The journey has officially begun. I am writing this post in a bus heading to one of Mexico’s smallest states, Aguascalientes (literally meaning ‘Hot Waters’), to check out the San Marcos National Fair. I just awoke to the sight of mountains in horizon, pastures of yellowish-brown grass dotted by cactus, agave plantations, grazing cows, and the familiar small-towns with their unfinished houses that show signs of slow ongoing construction. Instrumental flamenco music by a Chilean group, Rumba Gypsy, is playing on my i-pod and provides the perfect accompaniment to the passing landscape.
Only three hours earlier, I landed in Mexico City and took an expensive airport taxi ($24) to the busy bus station (Terminal Central de Autobuses del Norte) that connects Mexico City to the rest of the country. Although I could have spent the time to research a cheaper means of getting to the bus station (train or local transit), I wanted to start the 6-hour bus as soon as possible. Although there were several companies with buses going to Aguascalientes, the lineup at the Primera Plus counter was the longest. I asked a gentleman in the line why he chose Primera Plus over the other lines and he said that Primera Plus is the most affordable of the 1st class bus lines. That’s all I needed to hear – I paid $42 for my ticket and hopped on a bus that left 2 minutes later.
I have visited Mexico more times than I can count on my fingers, but this time feels different. Perhaps it’s because I have no set itinerary. Perhaps it’s because I have no return flight back to Canada. Perhaps it’s because I am suffering from sleep depravation and a cold. Perhaps it’s a combination of all of the other perhaps. Regardless, I feel blessed to be here and I excited about what this journey has in store.
Although I have no predetermined itinerary, I do have my first six nights booked at La Katharina Hostel in the heart of downtown Aguascalientes (12$/night). My first order of business when I get off this bus will be to take a well-needed shower and find myself a taco stand that sells carne asada (grilled beef) tacos – I’m starving.