Chickens Are Not Above Taking Public Transportation

My husband Dale and I just returned from a fourteen day

Meet Ric, our new Guatemalan friend.

backpacking trip through Belize and Guatemala.  Our trip will gradually unfold through blog posts over the next few weeks.  To begin with, though, I’m going to introduce you to Ric, who we met on a ferry ride to San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala.

On Christmas night we took an overnight bus from Northern Guatemala to Guatemala City. Arriving at 5:00 a.m. after eight hours of rocking to and fro on the top level of the bus, we transferred to the chicken bus “depot.”  Depot is loosely phrased because the buses just line up on a street.  A chicken bus is an old U.S. school bus that is fancied up with male bling – flashing lights, stickers of American cartoons (e.g., Batman, Scooby Doo), chrome bumpers, a new paint job, turkey bobbleheads.

A chicken bus with some nice bling going on

We squeezed into a seat on a bus that was headed in the desired direction, which was no small feat for Dale who is 6’2”.  Two and a half hours later we transferred to another bus, and then thirty minutes later, to another bus.  Alas, three chicken buses later, we arrived in Panajachel, which is on the east side of Lago de Atitlan (Lake Atitlan) in Southwestern Guatemala.   Next we climbed onto a small ferry that would cross the lake to San Pedro La Laguna.

By the end of the forty-five minute crossing we befriended Ric, who was from Guatemala City.  Over the next three days we spent a lot of time with Ric, who was full of Guatemalan history and stories. Oh, and he speaks at least five languages.  I spoke enough French with Ric to quickly realize that his English is about fifty times better than my French.  Sigh.

One night the three of us had a drink at Mikaso, one of the finest hotels in town, so that we could watch the sun set over the lake and surrounding volcanoes.  The colors and clouds were mesmerizing.  They morphed into new creations every few minutes.  Pictures could not capture the grace and beauty of the night, but we tried anyway.

After telling Ric about my blog and how I post something funny every Wednesday, he chose to make a contribution by providing me with some jokes.  Here are two of them:

What do you call a pair of boy twins?

What did a triangle tell another triangle?

The answers are below.  Have any jokes of your own to share?  Have any tips or tales from a trip to Central America?

Some suggestions if you’re planning a trip to Guatemala:

–          Take medicine if you get motion sickness because the roads are exceptionally bumpy and twisty;

–          Free yourself of all notions of personal space because it doesn’t exist on Guatemalan public transportation;

–          Accept that, as a gringo, you will be charged more for transportation and entrance fees in most instances than the Guatemalans; and

–          View taking chicken buses as a chance to absorb the culture and people watch – it’s amazing what you’ll see and experience on even the shortest of rides.

Dale and me soaking up the sunset at the base of one of the many volcanoes surrounding Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.


A sunset.

Let’s square dance.


2 comments on “Chickens Are Not Above Taking Public Transportation

  1. nyna says:

    Wow – 3 buses and a ferry…what an adventure. Cant wait to hear more.

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