Thursday, May 18, 2000

We slept very well considering the hooting and hollering of the teenagers until well past midnight. Their fiesta resumed at about 6:00 a.m.

Hiked over to the bus station and got tickets for a 12:00 bus to Durango, four-hour trip, 135 pesos each. As the driver was pulling the bus into the parking space, he ran into the bus next to it - Yikes! And weíre assigned to the suicide seats in the first row!

It was a bad omen. Later in the trip the driver played tic-tac-toe with his buddy while steering with his knees!!! After he finished his game, he popped in a cassette of Christmas music, in English, sung by someone who doesnít speak English as a first language (while the movie was running - Air Force One.) Then two hours into the trip we pulled into a liquor store in a small town. The driver and his friend went in, and we saw the driver purchase "something" and stick it in his pocket.

What's our bus driver buying?!?

Then with maybe 20 minutes left in the movie, the driver accidentally hit "pause." Thinking the movie was broken, he removed it and put in the ending of a different movie. I was SO PISSED! Havenít caught him sipping from his stash yet.

We arrived safely in Durango! Immediately found the local bus into town and got a room at the Hotel Posada Catedral. Very cool building, decent room, 200 pesos. The very nice English-speaking receptionist called for info on the Mazatlan bus for us since we forgot to check at the terminal in our haste to escape the bus of the doomed!

Catedral Basilica Menor

The pope visited Durango in 1990, and they have a statue of him in front of the cathedral. Somehow they built a statue that we never saw a single pigeon on! Iíve never seen anything like it! It wasnít even covered with pigeon crap! Obviously, pigeons must be Catholic.

Papa Juan Pablo II

Later we walked around the market. Lots of fun, but I wouldnít want to buy food there. This was probably the most "authentic" market we saw in Mexico on this trip, since there really isnít much tourist interest and itís a decent-sized city. In more touristy cities youíll find the markets all sell T-shirts along with their rotting produce and pork ankles.

After sunset, we sat in the square for a long time. There was a full moon, beautiful and very romantic.

Indoor balcony at the Hotel Posada Catedral

Continue to day 11.

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