22 July 2012

I Just Rode In From SMA And Boy Does My Butt H

Went with the Boiz down to San Miguel de Allende, it's an old, old town on the international cultural patrimony list if that means anything to you, but my folks have been going there for some 40 plus years, which means that I'm an old timer there.

The boiz and I went by bus.  Some 30 hours of butt numbing rainy transit.  In the dark.  Houston (departing around 10:30 p) to Matamoros (didn't have to go through San Antonio, thank God --- not that there's anything wrong with SA, it's just a 4 hour detour).  to Monterrey (couple hundred miles out of the way) then through San Luis Potosi (station located about half an hour off the main drag, which means a full hour of getting on and off the freeway, plus the holdover time, with no added or deleted passengers, kinda like DFW) and then to Queretero, and then a taxi to SMA.  Nominal departure time 9:15p, actual time somewhat after 10.  We're dealing with Metric Time here, kids. Got to the Grandfolk's casita at about oh-three-hundred hours, for a total travel time of just about 30 hours.

Once upon a time, there was passenger rail in Mexico.  It wasn't faster, but it was much more comfortable and more romantic. The Gobierno decided that it made more sense for the rails to carry freight rather than passengers.  Now there are double and triple truck rigs.  No hay ferrocarriles.  No trains for people, no trains for cargo.  There are hour long waits for checkpoints, about one every hundred kilometros, there are speed limits set to accommodate the triples, 60 KPH (that's about 35 MPH in real money) on major freeways because the trucks which are carrying the rail cargo handle like a herd of cats, and slow down everyone else, and one must still come to  a complete stop at the rail crossings that haven't been used for 15 years....

You know, Mexico once  had a "high speed rail " from the DF to Monterrey to SLP and no-one used it. Folks, especially tourists, used the passenger trains of the old school, much more "romantic" and all that nonsense, but thte National Rail system ended having to co-ordinate 3 different gauges. This did not work out well, as could be predicted.

Fortunately, the return trip saved 6 hours by avoiding Monterrey, but the bus seats ere narrower (it's not that I have a fat ass, it's because I have American sized shoulders, really.  34 inch waist, but I take a 52 slim in sports coats.  Yeah, brag, brag)

More later

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