hill after 5 pm. Darn. I had to walk the last two miles pulling my little cart filled with computer and a few groceries. The road is narrow with uneven pavement, no shoulder, no center line, curvy, and has lots of fast-moving traffic in both directions. It’s important to watch, listen, and get off the road (into the weeds) whenever a car approaches.

13 Mar: I waited for 45 minutes at road, no bus came by. I walked over the hill, no Paraje-Fatima buses came by. There are supposed to be 8 per day, but not this afternoon.
A spot of color on my walk.  See the hummingbird?
I was able to catch the bus in Mirador. On the way back, I asked the driver (this guy looked like he was about 14 years old) if he was going to el parque industrial (the fish processing plants). “Si, si.”

But my question must not have been phrased correctly, because at that same Mirador intersection, he told me I should get off because he wasn’t going that way. Once again, I walked over the hill.

16 Mar: Success today. Not trusting the bus system, I got a ride with Rick and Darcy to shop for groceries at Super Del Norte. I caught the Paraje-Fatima bus easily,

phrased my question differently (Are you going over the mountain?) “Si, si.” And everything worked fine. Today’s bus driver didn’t drive the usual route through Mirador, but rather asked where people wanted to get off and even shortened the route by a mile or so. Indeed, we went over the mountain and I was let off at the entrance to the panga docks. Hurray!

1 comment:

  1. You guys are never going leave, you would miss out on to much fun, not to mention the adventure of THE LITTLE RED BUS.
    ps , If I had more go and a bit of capital , I would lease the docks and turn it into a
    cruisers play ground. Even provide your own litlle bus service.
    HMM , best keep that one quiet.