We leapt in to action this morning,
making sandwiches and juice for our day out. We had a
coffee until it was time to board one of the marina
launches taking us to Bruno’s Marina a few minutes down river (nearer
town) where we would meet up with the others for our trip to the waterfalls and
before and after the enormous bridge (built by the Canadians) that we had sailed
under just the other day.
Dorothy and Duncan (Hunda) – hugged
last night at the trivia quiz, Larry and Marlo (Beatrice) and Brian were there
to welcome us with hugs all round since we had last seen them in Trinidad. Great
to be going on a day out with a gang of familiar faces. Thank you Dorothy for
organising us. We all bimbled from Bruno’s and a few minutes later were on the
High Street heading for the bus stop.
The first bus we saw had a few seats but being a group of
seven we turned it down despite reassurances from the driver that he could fit
us in. The next bus we were first on board. We all paid 15 Quetzals, one pound
thirty for the three quarters of an hour journey to the waterfalls. Bruce, an
American who had sold everything and bought a thirty three footer, proclaiming
he would never return to the States, was currently volunteering at the orphanage
and was taking a well earned ‘day off’ – became our unofficial guide. He pointed
out things as we went along.
Transport here comes in all shapes and
Our second bus
from the waterfalls to the canyon (thirty pence) had an
What you can’t
get in – put on top, we were to
remember this later.
When we had
finished at the canyon, it was time to wait at the bus stop, we weren’t short of company.
We turned down this bus, yet again we had assurances that
we could all fit in. It looked very low slung.
The next bus
looked like it had three seats. Immediately the locals shuffled about, quite
patiently and smilingly to accommodate us. The back row originally had a young
lady (now to Duncan’s right) and a lady with her two
small children (to Dorothy’s left). Dorothy put her
foot down as the driver was actually going to put one of the children in the
trunk, the mother was all smiles and very grateful at this. So the back row had
four adults and two children. My row in front of them had me, my left leg
pressing hard against the speaker to stop the blinding Salsa music. Bear later
admitted it was probably his fault as the driver caught him tapping his foot at
normal volume, assumed he loved the music and stomped up the volume. Marlo
pressed next to me and Larry on the fold down seat. In front of us were a couple
who really should have “got a room”, oblivious to the hubbub and Brian on a fold
The next row
forward had a lady fast asleep, two ladies in seats,
a couple of children on the floor behind the
driver. Bear later reported that the driver, after he had finished on his mobile, played
about with some wires, sparks flying so the lady next to him could charge her mobile and chatted happily above the noise. Our speed
was breakneck, only slowing for a couple of enormous speed bumps and one T
junction. We overtook a Mercedes and another minibus who had had the gall to
pass us whilst we were taking on more at a bus stop.
A couple of
stops saw more climb on. Now three standing. One on
the rear ladder, three on top and one hanging in or out of the open door. I
wondered what would happen if he sneezed. Bear said the chap missed his hand
hold on a particularly fast bend and swung Buster Keaton style and grabbed him
on the ear, apologising as he lunged for the handhold above Bear. Marlo and I
were fully glued together from the adjoining thighs down the full length of our
legs. We discussed plans for careful de-attachment when we got back to town.
Needless to say the journey was punctuated equally with incredulous gasps, much
giggling and downright wet-eyed laughter.
how many did we get on a bus with a drivers seat with two beside him, nine seats in the rear with three fold downs – total
fifteen. Answer 29, twenty four in, two hanging and three on
top. We bimbled back to Bruno’s. Someone
said we may be a little early for Happy Hour. I didn’t care if it was Sad Hour,
I wanted to celebrate getting off the bus in one piece.
ALL IN ALL NOT FOR THE FAINT