order had gained in translation. I sampled everything, complimented the cook, “Muy rica,
muy sabrosa,” and paid the bill: 57 pesos ($5.25).
I bought a ticket from Santa Ana to Hermosillo 80 peso ($7.20), a two-hour ride.
From Tijuana to Sonoyta we followed the U.S.-Mexican border, often looking over se-
curity fences. We stopped at a number of checkpoints and even exited the bus, removed
suitcases and went through a luggage inspection. I asked what they were looking for; there
were no dogs sniffing for drugs and no metal detectors for weapons. A security officer
told me, “Contraband merchandise that Mexicans bring home without paying taxes.” This
meant items purchased in the U.S. but made in China.
Thoughts on Bus Travel
Buses are comfortable and schedules convenient. You can pick a bus on this route every
half hour. But you won't get peace and quiet. Standard procedure is for the driver to plug
in a movie that is often prefaced by an advertisement. Then the driver sits down and turns
on his own boom box. If you're up front, you may hear a mix of music and movie. The
driver's music can be corrido to rap. Films are generally action and teenage, but not bad
for a bus ride. Dialogue is simple, good for practicing your Spanish.
I enjoyed the drive into the neighborhoods because I was high up on a seat where I could
look over houses and yards. However, most terminals have been moved away from the
town centers. So after spending $7 for a two-hour ride from Santa Ana to Hermosillo, it
cost me $4 for a taxi ride to get downtown.
My Theory Is Tested
I claimed and planned my trip on the assumption that, “You can get anywhere on a bus in
Mexico.” That proposition was tested and proven to be correct.
Thinking ahead before I left the Hermosillo's Central Bus Terminal, I asked about a bus
to Creel, gateway to the Copper Canyon. I was shifted from one counter to another and
was finally told to go to Los Mochis and take the train. I said, “I'd like to take Highway
16,” and I showed the route on the map. Four clerks told me that there was no bus through
the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains. I was stunned. I asked, “How do people get from
town to town in the mountains?” There were a number of clearly indicated towns on the